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How to Clean Your Dachshund’s Ears: Vet-Approved Cleaning Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on July 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

groomer cleaning the ear of dachshund dog

How to Clean Your Dachshund’s Ears: Vet-Approved Cleaning Tips

VET APPROVED

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSC GPCERT (OPHTHAL) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Dachshunds have the most adorable features. They have long bodies, earning them the “hot dog” nickname. They have stubby legs and also long, floppy ears! While their ears give much character to their appearance, the shape of their ears also makes them prone to a variety of ear-related issues.

When living with a Dachshund, ear care and hygiene is a responsibility that all owners must have, as the ear is a sensitive part of the body. Here, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean your Dachshund’s ears, followed by eight helpful tips to keep in mind when doing so!

divider-dog paw

The Importance of Keeping Dachshund Ears Clean

Dachshund’s ears are a huge part of why they are so adorable. Due to their shape, size, and floppy properties, Dachshunds’ ears are easily prone to dirt build-up and ear infections due to the lack of air circulation in the ear. Their shape also traps heat and moisture, creating an environment for bacteria and yeast to grow.

Aside from the shape and size of their ears, Dachshunds are also active dogs. They like to play and enjoy the outdoors. With their short stature, their ears are much closer to the ground, which can easily catch dirt, foreign bodies, or parasites when playing outside.

vet checking dachshund dog's ear
Image By: Zoriana Zaitseva, Shutterstock

How to Clean Dachshunds’ Ears

Like most dogs with floppy ears, the routine ear-cleaning procedure is pretty straightforward. However, it does require your dog’s cooperation, so make sure to start handling their ears from a young age, all while using treats and praise in order to create a positive association and avoid any fear or stress. This will make your life much easier and will ensure your dog is comfortable and relaxed during the cleaning.

The steps for cleaning your Dachshund’s ears can be summarized into five simple steps:
  • Gripping each ear, gently wipe the inside of the ear flap with a moist, damp cloth.
  • Gently massage the outer portion of the ear at the base of the ear canal after having applied the ear-cleaning solution. Speak to your vet about appropriate and safe dog ear cleaning products.
  • Use cotton wool balls to soak up and wipe the excess cleaning solution, then repeat the process until the cotton wool is clean.
  • Repeat procedures as needed and perform on both ears.
  • When you’re done cleaning, dry the flaps with a dry cloth and let your Dachshund shake it off!

divider-pawTop 8 Tips When Cleaning Your Dachshund’s Ears

1. Observe Their Behavior

Before even attempting to touch your doxie, it is important to observe their behavior. As dog owners, it’s important to note any unusual behaviors that your dog may show, such as indications that they are experiencing pain or discomfort with their ears. Some behaviors may include shaking their head, crying, constant scratching, or rubbing their ears on surfaces around the house.

Some infections may also cause your Dachshund to feel ill and exhibit low energy, a change in appetite, or restlessness.

If your Dachshund shows any sign of discomfort, malodor, ear discharge, redness, or head tilt, do not attempt to clean their ears and instead contact your vet for an appointment.


2. Inspect Their Ears Regularly

Dachshunds’ ears are long and floppy, so you won’t be able to see the inner surface of their ears just by looking at them. Every chance you get, it is recommended that you take a peek inside their ears often to see just how healthy or clean they are. Inspect for debris, wounds, and signs of infection, as well as signs of parasites, such as mites and ticks.

Inspecting your dog’s ears is recommended after they play outside. Dachshunds are short and stay low to the ground, so catching dirt in their ears after playing outside is common.

vet examining the ear of dachshund dog
Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

3. Keep Your Dachshund Comfortable

When it is time to clean your Dachshund’s ears, it is important that they feel secure and comfortable. As mentioned, their ears are floppy and must be held firmly during cleaning, but without being pinched. Make sure they are relaxed and comfortable before starting the cleaning process.

