How to Clean Dogs Ears & Eyes

Clean Eyes and Ears are Essential to Your Dog’s Health

Your dog’s coat is only one part of good grooming hygiene. Eyes and ears require every bit as much attention.

  • It’s a good habit to clean your dog’s eyes with every bath, but you shouldn’t neglect to clean any noticeable discharge from the eyes.
  • Check for redness or other signs of irritation. Healthy eyes are bright and clear, and the white of the eye is pure white. You can help keep them that way by gently wiping away discharge in the corners with a cotton ball or soft washcloth moistened with warm water. Make sure not to rub the cotton ball directly over the eye.
  • Don’t mistake an eye infection or other problem for normal eye discharge. If your dog has eye redness, swelling or changes in eyeball appearance, consult your veterinarian immediately. Excessive blinking or pawing at the eyes are also indications that your dog has an infection or other problem.
  • Your dog’s ears should be cleaned at least once a month, more often if your dog is prone to ear problems.
  • Look inside the ear to check for dirt, scratches, parasites, or discharge. Then give them a good sniff. There shouldn’t be any unpleasant odor.
  • Moisten a cotton ball with mineral oil and gently wipe out the ears, going no deeper than the first knuckle on your finger.
  • Keep ears dry and clean, or your dog may face recurrent ear infections that are difficult to treat. Avoid using drying agents on a regular basis—if there’s no problem they can dry out the ear too much, and if the ear is oozing there’s a reason for it. Drying it up without treating the cause leads to more ear problems.

Originally published in AKC New Puppy Handbook