Just like humans, dogs are prone to buildup in their ears. Unlike humans, they can’t grab a Q-tip to clean them out – they need your help!

Keeping pets’ ears clean contribute to their health and wellness by preventing irritation and infection that can be painful and potentially lead to hearing loss. Ear disease is one of the most common conditions in pets. The medical name for inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal is otitis externa. Otitis externa is estimated to affect 20% of dogs and 7% of cats in the United States.

The dark, twisty, moist, and L-shaped nature of dog’s ears make them extremely susceptible to trapped bacteria and debris. Floppy eared dogs, like poodles and basset hounds are even more at risk, as their ears prevent proper air circulation. No air circulation means no evaporation, meaning the moisture trapped in his ear provides the perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria growth.

To clean their ears, use an alcohol-free solution like mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide, or a commercial dog ear wash. Wet a cotton ball with the wash and begin to wipe the ear canal, starting from the outside, in. Don’t use cotton swabs, as they can push wax and foreign debris further into his ear, and one wrong move from either of you could injure the eardrum.