The Guide to Essential Ear Care for Cats & Dogs

Learn pet-safe cleaning techniques, ear hygiene tips, and how to prevent common ear issues in your beloved furry companions.

One crucial aspect of pet care that often goes unnoticed is ear health. Cats and dogs, no matter their breed, require extra attention when it comes to ear grooming as their ears are highly sensitive and prone to various issues. Neglecting this essential aspect of pet care can lead to discomfort, pain, and even severe health complications for our beloved furry friends. From wax build-up to ear infections, these problems can affect their quality of life, causing them distress and unhappiness.

Cleaning Your Pet’s Ears Can Prevent The Following Health & Hygiene Issues For Your Beloved Cats & Dogs

  • Excessive Wax Buildup

Just like humans, pets can experience wax accumulation in their ears. If left unattended, this excess wax can cause an uncomfortable feeling of fullness in the ear canals, hearing impairment, and even pain.

  • Ear Infections or Issues

Ears that are not adequately cleaned can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, leading to painful ear infections. If you notice any redness, swelling, discharge, bad odor, or excessive scratching of the ears, take note.

  • Dirty Ears

Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors are more prone to accumulating dirt, debris, and other foreign particles in their ears. This accumulation ultimately combines with the earwax buildup, leading to irritation and discomfort.

Common Symptoms of Ear Problems & Discomfort in Pets

Pay close attention to your beloved cat or dog’s ear health – once you spot these symptoms, be sure to promptly address these signs of discomfort or illness.

MEDIKURIN PettoGard Common Ear Problem Symptoms for Pets

Ear Scratching

One of the most noticeable signs of ear discomfort in pets is excessive ear scratching. Whether your cat or dog is using its paws or rubbing its head against objects, pets often attempt to alleviate the persistent itchiness caused by various ear issues.


Frequent head shaking or tilting to one side is another indicator that your pet might be experiencing ear problems. This behavior is often an attempt to relieve the discomfort caused by ear mites, which can infest the ear canal and lead to irritation and inflammation.

Ear Redness and Inflammation

Visibly red, inflamed, or swollen ears are clear indicators of ear issues in pets. The delicate skin inside the ear can become irritated due to various factors like bacterial or yeast infections, allergies, or foreign objects lodged in the ear.

Discharge and Strong Odor

A dark, crumbly discharge resembling coffee grounds, accompanied by a distinct and unpleasant odor emanating from the ears, can be alarming signs of ear problems in pets. This discharge is often a combination of mite debris, excess wax, and oils produced by the ears, and it requires immediate attention from a veterinarian.

Hair Loss and Irritation

Pets suffering from ear discomfort may also exhibit hair loss around the ears or on the face. The intense itching and irritation caused by ear problems can lead to persistent scratching and self-harm, resulting in hair loss and further aggravation of the issue.

4 Steps to Clean Your Pet’s Ears

Step 1: Lift your pet’s ear flap, direct the nozzle to the ear canal and squeeze to apply generously into the ear canal.

Step 2: Gently massage the base of the ear.

Step 3: Let your pet naturally shake its head to dislodge excess solution, wax, or debris.

Step 4: Use a cotton ball to gently wipe away any excess fluid from the ear; avoid using cotton-tipped applicators.

For optimal results, use a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner for pets like PettoGard® Gentle Ear Cleaner for Cats & Dogs, which contains moisturizing properties to soothe irritation and inflammation and prebiotics to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms to prevent ear infections.

Safety Tips for Pet’s Ears Cleaning

Use pet-specific ear-cleaning solutions.

The first and most crucial safety tip is to use only pet-specific ear-cleaning solutions. It is vital to choose products that are explicitly approved by veterinarians for this purpose. Human ear cleaning products may contain ingredients that can harm pets and cause irritation or adverse reactions.

Avoid inserting objects into the ear canal.

Never use objects like Q-tips, cotton swabs, or sharp instruments – they are extremely dangerous as your pet’s ear canal is sensitive and easily injured. Inserting such objects can lead to damage to the eardrum or ear canal. Instead, use the recommended ear-cleaning solution and apply it externally.

Be gentle and patient.

Animals may feel anxious or uncomfortable during the ear-cleaning process if they are not used to the routine. Approaching the task calmly can reduce their stress or fear. Avoid applying excessive force or rushing through the process, as this may cause discomfort to the pet and make them resistant to future ear cleanings.

Check for signs of ear issues.

Before starting the ear cleaning process, check your pet’s ears for any redness, swelling, foul odor, discharge, or any indication that your pet may be experiencing discomfort in their ears. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian before proceeding with the cleaning. Cleaning infected or inflamed ears can exacerbate the problem and cause unnecessary pain to your beloved pet.


All in all, ear cleaning is a vital aspect of your pet’s grooming and health routine. While they are skilled self-groomers – especially cats, some situations may require our human intervention to ensure their ears remain in optimal condition. It is essential to clean their ears only as needed, typically once every 2-3 months, as over-cleaning can lead to irritation. 

By maintaining regular ear cleaning, you can prevent excessive wax buildup, dirt, and debris accumulation, thereby promoting the cleanliness and health of our beloved furry companions. That is why PettoGard® Gentle Ear Cleaner for Cats & Dogs is designed for owners to remain attentive to pet ear care, as a little effort in this regard can go a long way in ensuring the well-being and happiness of your treasured companions.

Looking for the right ear cleaner for your pets? Browse through our product to learn more about what we have to offer.