Does your GSD have crusty ears, ear wax, or some black stuff inside the ear? Then it’s time to learn how to clean your German Shepherd’s ears the right way! See step-by-step instructions plus the video below.
Table of Contents
- How To Clean German Shepherd Ears
- German Shepherd Dirty Ears
- German Shepherd Ear Mites
- Black Stuff In German Shepherds Ear
- German Shepherd Ear Wax
- Homemade Ear Cleaner For German Shepherds
- German Shepherd Ear Cleaning Solution
- German Shepherd Ear Wipes
- How often to clean German Shepherd ears?
- How Do You Tell If My German Shepherd Has An Ear Infection?
- How Can I Flush My Dogs Ears?
How To Clean German Shepherd Ears
Looking for an easy way to clean out your GSD’s ears? Just follow these steps:
1. Check for dirt or wax.
You’ll see black spots and there may be a smell.
2. Get a towel ready.
You’ll want it handy to quickly dry off the ear so your dog doesn’t shake it all over you (or get in your mouth like in the video below, ha!).
3. Gently pull your GSD’s ear to expose the ear canal. Add a few drops of dog ear cleaner to your dog’s ear.
See homemade DIY instructions below and other suggested commercial options.
4. Use the towel to massage the liquid around.
Gently work out out dirt and wax.
5. Repeat for the other ear.
6. Use a cotton ball to remove further liquid and dirt.
Use a new cotton ball on the same ear and repeat until no more dirt or wax comes out.
7. Repeat the cotton ball procedure on the other ear.
8. Check ears for dirt and smell daily and repeat as needed.
You may need to repeat daily till the ears are fully clean then get on a schedule of once every 1-2 weeks.
German Shepherd Dirty Ears
Are your dog’s ears crusty? Do you see black spots that look like shoe polish inside the ear? Does your dog scratch its ears and shake its head often. Your dog may have ear mites.
Before jumping to dealing with mites, trying the procedures above for cleaning your GSD’s ears. Did that seem to help?
If not see the section below on GSD ear mites and what to do about them.
German Shepherd Ear Mites
Ear mites love warm, humid conditions. Propped-up ears like those found on GSDs tend to be dry and cool. Due to that, they are less likely to get ear mites than floppy ears that hold in more warmth and humidity.
What Does it Look Like When a Dog Has Ear Mites?
Ear mites are white and the size of a pinhead. Check for mites by grabbing debris from your dog’s ear with a cotton ball then shake it off onto a dark piece of paper.
Look for white specs moving on the dark paper. If possible use a magnifying glass to get a closer look.
If you suspect ear mites take your dog to the vet. They will perform a full inspection and help you get rid of the problem.
Please take ear mites seriously. They are highly contagious and easily spread to other pets including other dogs, cats, or small mammals. They do not spread to people but please do your best to protect the other animals nearby!
Your vet can verify that ear mites are present and give you medication to begin killing them. The process is simple and very similar to the process described above to clean your GSD’s ears. Only this time you’ll be using ear mite drops from your vet.
Black Stuff In German Shepherds Ear
The black stuff in your GSD’s ear is most likely dirt and wax buildup. Clean this out using the simple steps given above.
German Shepherd Ear Wax
If you notice black spots or wax in your GSD’s ears follow the directions above to clean them out. Does your dog continue to shake its head and scratch at its ears? This could be a sign of an ear infection or ear mites.
If you’ve cleaned out your GSD’s ears two days in a row and they are still having problems take them to your vet to check for mites and infections.
Homemade Ear Cleaner For German Shepherds
Use one of the following recipes to make homemade ear cleaner to clean your GSD’s ears:
Disclaimer: I am not a vet. This information is provided for information purposes only. Check with your vet for any questions or concerns. Do not use homemade ear cleaner if you suspect your GSD has an ear infection. Again, see your vet!
Recipe 1 – Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar
- 1 part isopropyl rubbing alcohol (70% strength)
- 1 part white vinegar from the grocery store
Recipe 2 – Vinegar and Water
- 1 part water
- 1 part white vinegar from the grocery store
Note: If you purchase any of the suggestions below we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
German Shepherd Ear Cleaning Solution
If you don’t want to make your own homemade dog ear cleaner feel free to use any of these recommended over-the-counter cleaner products.
- Epi-Otic may be used for routine ear cleansing in healthy ear canal or prior to administration of other ear preparations
- A mild alcohol-free cleansing and drying solution for routine maintenance of otitis externa
- Epi-Otic has a low pH of 2.2 and contains no chlorhexidine or alcohol
- Packaging May Vary
- Ear care for dogs and cats - soothes ear infections, redness and inflammation for pets of all ages
- Gentle no-sting formula helps ease painful ear infections caused by bacteria, fungi and yeast
- Solution provides a safe, natural alternative to antibiotics with 1% Hydrocortisone for itch relief
- No pre-cleaning of painful ears required - fill ear canal and let antimicrobial solution get to work
- Patented antimicrobial LP3 Enzyme System helps clear ear secretions and promotes healthy ears
German Shepherd Ear Wipes
There are plenty of great ear wipes for German Shepherd’s. These things are much easier to use than drops since your dog won’t be able to shake off the drops sending them flying everywhere. The downside, you go through them faster than drops.
Either way, try then and see. The hassle of head shakes may be enough that you prefer the extra cost and ease of ear wipes.
Here’s the one we highly recommend:
- Advanced Veterinary Formula Designed to Gently Clean, Deodorize and Dry Your Pets Ears
- Gentle and Safe for Regular Use which Prevents Ear Infections, Reduces Wax Build Up and Removes Debris in and Around the Ear
- 100 Convenient, Alcohol Free, Soothing and Non-Irritating Disposable Ear Wipes for Dogs. For Dogs Over 12 Weeks Old
- Reduce Foul Ear Odor and Prevents Infection to Keeps Your Dog Happy and Healthy without Medication
- Made in the USA in Federally Regulated Manufacturing Facilities to Ensure Quality and Safety
How often to clean German Shepherd ears?
German shepherd ears stand up straight and don’t require cleaning as often as floppy-eared dogs. Check your GSD’s ears twice a month and clean them if you see wax, dirt, or specs.
How Do You Tell If My German Shepherd Has An Ear Infection?
Are your dog’s ears red? Are they constantly shaking their head and scratching one or both ears? If so, they may have an ear infection.
Set up an appointment with your vet immediately. They will confirm if an infection is present and get the medicine your GSD needs pronto.
How Can I Flush My Dogs Ears?
If by flush you mean flush running water through them then no. Never do that. Instead, use the ear wipes method or the ear drops method discussed above to clean out your dog’s ears. Never use running water!