Best Ear Cleaner For German Shepherds

Thankfully, German Shepherds have low-maintenance ears. It isn’t difficult to keep your GSD’s ears clean on your own. With the right technique and some of the best ear cleaners for German Shepherds, you can ensure your dog’s optimal ear health.

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Why It’s Important To Clean Your German Shepherd’s Ears?

The German Shepherd’s large, upright ears make them less prone to ear infections. Nevertheless, proper hygiene is still essential to their overall health.

These are some of the most important benefits of maintaining a regular ear cleaning routine for your dog:

Removes Build-up

Continuous production of earwax and accumulation of dirt can cause a build-up of unwanted gunk in your dog’s ears. Regular cleaning can avoid this as well as the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeast.

Avoids Ear Infections

Dirt and bacteria build-up can cause serious ear infections. In turn, infections can lead to imbalance, deafness, and other serious issues that affect your dog’s overall wellbeing.

Perform Regular Check-ups

Regular ear cleaning sessions give you a chance to inspect your dog’s ears for mites, allergic reactions, infections, and other issues that can progress to life-threatening health conditions.

Reviews Of Ear Cleaners For German Shepherds

There are various types of ear cleaners for dogs. Products are used in different ways and contain different ingredients. Choosing the best one depends on your preferences and your German Shepherd’s specific needs.

To find the best ear cleaner for your German Shepherd, here are some tried-and-tested products for you to consider:

Zymox Enzymatic Ear Solution

The Enzymatic Ear Solution by Zymox is a patented formula that’s meant to be gentle on dogs’ skin but exceptionally effective in breaking down debris and wax build-up.

It is especially useful for dogs with inflamed ears as it contains hydrocortisone, which offers immediate relief from itching and swelling. Additionally, it fights germs, fungi, and yeast that cause recurring infections.

What I like:

  • Potent cleanser
  • Instantly relieves itching
  • Works on problematic ears
  • Addresses recurring issues
  • No pre-cleaning needed

Potential downsides:

  • Medicated, so not intended as a regular ear cleanser.
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Virbac Epiotic Advanced Ear Cleanser

The Epiotic Advanced Ear Cleanser by Virbac is a gentle solution that removes excess wax and dirt in the ear canal. It is formulated with a low pH level, which keeps it from interfering with ear medications and other preparations used to treat ear problems.

Additionally, it keeps the ear canal dry and provides a soothing effect that is helpful for dogs with inflammation.

What I like:

  • Quickly removes debris and excess wax
  • Gentle enough for frequent use
  • Neutral pH
  • Has soothing effect
  • Dries ears

Potential downsides:

  • Contains alcohol, which might be irritating to some dogs.
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Pet MD Ear Wipes

The Ear Wipes by Pet MD are soft pads that are pre-moistened with an ear cleaning solution. Among other gentle ingredients, it contains eucalyptus oil, which is known for its antiseptic properties and pleasant scent

The solution also contains aloe vera to soothe redness and irritation.

What I like:

  • Cleans and deodorizes
  • Alcohol-free formulation
  • Pleasant scent
  • Mess-free cleaning
  • More tolerable for pets

Potential downsides:

  • Wipes don’t reach deep into the ear canal
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VetWELL EarWELL Otic Cleansing Solution

Because it acidifies the ear canal, it is especially good for dogs that spend a lot of time in water and those that are prone to otitis externa. It is also specifically formulated to keep the ear canal dry.

What I like:

  • Gentle formulation
  • Acidifies ear canal
  • Comes in two fresh scents
  • Keeps ears dry
  • Relieves itching

Potential downsides:

  • Contains alcohol, which might be irritating to some dogs.
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How To Clean A German Shepherd’s Ears

Apart from choosing the best ear wash for your German Shepherd, there are other things you’ll need. There are also things you might think are useful for cleaning dogs’ ears but might do more harm than good.

