Your dog's ears are designed to be self-cleaning, but sometimes they need a little help to prevent or clear blockages. If your dog has visible wax or debris, or if he appears to be having problems hearing, you may need to rinse out his ears.
Gather all necessary supplies before beginning, and choose a location that is comfortable and brightly lit.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water to prevent introducing germs into your dog's ears. Alternatively, you can wear gloves.
Hold your dog's head still with one arm so that your other arm and hand are free. If this is not possible due to the size of your dog or another reason, ask someone to assist you.
Fill a bulb syringe with ear cleaning solution, and then lift your dog's ear so the ear canal is exposed.
Flush the external part of your dog's ear with half the contents of the syringe. Be careful not to squeeze too hard and make sure none of the solution gets into your dog's eyes or mouth.
Wipe away wax or debris with a clean cotton ball, and soak up any excess solution with a small towel.
Place the syringe near your dog's ear canal and use the remaining solution to rinse the inside of your dog's ear. Do not allow the tip of the syringe to touch your dog's skin. Squeeze the bulb syringe very gently.
Massage the base of your dog's ear to distribute the rinse. Be very gentle.
Allow your dog to shake his head. This will force most of the solution out of his ear. If you are worried about being splashed, wrap a towel loosely around his head before he begins shaking.
Repeat the process on your dog's other ear.
Rinse your dog's ears once per day for up to 10 days to remove blockages, or as directed by your veterinarian. Once your dog's ears are clean, you can reduce the frequency to once weekly or as needed.
- Consult your veterinarian before rinsing out your dog's ears if one or both of his eardrums are not intact. You may need to use colloidal silver benzoic acid, salicylic acid or povidone iodine to prevent damaging your dog's inner ear.
- Report redness, discharge, odor and other symptoms of ear infection to your veterinarian right away.
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."