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How to Medicate Your Dog's Ears

Learn the proper technique for medicating a dog’s ears.

Sometimes dogs need topical ear medication placed in their ears. Most commonly, this is required when a dog is suffering from otitis externa or ear mites.

When you're told you must medicate your dog's ears, you might feel daunted. After all, the process is not always an intuitive one.

We recommend that you ask the staff at your veterinary clinic to demonstrate the procedure to you initially, then use this how-to guide to remind yourself of the steps as you're medicating your dog's ears at home.

Only use medications recommended by your veterinarian in your dog's ears.


Steps for Medicating Your Dog's Ears

Often, before medication is instilled into a dog's ears, your veterinarian will recommend that you clean them. You can refresh yourself on how to do that here: "How to Clean a Dog's Ears."

Once that's done, you can put the medicine into the ears.

  • First, seat your dog comfortably where you'll be able to easily reach his ears. Having a second person to steady him and keep him from walking away can be helpful.
  • Hold the medication bottle in your dominant hand.
  • With your non-dominant hand, lift one of your dog's ear flaps (if they're floppy) and gently hold it over the top of his head.
  • Place the tip of the medication bottle into the dog's ear canal, being gentle and not pushing too far.
  • Squeeze the prescribed amount of medication into the dog's ear.
  • Put the flap down and gently massage the base of the dog's ear for 60 seconds to encourage the medication to coat all of the tissues in the ear canal.
  • Let go, and allow your dog to shake his head.

Some ear medications must be kept in the refrigerator. Rolling the bottle in your hands for a few minutes before applying can help keep your dog more comfortable.



Remember to praise your dog for his cooperation and give him a treat once the medicine is in his ears. Speak calmly and positively throughout the procedure, so your dog is less likely to get nervous.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Otitis Externa: Ear Infections in Dogs

Hearing in Dogs

Common Eye Conditions in Dogs

Caring For Your Senior Dog

Good Small Breed Dogs for First Time Dog Owners: Slideshow

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