How Do You Clean A Dachshund’s Ears?

How to clean a Dachshund's ears

Are your Dachshund’s ears looking a bit mucky? Maybe you’re wondering how to clean them and how often they need to be done? Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning a Dachshund’s ears!

How Do You Clean A Dachshund’s Ears?

  1. Prepare for ear cleaning
  2. Organise the equipment
  3. Hold your Dachshund firmly and gently
  4. Dampen the wash cloth and wipe over
  5. Pour the cleaning solution into your Dachshund’s ear
  6. Massage your Dachshund’s ear
  7. Wipe the ear canal
  8. Wipe the inside of the ear
  9. Repeat
  10. Pat the ears dry
  11. Praise your Dachshund and reward

But, before you start peering down your Dachshund’s ear, there’s more you need to know. Read on to find out how to clean your Dachshund’s ears, how to know if they need cleaning and how often you need to do it.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.


How To Clean A Dachshund’s Ears

This is how to clean a Dachshund’s ears:

Step 1 Prepare for ear cleaning

Get your Dachshund used to having their ears touched. It can take Dachshunds a bit of time to feel comfortable having their ears handled so the earlier your start the better.

To ease your Dachshund into it, start with a gentle pat and reward him if he’s calm. Then try a little massage.

Once he’s happy with all that, gently move his ear around as though you’re going to clean it.

If your Dachshund stays calm, reward him so he associates having his ears touched with nice things. Use treats if you want to!

Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messy

Ear cleaning is fairly easy, but if your Dachshund decides to shake his head mid-clean then it could get a bit messy!

Make sure you’re wearing older clothes and you’re in an easy-to-clean room like the bathroom or utility room.

Only clean your Dachshund’s ears when he’s calm

If your Dachshund is anxious or excited, cleaning his ears is going to be a tough job.

Plus, he might start to associate having his ears cleaned with feeling anxious, which could make it a recurring issue.

Take your Dachshund for a nice walk or play in the garden to get him more relaxed.

Work on making sure he’s nice and calm to make the whole process easier for you both.

Step 2 Organise the equipment

This is what you need to get to clean a Dachshund’s ears:

Cotton wool

You can use cotton wool balls, pads or rounds to clean your Dachshund’s ears.

Just don’t use cotton buds as they can damage the ear and could actually push debris back into the ear, which could lead to infection.

Nothing should ever be poked right into the ear.

A wash cloth

Have your Dachshund’s wash cloth handy as you’ll need to clean the outsides of his ears as well as the insides.

A dog ear cleaning solution

It’s best to ask your vet which ear cleaning solution they’d recommend for your Dachshund.

It’s better to buy vet-approved products so you can be sure they’re going to be safe for your Dachshund to use.

A towel

You’ll want to dry your Dachshund’s ears after cleaning to remove any moisture. You may also need a towel for yourself in case things get a bit messy!

How Do You Clean A Dachshund’s Ears? A Dachshund with smelly ears that need cleaning
A Dachshund with smelly ears that need cleaning

Step 3 Hold your Dachshund firmly and gently

Your Dachshund probably won’t like having liquid poured into his ear. So you’ll need to hold him firmly but gently so he doesn’t run off or shake his head (spraying ear solution everywhere).

Get your Dachshund into a comfortable position where you can hold him firmly and make him feel safe.

It’ll be a bit easier if there are two of you so that one can hold your Dachshund while the other cleans his ears. 

Step 4 Dampen the wash cloth and wipe over

Dampen your Dachshund’s wash cloth with warm water and gently clean the fur on the outside of his ear flap, being careful not to get any water inside the ear.

Step 5 – Pour the cleaning solution into your Dachshund’s ear

Holding your Dachshund’s head steady, lift the ear flap so that you can see inside his ear.

Pour the right amount of ear cleaning solution directly into his ear canal (being careful not to touch the ear with the applicator).

Your Dachshund might jump or flinch when you first put the solution in, but don’t worry. This is just because it feels funny and will probably take him by surprise.

Step 6 – Massage your Dachshund’s ear

Gently massage the base of your Dachshund’s ear for around 30 seconds.

This is to allow the ear cleaning solution to get to work unblocking the excess wax and debris from the ear canal.

Step 7 – Wipe the ear canal

Using some dry cotton wool, gently wipe out the ear canal to remove the wax, debris and remaining ear cleaning fluid.

Be careful not to go into the ear too deep.

