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A Step-by-step Guide On How to Clean German Shepherd Ears

Do you notice dirt in your German Shepherd’s ear whenever you check, or your dog always releases brown or black discharge? Here is a well-detailed guide on the steps to get clean and infection-free ears.

How to Clean German Shepherd Ears

You can clean your German Shepherd’s ears easily by following these steps;

  • Check your German Shepherd’s ears for lousy odor, reddening, or inflammation, as this can signify an infection that requires the services of a veterinarian. If your dog’s ears are only dirty and not infected, you can move on to the next step.
  • Prepare your products and your dog. Make sure your dog is calm and relaxed before you start the cleaning process.
  • Tilt the dog’s head to one side and straighten its ears to expose the ear canal.
  • Squeeze in a veterinarian-recommended dog cleanser to fill up the ear canal. You should massage this product well into the ear to soften the debris buildup. 
  • Release your dog and let it shake its head. Use a towel to protect yourself from the product and clean your dog’s face.
  • Use a cotton ball to wipe off the debris and the cleanser residues from the ear’s interior, going no deeper than the depth of one knuckle.
  • If your German Shepherd is a type that has hairy ears, trim the hair inside its ears with blunt-nose scissors or pluck out the long hairs with a tweezer to facilitate proper airflow into the ear canal.

Should I Clean German Shepherd Ears?

Yes, cleaning a German Shepherd’s ears at regular intervals would be best to prevent moisture and heat buildup, which can expose the ears to bacterial infections.

How Often Should I Clean My German Shepherd’s Ears?

A German Shepherd’s ear should be cleaned at least once every month if it is not exposed to water too often. Also, make sure to check your German Shepherd’s ear every week for any signs of dirt or infections.

(Read Why Are German Shepherds So Clingy?  if you want to stop the excess clinginess of your GSD.)

How Do I Tell If My German Shepherd Has An Ear Infection?

Your German Shepherd will show some symptoms if it has ear infections. These symptoms might include one or more of the following;

  • Head or paw shaking to the side of the affected ear 
  • Excessive ear scratching
  • Bad odor 
  • Pain
  • Redness and swelling of the ear
  • Wax buildup
  • Discharges
  • Itchiness
  • Scabs in the ears
  • Head tilt to the side of the affected ear
  • Walking off balance 
  • Walking in circles toward the side of the affected ear 
  • Head swinging from side to side if both ears are affected 
  • Deafness on the affected ear

Do German Shepherds Get A Lot of Ear Infections?

Yes, German Shepherds can get a lot of ear infections if the ears are not properly dried after swimming or bathing. Moisture buildup is the major and most prevalent cause of ear infections in German Shepherds and many other dog breeds.

What Color Is German Shepherd Ear Wax?

Healthy ear wax will have a pale yellowish color without any bad smell, while the wax from an infected ear will have a brownish or black color with a bad smell.

How do I get the black stuff out of my dog’s ear?

The black stuff in your dog signifies ear mites infestation. To get it out of your dog’s ear, apply a prescribed ear cleanser to the ear after tilting it to one side, close the ear and massage it to soften the gunk inside. Next, use a tissue to clean the ear and dry the ear out.

Is Vinegar OK to clean dog ears?

Apple cider vinegar is a good product for cleaning dogs’ ears. It helps to balance the pH, dry out the ears and reduce the itching and irritation caused by yeast and bacterial infection. 

However, it would be best to avoid using it on open wounds as its acidic nature can cause burns.

What is the brown stuff in my dog’s ears?

The brown stuff in your dog’s ears can indicate dirt in the ear or an ear infection. A smelly brown discharge is usually a symptom of an ear infection.

Should I clean the brown stuff out of my dog’s ears?

Yes, clean the brown stuff out of your dog’s ears immediately after you notice it.

Should I clean the black stuff out of my dog’s ears?

Yes, it would help if you cleaned the black stuff out of your dog’s ears, as it indicates the presence of ear mites in the ears. However, if you do not clean and treat this as soon as possible, it might make your dog deaf.

How can I treat my dog’s ear infection without going to the vet?

You can treat your dog’s ear infection at home using an apple cider vinegar and water mixture with a cotton swab to clean the ears.

What foods cause yeast infections in dogs’ ears?

When some dogs eat foods like chicken or high carbs or sugar diets like wheat, corn, and some other foods, they can become susceptible to indigestion which can trigger an allergic reaction that can allow abnormal yeast growth.

Can I use hydrogen peroxide to clean my dog’s ears?

No, do not use hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog’s ears as it can irritate, and extended use can eventually damage the ear tissues.

Can I use a paper towel to clean dog ears?

Yes, you can use a paper towel to clean your dog’s outer ears but not the inner ears to prevent irritation.

What does yeast build up in dogs’ ears look like?

A dog with yeast buildup will produce a brown or black smelly discharge. Depending on the severity, it might also look reddish and swollen with scabs inside the ears.

What kills ear fungus in dogs?

Ear fungus in dogs can be controlled by using these medications;

  • Medicated cleanser
  • Topical antifungal ointment or creams like Miconazole or ketoconazole
  • Anti-inflammatory medications like carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)

How to Clean German Shepherd Ears: Conclusion 

Maintaining proper hygiene is necessary for good dog health. For example, cleaning your dog’s ears makes them clean and prevents infections, mites infestation, and any complications they might cause, including deafness.

We have provided you with the steps to take to ensure proper cleaning of your dog’s ears and signs to look out for to know if your dog has any infections.

Therefore, to show that you love your German Shepherd and are concerned about its wellbeing, check its ears frequently for dirt, mites infestation, and bacterial or fungal infections.


  • Rob

    Hi! I welcome you to my blog, where I discuss German Shepherds. Cheers to your GSD's welfare. And I hope you have a good time surfing my posts. Rob

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