Cleaning Ears

I've been noticing Quinn being a bit smelly, so I checked her ears and one ear seems fairly gunky/dirty. She typically has very clean ears...does anyone clean their dogs ears? Could it be a mild infection? I've already made several pointless vet visits this year, and with the restrictions due to covid would rather not go again unless needed...


Manchester UK
Echo needed his ear cleaning. The vet gave me drops for a week then cleaned his ear out weekly for three weeks. He told me not to touch it at all after the drops.

His ear is fine now.

I think cleaning them yourself may cause more problems - just as we are not supposed to clean our own ears.



Bristol, UK
We are lucky that Harley hasn’t really ever had any issues with her ears (unlike the rest of her 😉). Lyla (my daughter’s pup) seems to get first years a lot. She wipes them if it’s bad with a cotton pad.
Cassie went through a stage of having smelly ears. I got some stuff called garlic juice which you apply to the outer ear to counteract the odour. It worked well for her.
She hasn't had a problem for a few years now. Thinking about it it could have been before I changed her food.
It reduced the smell, but it does say to see a vet if infection present, the garlic juice is not to treat that.


My lot have never had a problem with ears (well, Squidge did as a tiny puppy, but nothing ongoing). I think the general advice to leave them be unless there's a problem with their design which means they don't look after themselves is for the best. However, if there's a smell, I'd say it needs sorting. Could you just call your vet and ask if there's anything you can pick up at the pharmacy?
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Fife, Scotland
After Lilly's FIRST and only ear infection a year or so ago our vet gave us ear cleaner and told us to use it EVERY time she got wet including after a walk in the rain......
Coco had a smelly ear once. It required a vet visit for a good cleaning (loads of black gunk) then drops for a week - which he loved, you get a good ear rub. It has never happened again.
I mostly leave ears alone, I accept a little bit of ear smell - maybe like the way our ear wax smells - and a little bit of dirt - but I tend to leave alone apart from a regular check, I think they are generally self cleaning? I once asked my vet about a slight Dorito smell, and she said it was completely fine for monty.
I used to have to clean Brogan's ears. After trial and error, I found that using a gentle solution from the pet store and cotton make up remover pads worked the best. Squeeze in a bit of the solution, give a nice ear massage then wipe out with the pads. If there's actually an infection you'll need something from the vet (which you're sorting already) but this was good for prevention.

I learned the very hard way that cotton swabs are not the way to go. Poor Brogan. :shake:

Carbon seems to be a self-cleaning oven: knock on wood, never a problem so I just leave him alone.
We clean Vanilla's every week if it has a build up and have a solution that we put in once at the same time, worst in spring and summer. This is due to her allergies and she is prone to get a deep infections which then cause problems.
Honey we keep an eye on her but don't really need to clean hers to much.
We have to clean Maxx's ears as he is prone to ear problems. It is a nightmare as he HATES it. The vet said twice a week but it ends up being more like once every three weeks but this seems to be enough to keep nasties at bay.