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How to clean cat ears and dog ears: Simple guide

Groomer cleaning dogs ears with a tissue
Cushelle Regular Tissues 80 sheets

Pets are cute, but leave their ears to their own devices and you might start to think otherwise. We’ll love them regardless of course, but part of that love involves keeping them (and their ears) clean and comfortable.

While cleaning dog ears or getting cat ears clean is nobody’s favourite task, cat and dog ear care can’t be ignored. If you want to know the best way to clean dog ears or cat ears, read on to find out how.

How to clean dog ears

Before starting on the task of cleaning dog ears it’s important to note that they’ll probably enjoy it even less than you. Dog ears are sensitive, and if you’re too rough you could cause them discomfort or even damage. That’s why it’s important to keep them calm while you’re carrying out the task. Reassure your furry friend with cuddles and be as gentle as you possibly can.

Follow these steps on how to clean dog ears quickly and effectively:

  1. Choose a small, quiet room – we recommend the bathroom.
  2. Get your dog ear care kit ready before you get your pooch over – this may include vet-recommended ear cleaner, gloves, cotton pads, strong facial tissues, a towel and, of course, some treats for your dog.
  3. Secure your dog between your legs – be firm but reassuring at all times.
  4. Start from the outside and work your way in – gently clean the dirt away as you go and change the tissue regularly.

    Wrap a Cushelle facial tissue around your finger and dip it in the cleaner. It’s easier to control the cleaning with contact like this, and these tissues are strong yet soft enough to clean dog ears thoroughly and gently.

  5. As soon as you feel any resistance on the inner ear don’t go any further, as you could cause damage.
  6. Give plenty of reassurance throughout – give them a treat or two, cuddle and distract them, basically anything you can do to make your dog feel secure.
  7. If the ear is particularly dirty or smelly or you think you see mites in there, schedule an appointment with the vet to check for infections.

You now know the best way to clean dog ears, so let’s move on to cleaning cat ears.

How to clean cat ears

Cats are very good at personal hygiene and cleaning their own ears. But sometimes they need a little extra help from you. Before we look at how to clean cat ears, it’s important to mention the need for regular checks to make sure there aren’t any nasties hidden inside. Follow these simple steps to get your cat’s ears squeaky clean:

  1. Grab everything you need before you get your cat – cleaner, tissues, towels and gloves if you like.
  2. Choose a time when your cat is ready for some love and/or sleepy – don’t try to clean the ears of a playful cat. Continue scratching, stroking, rubbing, or whatever you need to do to keep them calm.
  3. It’s a good idea to clean cat ears in a quiet area and to have someone else with you to help with the holding. Try wrapping your cat in a towel - hopefully they’ll feel snug and you won’t get scratched.
  4. Gently fold the ear back to check for dirt – if it’s pink and clean they’re doing a good job on their own. But if it’s dirty, you’ll need to help them out.
  5. Wrap a facial tissue around your finger, add a little cleaner to the tissue and wipe away the dirt.
  6. Make an appointment with the vet if you see something that doesn’t seem right (if the ear is very dirty or sticky or if there’s a strong odour).

There you have it: how to clean dog ears and help cats with their ear hygiene, too. Put these steps into practice and you’ll get extra points from your furry friends.


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