No matter how often you bathe your dog, you can't prevent earwax from building up in the dog's ears. If the buildup is especially dark and has a stinky odor, the dog may have an ear infection and should be diagnosed and treated by a vet. If the buildup appears normal and the ear doesn't have a foul odor, use these techniques to clean the dog's ears yourself. Clean the dog's ears with dog ear wash every week to promote healthy (and pleasant-smelling) ears.
Things You Will Need
Dog ear wash
Hold the dog down and speak to it calmly and lovingly for the few moments leading up to cleaning the dog's ear with dog ear wash. It will be less likely to squirm and panic if it starts out in a calm state. Ideally, play with its ears frequently to get it used to having its ears handled.
Grab the dog's ear with one hand and the dog ear wash--consider Zymox, a leading dog ear wash brand available at pet stores and Amazon.com--in the other. Lift up the ear and lightly squeeze the dog ear wash into the dog's ear canal. Take care not to press the nozzle deep into its ear, but do try to get the dog ear wash as far into the ear canal as possible as debris can live past where the eye can see.
Let the dog's ear lay flat (or fold it over) and gently message the dog ear wash into the ear for 30 seconds to one minute; you should hear the dog ear wash squishing around. The dog's ear should serve as a buffer between your fingers and the ear.
Allow the dog to shake out the excess dog ear wash. This may seem counter-intuitive, but while the dog is trying to get the dog ear wash out, the shaking helps to get the dog ear wash even deeper into the ear canal.
Use a cotton ball to remove any excess dog ear wash from the dog's ear. If the dog has a lot of ear wax, use a fresh cotton ball with every swipe to ensure that you are not pushing any debris further into the ear.
Dip a clean cotton swab in dog ear wash and run it gently around the nooks and crannies of the ear. Be sure to clean out all of the ear's folds.
The dog will likely shake its head several times after you are finished cleaning its ears. After a few hours, swipe its ears with another cotton ball to remove any remaining dog ear wash.
Tips & Warnings
Be sure to reward the dog with a treat after cleaning the dog's ears with dog ear wash to encourage its patient behavior and cooperation.