Here are products to prepare and avoid for your dog’s ear cleaning sessions:

What You’ll Need To Clean Your Dog’s Ears:

  • Wiping materials. Choose according to what’s easiest for you to use. Among your best options are cotton balls, a soft washcloth, or some light gauze.
  • Additional lighting. Cleaning your dog’s ears is easiest when you can see what you’re doing. A headlamp or flashlight would be useful.
  • Lots of treats. Few dogs like getting their ears cleaned but most will tolerate it with the promise of delicious treats. Have many in hand and be sure to reward your dog for good behavior. The more they associate ear cleaning with treats, the easier subsequent ear cleaning sessions will be.

Products To Avoid When Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears:

  • Water. The shape of dogs’ ear canals makes it difficult to remove water that makes it inside. Stick with ear cleansers that are specially made for dogs to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Cotton-tipped swabs. Q-Tips and similar products might push dirt and earwax further into the ear canal. They might also cause eardrum perforation and similar injuries, especially with squirmy dogs.

Step-by-Step Guide To GSD Ear Cleaning

When you have everything you need, follow these steps to thoroughly yet safely clean your German Shepherd’s ears:

Step 1: Inspection

Get your dog comfortable and take a good look at their ear. Check for irregularities like redness, inflammation, and excessive dirt. You should also take a sniff to check for foul odor.

If there are signs of something wrong, consult with your vet. Otherwise, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Preliminary Cleaning

Take an ear wipe and gently wipe off the dirt around your German Shepherd’s outer ear. If using an ear wash, dampen your cotton ball or cloth with your chosen ear cleanser and use that to clean the immediately visible parts of your dog’s ear.

Step 3: Ear Washing

Insert the tip of the ear wash bottle into your dog’s ear and then squeeze the bottle to pour the cleanser in. A single squeeze is all it takes, but be sure to read the product’s label to make sure you’re using the correct amount.

Step 4: Massaging

Massaging the base of your dog’s ear accomplishes two things: (1) it helps the ear cleaner travel into the ear canal, and (2) it distracts your dog from shaking their head long enough for the ear cleaner to work.

Step 5: Wiping

Once done, allow your dog to shake off any excess ear wash. Then, use a dry cotton ball or soft cloth to wipe off any excess product.

Make sure you treat and praise your dog throughout the entire process. Once done, do the same for the other ear.

How Often Should You Clean Your German Shepherd’s Ears?

In most cases, it’s enough to perform a weekly check and to wipe the outer ear when there’s visible dirt and wax. For general maintenance, you can use your ear cleaner once a month or as directed by your veterinarian.

Tips for Cleaning Your German Shepherd’s Ears

  • Start them young. It’s easier to get dogs to like or tolerate anything while they’re still puppies.
  • Train with positive reinforcement. Use treats and praises to get them comfortable having their ears touched first. Then, move forward slowly so they don’t get overwhelmed.
  • Do it regularly. The more often you clean their ears, the better they will tolerate it. They’ll understand that it’s nothing to fear and is just something that needs to be done from time to time.
  • Schedule after exercise. When your dog is tired, the less likely they are to squirm and protest during the ear cleaning process.
  • Offer high-value treats. Give them treats they really love after cleaning each ear. They’ll at least have an incentive to let you do what you need to do. this will further let them associate ear cleaning sessions with positive feelings.

Do German Shepherds Have Dirty Ears?

German Shepherds generally don’t have dirty ears and are not prone to overproduction of earwax. When inspecting your dog’s ears, you should see a healthy shade of pink.

If you notice flaking skin, redness, or black dirt that resembles coffee grounds, check with your vet for further cleaning instructions.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to clean your dog’s ears is part of ensuring your German Shepherd’s optimal health. Thankfully, it isn’t a very difficult task, especially when you’ve found a good ear cleaner for your GSD and after you’ve had plenty of practice.

Lastly, German Shepherds are not prone to chronic ear issues. If yours is, talk to your vet about possible allergies and whether it would be beneficial to switch to a grain-free diet.

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