Cleaning your pet's ears regularly will keep them clean and healthy. Healthy ears have relatively little debris or dirt and do not smell. An unhealthy ear can smell, have excessive debris, or be red and sensitive to your pet. If you have any concerns about your pet’s ear health, see your veterinarian.
Animals that have ears that stand up are less likely to have problems as ears that are droopy. Ears that stand erect have better air circulation, whereas dropped or folded ears tend to trap moisture creating a warm moist environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive in. Pets that have allergies may be predisposed to developing ear infections as well.
When cleaning your pet’s ears yourself, use a clean cotton ball soaked with a pet-appropriate liquid ear cleaner. Swab out the inside of the ear canal and the inside of the ear leather removing any dirt or debris. Never probe down into the ear canal farther than you can see. Repeat using a fresh cotton ball with cleaner until the cotton ball comes out clean.
There are some cleaners that are designed to be used as an ear flush. Most pets will not like having the liquid squirted into their ear, so an alternative method is to drench a cotton ball with the ear flush and then put the cotton ball into the opening of the ear canal and then use the pets ear to squeeze and massage the liquid out of the cotton ball and into the ear. You can then remove the cotton ball, massage the base of the ear and then allow the animal to shake out any excess.
Make sure when you give your dog a bath to avoid getting water into their ear canal by either holding the ear closed, or putting dry cotton balls into the opening of the ear canal. Remember to remove the cotton balls afterwards. If your dog goes swimming drying their ear with clean dry cotton balls will help prevent problems.