How to get rid of ear wax in dogs

Updated March 23, 2017

If your dog is constantly shaking his head or itching his ear, chances are there is a build-up of wax in his ear. Wax forms in a dog's ear just as it forms in a human's ear. The result of wax build-up leads to mites, dirty-looking ears and foul odour emanating from the ear. Dogs with large, open ears, such as a German Shepherd, are more susceptible to a quicker build-up of ear wax. Ear cleaning solution and drying powder aid in the removal of ear wax.

Wet a cotton ball so that it's moist, but not dripping wet. Place the cotton ball inside your dog's ear lobe and softly rub any dirt away. You shouldn't need to exert a lot of pressure to remove the dirt.

Hold your dog's ear open and pour the recommended amount of ear cleaning solution into the ear. The amount varies with each brand of solution; but usually consists of no more than a few drops.

Place a cotton swab inside your dog's ear and clean away any dirt. Never place the swab directly into the ear canal or far enough into the ear that the cotton swab tip is no longer visible. Keep using the cotton swab until there is no visible dirt on the cotton tip when you clean the ear. You may have to use multiple swabs.

Gently rub a dry towel around and in your dog's ear, but never into the ear canal. Make sure to dry up any visible moisture. Use an ear drying powder to soak up the remaining moisture. Pour the powder directly into your dog's ear, like you did with the cleaning solution.

Repeat cleaning every time you bathe your dog or once a month if you only bathe your dog a few times a year.


If your dog seems to be in pain when itching his ear, take it to a vet. The pet may have an ear infection. Also take it to a vet if he continues itching his ear after you clean the ears. If wax is compacted, take your pet to the vet.

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About the Author

Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.