How to Clean Your Dog's Ears (and Your Pug's Face!) - Lilly Brush
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How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears (and Your Pug’s Face!)

Grooming your pet is an important part of being their owner. By keeping your pet clean, you are doing your part to keep them healthy too. Infections can start with dirty coats, un-manicured paws, or even from buildup inside their ears! The attention to grooming required for pets varies depending on the type of breed, but they all need to stay clean. Pugs even need their wrinkles cleaned! (we’ll cover that) Pack animals in the wild take turns grooming each other for cleanliness and health. By grooming your pet you are strengthening your bond with them as a member of the family. 

Cleaning their ears

Keeping your dog’s ears clean is vital for their health and comfort. The frequency that their ears need to be cleaned varies by breed. Some dogs have floppy ears which naturally help protect the insides from dirt and other bacterias, while others have erect ears that easily become infiltrated with dirt and grime. The hairier your dog’s ears are, the more common it is for bacteria to build up and cause infections. Some dogs love getting their ears cleaned, but many do not. Be sure to have treats nearby to encourage your dog to let you groom them properly. Here’s how it’s done.

What you need:

  • Veterinarian recommended Ear Cleaner
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Tweezers
  • Towel
  • Treats

What to do:

  • Allow your dog to inspect the bottle of ear cleaner you are using
    • Dogs are often more comfortable with something once they’ve smelled it
  • Gently pull their ear out and away from their head, allowing access to their ear canal
  • Fill their ear canal with the ear cleaner, and gently massage the base of the ear for about 20 seconds
  • At this point your dog will likely want to shake it’s head, pat the ear dry with a towel to reduce the mess
  • If your dog has exceptionally hairy ears, use tweezers to pluck away the excess hair that can causes blockages within their ear canal
  • Wrap a cotton pad around your index finger and gently wipe the inside of their ear clean
    • Do not reach further than you can see, this can harm the dog’s canal
    • Only use a cotton swab if necessary 
  • Give them a treat and repeat on the other ear!


Pugs are a very unique breed due to the fact that their facial folds need to be cleaned regularly. As Pugs were a creation of generations worth of dog breeding, they do not have a natural way to clean these wrinkles themselves. Here’s an easy guide to keeping those wrinkles clean and infection free. 

What you need:

  • Soft cloth/Unscented baby wipes
  • Coconut Oil or Unscented Lotion
  • Small Training Treats
  • Dry cloth

What to do:

  • Gently peel apart your pug’s wrinkles and wipe them clean
  • Be very cautious around the eyes and nose
    • This is the purpose of unscented wipes
  • Be sure to dry the fold thoroughly to avoid bacteria growth
  • Apply Coconut oil, an unscented lotion such as Aquaphor to any dry, cracked, or irritated parts of their skin
  • Praise with treats and repeat every few weeks!

We hope this was helpful and informative to help you keep your dogs clean and infection free!


The Lilly Brush Team