How To Clean German Shepherd Ears (5-Step Guide)

Want to know the best way to clean a German Shepherd’s ears?

You’re in the right place!

With German Shepherd ears being erect and large, foreign objects could lodge in and cause problems.

Moreover, there are other factors that make your dog’s ears more inviting for bacteria and fungi to grow.

two german shepherds showing their ears

In this guide, you will learn:

  • What materials you need to clean a German Shepherd’s ears
  • How frequent you should clean a German Shepherd’s ears
  • Some surprising facts of German Shepherd ear cleaning

And much more!

What's In This Guide?

      What Do You Need To Know About Cleaning German Shepherd Ears?

      In canines, the signs of food allergy include digestive disturbances and ear infections.

      These problems are often genetic and exposure to particular allergens trigger them.

      Common food allergens are chicken, eggs, and soy. An excess of grain and sugar in the diet may also cause an ear infection.

      Simple sugars feed the yeast that is already present in the body, thus causing a dark, stinking overgrowth inside the ears.

      The treatment boils down to identifying the ingredients that your German Shepherd is allergic to and eliminating those from his diet.

      Unless you have successfully addressed the root of the problem, your dog will have recurring painful ear infections.

      It is unsafe to use hydrogen peroxide to clean your German Shepherd’s ears.

      Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic used to prevent infections from minor cuts, scrape, and burns.

      Although hydrogen peroxide is effective at breaking down earwax, it could sting and cause irritation that could lead to redness and inflammation.

      This common household remedy might work for humans but it delivers more harm than good to our canine companions.

      Dogs have an L-shaped ear canal;

      Therefore, pouring a liquid that does not evaporate immediately keeps the air moist and aggravates current ear problems, like otitis external.

      Moist ears are an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.

      You can kill ear mites using oils

      Home remedies, such as olive and coconut oils, are relatively safe. As a matter of fact, these oils can kill ear mites although it might take several weeks to clear the mite population.

      But if your pet has a serious ear infection, he will need proper medication with the help of your vet. You do not want to risk damaging Doggo’s eardrum.

      Read More: >> What nail clippers work best for grooming a German Shepherd? 

      How Often Should You Clean A German Shepherds Ears?

      The short answer is… whenever you notice wax build-up, but more specifically around once per month is a good rule of thumb.

      From researching, I found that most owners will clean every once per month, or once every 2 months depending on the dog.

      Some are prone to wax build-up while others can go months without the need for a clean.

      According to Dr. Jangi Bajwa from Vet Derm, you should be inspecting a German Shepherds ears weekly for signs of infection.

      But this is far different from cleaning itself, so it’s best to stick to:

      • Weekly inspections for signs of infection or wax build up
      • Every 1 to 2 months for ear cleaning

      Dogs that require ear cleaning more frequently than once per month should be further inspected and monitored for signs of infection.

      Read More: >> What’s the best brush for grooming a GSD? 

      image of two GSDs with their ears showing large on image

      How To Clean German Shepherd Ears (5-Steps)

      Before you pop open Doggo’s bottle of ear cleaner, you want to make sure he actually needs ear cleaning.

      If your canine’s ears emit a foul smell that makes you want to grab a KN95 mask, then pack up your things and head to the vet. Chop chop!

      But if there’s no sign of ear infection, then assemble your supplies, your pooch, and follow these simple steps.

      1. Calm Your German Shepherd
      2. Use Miracle Care Ear Powder
      3. Step 3: Apply the Ear Cleaning Solution
      4. Wipe Away the Debris
      5. Reward the Goodest Boy or girl 

      Step 1: Calm Your German Shepherd

      First and foremost, create a safe and relaxing environment. Your canine buddy should be calm ━ not excited or nervous.

      If Doggo shows signs of tension, you might need a little bit more time to get him ready.

      Since you might anticipate a huge mess, you will want to do it inside the bathroom or on the kitchen floor.

      You do not want to do the job outside on a patio as there are too many distractions. If you have a puppy, you can coax him onto a table.

      Step 2: Use Miracle Care Ear Powder

      If your furry pal is finally restful, quiet, and still, then go ahead and grab the Miracle Care Ear Powder.

      Some pet owners may find this step redundant but I suggest you do not skip this part.

      Some German Shepherds can have more feathering in their ears than others, depending on the type of coat they have.

      The Miracle Care Ear Powder contains boric acid, which can help remove fine hair from the ear canal. 

      Doing this step prior to cleaning makes it a lot easier to clean the actual skin of your pooch. By removing excess hair, it also promotes airflow to the ear canals.

      Step 3: Apply the Ear Cleaning Solution

      Gently pull Doggo’s ear upward to straighten it up, thus exposing the ear canal.

      Then squeeze a few drops of ear cleaning solution into the ear canal. Massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds to distribute the fluid. 

      If you have a partner, it would be helpful to have him or her hold your German Shepherd’s head. Likewise, give Doggo biscuits or peanut butter to sweeten the deal.

      Use a lamp; you need to see directly into your German Shepherd’s ear.

      Equally important, do not let the tip of the applicator reach your dog’s ear as this can introduce bacteria.

      Step 4: Wipe Away the Debris

      This is where the towel comes in. Let your German Shepherd shake off the liquid.

      Once your dog has finished shaking, carefully swab out the inside of the ear flap using a cotton ball. Do not go deeper than the depth of a knuckle.

      You may also use pet ear wipes for this procedure.

      Step 5: Reward the Goodest Boy Or Girl

      Reward your furry pal with a delicious treat ━ or a slice of steak if you feel generous!

      Remember, food allergies are linked to ear infections, therefore be careful what you feed your pooch.

      Repeat the above steps with Doggo’s other ear. After a few ear cleaning sessions, your German Shepherd should become used to the process.

      Read More: >> What is the best undercoat rake for German Shepherd grooming? 

      Final Thoughts On Cleaning A German Shepherd’s Ears

      Cleaning German Shepherd ears is not a daunting task.

      While it might be difficult to get your puppy to stay still during the first few sessions, he will get used to it eventually.

      You may need to prepare some tasty treats to coax him. Fortunately, there are many other inexpensive vet-recommended products to clean your dog’s delicate ears.

      So, do not use hydrogen peroxide to clean your pet’s ears whether it is regular strength or diluted.

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      Lara Writes

      Lara, a.k.a Alpha Mama, is a great dancer and belter singer, although the world tells her otherwise. However, her greatest pleasure is working with animals. If the Alpha Mama is not being delusional, she manages to create informative articles and clear-cut buying guides. She also likes to share her personal experiences that may ignite your soul or possibly change your life!

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