German Shepherd Ear Cleaning: A Simple 5 Step How-To Guide


If you plan on cleaning your German Shepherd’s ears – consult your dog’s vet first.

They will be able to assess whether the ears need to be cleaned, and if so:

– demonstrate safe ear cleaning procedures,

– suggest how often to clean the ears,

– suggest appropriate ear cleaning products for your German Shepherd’s needs (if any are required)

The following guide is a 5 how-to step guide you may take into consideration when performing a basic ear clean yourself after getting a vet’s approval, and some things you can look out for, and be aware of.


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s. Do not put anything in your dog’s ears without a vet’s approval and supervision)


German Shepherd Ear Cleaning: A Simple 5 Step How-To Guide

Examples of two different pet ear cleaners on the market at the moment are:

(*Friendly Disclosure – links to retailers or brands on this page may include affiliate links, and we may receive a commission when you purchase through these links)

Make sure when using any ear cleaner product, that you get your vet’s approval and instruction first, and you follow any use and safety instructions on the ear cleaning product.


Ear Cleaning Guide

1. Inspect Your German Shepherd’s Ears For Ear Problems & Infections

Before you get to cleaning the ears, it’s important you inspect both the inside and the outside of the ears for any sign of ear problems and infections.

Infection can include bacterial, fungal and yeast infections, and the following are some signs which might indicate an infection is present:

Redness in the skin

Inflammation of any kind

Discharge and oozing from abrasions or sores

Overly bad odors


If you suspect there is an infection or anything other than regulation dirt and debris in your GSDs ears, you’ll want to consult your vet immediately.

Don’t touch the ear if your dog shows discomfort when you get near it, or if it looks red or inflamed.

Take them straight to the vet.


2. Prepare German Shepherd & Ear Cleaning Materials

There are five main things you’ll want to get ready when cleaning your dog or German Shepherd’s ears:

– A helper to hold your dog’s head steady and mouth closed

– A vet approved ear cleaner.

If you are using a home solution or mix, make sure you get your vet’s approval.

An example of a pet ear cleaner and deodoriser is the Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Ear Cleaning Solution for Dogs & Cats (on Chewy)

– Cotton Balls or Cotton Swabs

NOTE: only use cotton swabs or cotton balls to clean your dog’s ears and never a Q tip.

Ear cleaning with a Q tip should only be carried out by a vet as it can be dangerous for the dog’s ear if performed by someone who isn’t a trained professional – the eardrum could be damaged for example.

– Gloves

– A small towel


You can also place a mat down if you are performing the ear cleaning inside to protect your floor.


3. Clean The Dog’s Ears

Usually the vet and the instructions on an ear cleaner product give pretty clear direction on how to perform the cleaning process.

Follow these directions first and foremost.

As a general guide though, to clean your German Shepherd’s ears, consider these steps:

1) Ask your helper to place one hand gentle around the muzzle of your dog to keep their mouth close, and the other hand on the back of the head to keep the whole head steady

2) Put your gloves on and with one hand gently pull your dog’s ear out and up to open up the ear canals

3) Having read the instructions on the ear cleaner bottle, apply it as required and follow the instructions. 

4) Once the ear cleaner is in the ear, massage the base of your dog’s ear in a circular motion.

Your helper can offer praise to your dog and calm/reassure them while this is happening.

5) At this point the dog will usually want to shake their head to get rid of the fluid, so place your towel on the outside of the ear while you dog shakes it’s head to catch the fluid

6) Grab your cotton balls or cotton swab and clean any fluid or debris from the ear

7) Get your helper to give your dog a treat and offer lots of positive encouragement/reinforcement

8) Repeat process for the other ear

9) After both ears are done, reward your dog with a treat again

You can see how a veterinarian cleans a dog’s ears here.


4. Reward Your German Shepherd

Getting the ears touched, prodded and filled with strange and weird-feeling liquids can be intimidating and scary for a German Shepherd – especially a puppy.

As we mentioned above, make sure when you’ve finished cleaning one ear that you reward your GSD with a treat so they learn to associate ear inspection and cleaning positively.


5. Clean The Area

Clean up the area, throw the used materials in the bin, and you’re done.


Natural Dog Ear Cleaning Products

Some owners may want to look at ear cleaning solutions marketed as ‘natural’.

