Ear Infections in Dogs – How to Avoid and Clean

Big eared dog may have ear infection

Ear infections in dogs are very common. Especially in breeds with bigger ears or those with lots of fur that cover their ears. Many factors can contribute to getting an ear infection. First of all, the size of the ear matters. Breeds like beagles and others have downward projecting ears which allow moisture and pathogens to live and be there.

Bigger ears require more attention and care than small ears. There is a very simple strategy in solving the ear infection problem. First of all, you should be able to look for the signs of ear infections. Then, you should follow the steps that I will teach you in this article to treat and prevent your dog from getting an ear infection.

Sit back! This article will comprehensively educate you on how to get through your furry friend's ear infection.

German Sheppard ear health

Ear Infection and Symptoms

External ear infections, or more accurately, otitis externa, are pretty common in dogs. Most of the time, they happen in the external ear canal. Anatomically ear has two parts: external and internal. The external ear includes the ear lobe (called pinna in dogs), external ear canal and eardrum. Infection can happen anywhere on the ear lobe or the ear canal; therefore, we call it an external ear infection or otitis externa.

Let me make this point clear, no dog breed is a safe form of ear infection. No doubt we observe ear infection in large dogs most of the time, but the small dogs are not completely safe from it. We often think larger dogs with floppy, hairy ears get more infections with such diseases, but it seems miniature breeds can also get these infections! Dogs, small or large, are prone to ear infections.

Why are dogs with bigger ears more prone?

First, we need to understand what makes an infection occur. An ear infection is because of bacteria and fungi; both prefer to live where temperature and moisture are optimum. Dog ears provide them with a place where there is optimum temperature and moisture, and there is no interruption in this optimum environment. It makes the dog ears a perfect habitable place for them.

Breeds like a beagle and afghan hound, therefore, are more prone to ear infections. If you want to avoid this infection from happening, you need to break the chain of events that make ears a perfect place for infectious agents to live. I will educate you to step by step to prevent and cure ear infections.

afghan dog has big hairy ears is prone to ear infections

Cleaning Your Dog's Ears to Prevent Ear Infection

If you are a dog owner, you must be aware of ear cleaning. You need to clean your dog's ears regularly to avoid unhealthy situations. It is an exciting activity for you and your dog only if both of you are comfortable with it. If anyone of you is not comfortable or habitual with this activity, it may not be easy.

Some dogs don't need to clean their ears at all, while others need it regularly. You need to be aware of your dogs ear health by observing his ears regularly. You should be able to distinguish between normal ear smells and dirty ear smells. It is important to regularly remove any dirt and clean the ears to avoid making a habitable environment for infectious agents. If you have a dog with big or hairy ears, you need to check its health status regularly.

If your dog routinely has his ears cleaned, you both might enjoy doing it regularly. Dogs enjoy gently rubbing their ears if they are healthy. But if ears are not healthy, they may pull it away and avoid due to pain or irritation.

cleaning dog ears to prevent infection

Three Easy Steps


You need a few things to get ready: a towel, cotton and an ear cleaning solution. Don't use tipped cotton or anything with a pointed end. Pointed things can push dirt deeper into the ear, which can be dangerous. There is one thing to keep in mind: the whole cleaning process can be messy! Therefore, it might be smart to clean your dogs ears in a bathroom or outside.

1. You need to collect all the supplies and your dog at the place where you will perform this activity. Keep the supplies near you and let your dog be at a table so that you can easily access his ears. Your dog should be at ease; if not, you could try at another time or encourage relaxation by providing a treat.

2. Squeeze the ear cleaning solution in your dog's ear canal but try to avoid the tip of the applicator touching the ear. Because it may introduce bacteria into the ears, causing the ear infection. Gently rub the ear for at least 30 seconds, and you will hear the sound of squishing as the solution starts cleaning the wax and dirt.

dog shaking water out of his ears

3. Now comes the use of a towel. Your dog will shake his head, and you should let him. Let your towel protect you from the spray and wipe his face. Once your dog stops shaking its head, use cotton to wipe out the releasing ear solution from the ear. Don't go down the ear canal to avoid discomfort.

Consider taking your dog to a vet if your dog feels pain any time during the activity.

dog health high five with human and dog

How can you know the exact time of cleaning?

Living with your dog, you must be familiar with the needs of your furry friend. You should familiarize yourself with the normal: the normal smell, color, texture and behavior. A good owner is no less than an expert veterinarian who can tell the problem with just a good look at the dog. You should be able to take a look at your dog every day and notice changes.

A healthy dog ear characteristics:

1. Pink

2. Odorless

3. Not inflamed

4. Clean with no dirt

5. Not stinky or smelling like yeast

Whenever you see any deviation from the signs mentioned above, you must prepare yourself for ear cleaning. Many times, the owner asks what schedule they should follow to clean the ears. Some dogs need infrequent cleaning, while some need it more often. Mostly, dogs who swim need more often ear cleaning. The Merch Veterinary Manual recommends astringents for dogs who swim routinely to let their ear canals dry. The ear canal needs to be dry to avoid any infectious agent.

puppy dressed in veterinary clothes

Any deviant behavior like shaking their head more often should take your thoughts to ear cleaning because the dirt is irritating your dog. If the ear looks red, inflamed or smells like yeast and your dog does not allow you to check, maybe because of pain, you should see a vet diagnose the problem properly. These are the signs of an infection, bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or an allergy.

It is strongly recommended not to clean an infected ear as it can be harmful to your dog. Go to the vet clinic and let the vet do his job.

Acupressure for Prevention of Ear Infections

Acupressure is an ancient healing therapy. Acupressure is considered a good strategy as there is no use of drugs to adverse effects. Acupressure provides comfort, emotional stability and physical health by pressing some pressure points at various places on the body. Unlike acupuncture, acupressure does not need to prick needles. The points just need light pressure that encourage and trigger the natural body energy, we call "chi", to restore the balance in the body.

Acupressure is a holistic approach to prevent many conditions. The holistic approach is far more beneficial than modern age therapy as it does not use chemical drugs and a surgical approach to treat a disease. Holistic therapy makes the body stable enough to have the healing potential. If you follow sessions on holistic therapies, like acupressure, your dog may not require any other kind of treatment. Holistic therapy is enough to keep your furry friend healthy and strong.