When beginning the cleaning process, make sure you handle your doxie’s ears gently and firmly. Dog ears are extremely sensitive, and any violent motions, sudden motions, or excessive force can easily cause pain and injury.

Keeping your doxie secure and comfortable is essential during cleaning, as it allows you to clean the area properly while preventing injuries and creating a positive experience for your dog for future cleaning sessions.


4. Keep Your Equipment Close By

When beginning to set up for cleaning your dog’s ears, they should be kept in a secure and comfortable position. For a quick and efficient cleaning session, be sure to prepare your cleaning equipment prior to the session. Make sure your equipment is sanitary and close at hand.

Tools that must be prepared and cleaned beforehand may include the following:
  • Pet ear cleaning solution
  • Cotton balls or cotton pads
  • Moist towel
  • Dry towel

Cleaning solutions must be appropriate for your dog, as not all ear cleaners are adequate for all dogs and for all types of ear discharge. Also, it is important to know that if you suspect an ear problem in your dog, there is a chance that the eardrum is damaged or even perforated.

All ear problems require prompt veterinary attention and treatment. Your veterinarian will instruct you on the proper use of a cleaning solution in your dog’s ears and how you can ensure good ear hygiene for your dog. Some dogs will also require topical ear treatment or even a systemic course, depending on the underlying cause.

Be sure to choose the softest cotton balls and towels available for a gentle cleaning experience. Ensure that they are also clean prior to starting the cleaning.

cotton pads and alcohol
Image Credit: Fangfy, Shutterstock

5. Clean During Grooming Time!

Dachshunds are active animals and enjoy the outdoors. They love to run, jump, and dig in the dirt, so chances are they’ll end up dirty. To be efficient with both time and effort, cleaning their ears during their regular grooming and cleaning time is recommended!

After brushing your dog’s coat and washing your dog’s paws and underside, continue with a gentle wipe of the inside of the ear flap and opening of their ear canal with a semi-moist soft cloth or cotton ball. Remember to let your Dachshund shake off after grooming time!


6. Don’t Use Cotton Buds in Your Dachshund’s Ears

Contrary to popular belief, the use of cotton buds is not recommended for ear cleaning. Cotton buds can damage the ear canal if used improperly and become a foreign body lodged inside the ear. Using cotton buds can also push down debris further into the canal, making it more difficult to remove.

Cotton balls or pads are recommended, as they are gentler for the skin of the ear. The use of cotton balls also restricts how far you can reach inside the ear canal, minimizing the risk of pushing debris further and causing trauma to the ear canal.

cleaning dachshund dog's ear with cotton pad
Image Credit: mykeyruna, Shutterstock

7. Don’t Forget to Give Your Dachshund a Reward!

To create a positive experience for your Dachshund during cleaning sessions, don’t forget to reward them for doing a good job!

Giving your doxie verbal praises throughout the cleaning process can encourage your dog to behave during cleaning. This will also calm your doxie during the session to prevent any sudden movements. To encourage your Dachshund to behave for future cleaning sessions, don’t forget to give them treats at the end to let them know they did a good job!


8. Seek Professional Cleaning

Routine check-ups and consults are recommended for every dog, including Dachshunds. This helps to monitor your Dachshund’s health and receive medical advice as needed.

Letting the veterinary or grooming clinic clean your Dachshund’s ears is recommended during every visit to ensure that their ears are clean and healthy!

vet cleaning the ear of dachshund dog with cotton pad
Image Credit: DAndreev, Shutterstock

Summary

Dachshunds are adorable creatures known for their iconic hotdog body, stubby legs, and floppy ears. Ear hygiene and care is an essential element when caring for your Dachshund, and routine cleaning can be challenging, especially if your dog is uncomfortable. Seek veterinary advice if your dog is suffering with an ear problem.

To keep your doxie’s ears clean, be sure to make the cleaning a positive experience. Clean and healthy ears can easily keep your Dachshund happy and comfortable!


Featured Image Credit: MDV Edwards, Shutterstock

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