• Your dog's ears are important. They allow him to chase squirrels, know when it's time for dinner and respond to your voice. Ear cleaning can seem like a messy chore, but the importance of this grooming task cannot be overstated. Routine ear cleaning is a crucial part of preventive care.

    A dog's ears are warm and moist, making them potential breeding grounds for parasites, bacteria and yeast. The canine ear canal is not relatively short and linear like a human's, but instead forms a long, distinct "L" shape. The ear canal's curvature makes it difficult for debris that gets in to work its way back out, while providing a nice environment for bacteria and yeast. Routinely cleaning your dog's ears each time you bathe him will keep them healthy.

    One of the most important reasons to clean your dog's ears is to prevent ear infections. These can be painful and even cause deafness if left untreated. Routine ear cleaning helps prevent the accumulation of yeast (a common cause of canine ear infections).  Do not clean your buddy's ears if he exhibits any signs of an ear infection. These include foul odor, discharge, redness, swelling, hair loss or crusty skin. Cleaning his ears during an active ear infection could further inflame the delicate ear canal and eardrum. Seek veterinary care if you believe your dog has an ear infection.