One of my favorite grooming routines is cleaning dogs’ ears. Believe it or not, I used to get an adrenaline rush when clients brought in their dogs with the foulest, dirtiest, and hairiest ears. Not that I was happy to see them in this condition, but rather knowing how relieved both of us would feel after I’m done cleaning them.

If your dog has large and/or floppy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Weimaraners; they are bound to have some earwax buildup if they don’t get cleaned regularly which can lead to serious ear problems. While a little earwax is fine and helps protect the inner workings of his ears, excess earwax can indicate or lead to infection and should be treated without delay. This balance can be tricky because of the composition of the dog's ears. Rather than having one canal directly into the ear, dogs actually have two that form a right angle. While the first may be fresh and clean, the second can retain moisture and form wax.

And if you have medium- to long-haired dogs, they probably have ear hair growing around and in the canal. While it’s a built-in defense against infection, loose hair falling into the canal can actually cause infection itself and should be removed. You are only required to pluck the hair once fortnightly or a little later. It is not as painful as you might think if done with correct tweezers. Do not use eyebrow tweezers, the sharp edges can hurt your dog’s ear as that area is very tender and may cause some bleeding if not careful.

Once you get the earwax and hair out of the way, what you left with are clean smelling ears and a very happy dog with 100% hearing ability!

Easy Steps To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Do invest in a good pair of hair pulling tweezers which costs no more than $20. They have multiple purposes; they can be used as ear swab, to remove ticks, grass seeds, ear hair, and smallish particles trapped in any part of the body. Any decent ear powder will get the job done effectively. Personally, I don’t see any difference between the higher end and the ordinary ones, so don’t spend more than it’s necessary. Now you are ready to clean your dog’s ears like the professional groomers do and at a fraction of a cost.

Materials Needed:

  • Ear powder
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • A pair of hair pulling tweezers (either a straight or curved ones)
  • Cotton wool


  1. Apply some ear powder into your dog’s ear. This helps to absorb oil and facilitates plucking of hair in the ear.
  2. Using a pair of hair pulling tweezers, pluck the hair around the opening of the ear until the ear canal can be seen visibly. This is for hygiene purposes and prevents ear dirt from adhering to the hair and breeding bacteria.
  3. Drip a few drops of ear wash solution into your dog’s ear and gently massage the back (towards the base area) of the outer ear.
  4. Place the cotton wool on the opening of the ear canal and hold it in place.
  5. With your other available hand, tilt your dog’s head towards the cotton wool to drain out the solution and maybe some earwax.
  6. While holding the cotton wool in place, gently massage (in circular motions) the opening of the ear canal.
  7. Use the DIY cotton swab to clean the outer ear canal. You may have to do a few more DIY cotton swabs.

Another option is to drip the solution on the cotton wool and clean the ear as much as you can visibly see and reach. Be careful not to probe too deep and hurt you dog. This option will not do a thorough job especially if your dog has a lot of earwax buildup.