One of the more popular ‘natural’ marketed dog ear cleaners is:

Other popular natural dog ear cleaners are:


Vet Organics Eco Ears Dog Ear Cleaner


An all natural ear cleaner and disinfectant for dogs

For veterinary and external use only

Formulated for helping with itchy ears, bad smelling ears, and dirty ear discharge (mites, parasites, bacteria, yeast and fungal infections can cause these conditions)

Intended to take effect for different purposes within 2-10 days

Contains no pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemicals, hydrocortisone (steroids), solvents or antibiotics

Ingredients in Eco Ears is deonized water, witch hazel extract, denatured grain alcohol, vegetable glycerin, polysorbate 20 (food grade), boric acid, tea tree oil, ionic silver solution, organic mullein leaf extract, rosemary extract, fingerroot extract

Not for use on broken skin, on skin where blood is present, or for ruptured ear drums

Read the warnings on the bottle for other use conditions

The bottle comes with 8 fluid ounces of formula

All Vet Organics products are made in clean, secure FDA registered facilities in the USA

Vet Organics, as of 2018, claims Eco Ears has almost a 94% success rate


Some dogs don’t like ear cleaner and will wriggle and squirm when it is administered

The ear cleaner doesn’t have a 100% success rate. You may find it doesn’t do what you want it to for your dog’s ears


Overall, the ear cleaner is made with natural ingredients, in the USA, in FDA registered facilities. It’s popular and has helped over 100,000 pet families with ear cleaning and disinfecting. For the price, it seems to be value for money compared to prescription ear cleaner as long as your vet approves it for your dog’s ears.

View the Vet Organics Eco Ears Dog Ear Cleaner on Amazon


What Is Vet Organics Eco Ears Dog Ear Cleaner?

An all natural ear cleaner and disinfectant for dogs


When Might You Use Vet Organics Eco Ears?

Subject to the approval and advice for use by your dog’s vet – you might use it:

– to wash away pathogens, grime, wax buildup, dirt, crust and biofilms that may have accumulated in your dogs ears

– to help with itchy ears

– to help with bad smelling ears

Ultimately, it is used as a cleaner and disinfectant for your dog’s ears. ALWAYS read the instructions, warnings and all other information provided by Vet Organics on the packaging and bottle before use so you ensure you are using it as Vet Organics intended (in conjunction with your dog’s vet’s advice).


When Might You Not Use Vet Organics Eco Ears?

When your dog’s vet doesn’t approve of using it

When Eco Ears causes irritation to the ears

When the condition persists or worsens after use of Eco Ears

When you have any questions or concerns with the use of Eco Ears


What Are The Instructions For Use Of Eco Ears?

The instructions for use are:

Fill affected ear canal with EcoEars Dog Ear Infection Formula

Massage gently but vigorously for 90 seconds.

Wipe out with a facial tissue or cotton ball.

You may see improvements within a few days

It’s recommended to use Eco Ears twice per day as directed, for a minimum of 10 or 15 days for best results.

For severe and persistent ear issues, EcoEars may be safely used for up to 8 weeks at a time.


Make sure you read the instructions on the bottle or packaging when you get it and follow them. Contact Vet Organics if you have any questions with their product. They may refer you to a vet.


Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash Cleaner for Dogs

Ingredients – witch hazel, chamomile, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and clove oil. Alcohol free.

Cleans and soothes raw, itchy, smelly, or greasy dog ears.


Bodhi Dog All Natural Pet Ear Cleaner For Dogs & Cats

Ingredients – eucalyptus extract, aloe vera, deionized water, glycerine (natural moisturiser), cosmetic grade SD alcohol 40-2, stearic acid (from palm oil), dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (earwax remover), benzoic acid (prevents infection).

For itchy, smelly and dirty ears.

Made in the USA with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and animal cruelty free. Has socially responsible packaging made with recycled materials and is biodegradable and eco-friendly.


Mister Ben’s Ear Tonic w/Aloe for Dogs

Ingredients – Aloe vera, vinegar, boric acid, povidone iodine, isopropyl alcohol.

For Ear Infections, Irritations, Itching, Odors, Bacteria, Mites, Fungus & Yeast.


How Long Does It Usually Take For A Dog Ear Cleaner To Work?

It varies. The manufacturer should give you an indication of how many hours, days or weeks it should take before you see some form of results. They should also tell you what you might expect those results to be.

Some cleaners will work in a few days, while some may take weeks.



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