Step 8 – Wipe the inside of the ear

Get another piece of cotton wool and gently wipe the inside of your Dachshund’s ear to dislodge any excess wax or dirt.  

Step 9 Repeat

Repeat the process on the other ear.

Step 10 – Pat the ears dry

Use the towel to pat down your Dachshund’s ears and anywhere that’s got a bit messy during the ear cleaning process.

Step 11 Praise your Dachshund and reward

Praise and reward your Dachshund for being so good!

If he was nervous having his ears cleaned, you could always give him a spoon full of peanut butter (must be Xylitol free) to show him that it’s not all bad.

A Dachshund with clean ears
A Dachshund with clean ears

Should I Clean My Dachshund’s Ears?

Yes, a Dachshund’s ears need cleaning regularly. Dachshunds are particularly prone to ear infections because their long, floppy ears don’t allow much airflow, meaning excess wax and moisture can build up.

As well as fungal and bacterial infections, this makes them a target for parasites like fleas, ear mites and ticks, which love dark, moist environments. 

While ear infections and parasites are fairly easy to sort if caught early, they can escalate into other problems. If left to fester, your Dachshund could get hearing loss and swollen lymph nodes.

How Do I Know If My Dachshund’s Ears Need Cleaning?

First, you need to know what healthy Dachshund ears look (and smell) like. If you check your Dachshund’s ears and they’re soft, pink, clean, and odour-free, they don’t need cleaning.

Don’t just clean your Dachshund’s ears for the sake of it. If you over-clean their ears, this could cause irritation and infection. So, if they’re clean, leave them be!

You’ll know it’s time to clean your Dachshund’s ears if you notice:

Built-up wax

If your Dachshund has dark, gooey wax clogging up his ears, it’s definitely time to clean them!

Crusty residue

Wax isn’t always liquid, it can also be quite flaky. You might see it in your Dachshund’s ear canal and in the nooks inside his ear flap.

Red spots

If there are red spots inside your Dachshund’s ears, they could be parasite bites. He’ll probably need treatment so ask your vet for some advice on this.

Small black dots

As well as red bite marks, another sign of parasites in a Dachshund’s ears are tiny black dots that look like specks of black pepper. This is flea faeces and requires treatment at the vets.

Red or inflamed ears

If your Dachshund’s ears are sore, red or inflamed, don’t try to clean them, as this will be painful and could irritate them further.

It’s best to take your Dachshund to the vet, as he could have an ear infection, allergy or parasites that need treatment.

A foul smell or stinky discharge

Give your Dachshund’s ears a gentle clean and, if the bad smell persists, take him to the vet as it could be an ear infection.

Parasites in or around your Dachshund’s ears

Be sure to check the fur around your Dachshund’s ears for any ticks or fleas, and get the appropriate treatment if you find any.

Other signs that your Dachshund’s ears need cleaning are if he’s scratching his ears a lot of shaking his head more than usual.

If your Dachshund yelps when he scratches or pulls away when you stroke his ears, his ears may be sore. This could indicate an infection or parasites that would need treatment.

If you’re concerned about anything to do with your Dachshund’s ears, always seek advice from you vet.

How Do You Clean A Dachshund’s Ears? A Dachshund with dirty ears that need cleaning
A Dachshund with dirty ears that need cleaning

How Often Do You Clean A Dachshund’s Ears?

A Dachshund’s ears need cleaning about once or twice a month, but check them weekly to see if they are dirty or smelly. Dachshunds are particularly prone to ear issues because of the floppiness of their big ears, so it’s important to keep them clean.

If your Dachshund loves to play in water or you bathe him a lot, you’ll want to check his ears and dry them every time. This is just to make sure there’s no water left inside them.

The best time to check your Dachshund’s ears is when he’s nice and relaxed. Perhaps when he’s curled up on your lap having a cosy snuggle with you.

He probably won’t even notice that you’re doing anything – he’ll just think he’s getting an ear tickle!

Check the ears visually for any signs of soreness or dirt, give them a sniff, and also massage them gently to check for any pain.

Over time, you’ll get to know how often your Dachshund’s ears need cleaning and can work that into his regular grooming routine.


So, there you have it. A Dachshund’s ears need cleaning about twice a month. If you notice the ears aren’t soft, pink, clean and odour-free, you’ll know it’s time to give them a good old clean!

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How Do You Clean A Dachshund's Ears
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