5 Steps To Get Fleas Out of a Dog’s Ear

Fleas are not only very irritating for your deal to deal with, but they can also harbor diseases and lead to serious wounds and infections if left to their own devices. It’s important to eliminate infestations before they spiral out of control. Here are the five steps you need to take to get fleas out of your dog’s ears. 

If fleas have infested your dog’s ears, you should start by giving it a bath in soapy water. Next, gently clean your dog’s ears with a cleaning solution and cotton balls. Apply topical medication to the affected area and eliminate the fleas inside your home to prevent the infestation from returning. 

Having to deal with a flea infestation can feel like a daunting task. I’ll break down the process into five easy steps, so you know exactly what to do. 

1. Bathe Your Dog

If you’ve spotted fleas in your dog’s ear, chances are it has fleas all over the rest of its body too. In fact, this is quite likely, since fleas prefer to hide in hairy and furry areas. Eliminating the fleas in the ears alone won’t be enough; they’ll keep coming back from other parts of the body. 

Flea bites are hard to notice on dogs unless you really look for them, so it may not be obvious at first glance, but your furry friend may have a sprawling infestation all over their coat. 

The best way to get rid of fleas en masse is to give your dog a thorough bath. Use a generous dose of commercial flea shampoo to eliminate the fleas. 

You can use salt water if you don’t have specialized flea shampoo. Bathing your dog in salt water is safe and has several documented health benefits. 

It won’t be as effective in terms of flea removal, though. 

You should rinse your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove as many fleas as possible. Note that fleas will try to avoid drowning by climbing up your dog’s neck and onto its face; be sure to rinse them off as well. 

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2. Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Most of the fleas on your dog’s body should now have drowned away with the bath. There may be a few left inside the ear. You can easily take care of the stragglers with some ear-cleaning solution and a cotton ball. 

Use a veterinarian-approved ear-cleaning solution. 

First, pour the solution into your dog’s ear canal and gently rub the outside of the ear for a few seconds. Then, use a cotton ball to clean the air canal and soak up the residual solution.

It’s simple, effective, and will keep your dog’s ears healthy and pest-free. 

3. Eliminate Fleas in Your House

By this point, the fleas pestering your dog will have been taken care of. However, the job’s not done yet – you need to ensure the fleas won’t return. 

If your dog has had a recent flea infestation, it’s highly likely that you have fleas somewhere on your property now. 

In particular, you should check your carpets, your furniture, your sheets, and your dog’s bedding.

If you have multiple pets, inspect all of them. Fleas are winged insects and can jump moderately long distances. 

You can eliminate fleas from your indoors by first vacuuming the above hotspots. I recommend washing flea-infested items with warm water and leaving them out in the sun to dry. This is sure to kill any remaining fleas. 

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4. Apply Flea Medication

Even if your indoors are clear, your dog will still come into contact with fleas when out and about – on a walk or at the park, for example. Fleas are just about everywhere.

This is one of those cases where prevention is better than cure. And since fleas are a particular menace in the pet world, we have numerous preventative medications for dogs readily available. 

You can purchase flea preventatives over the counter without a prescription.

These OTC medications are usually topical creams. They aren’t absorbed by the skin, so while they’re less effective than their prescription-demanding counterparts, they are also safer. 

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You should be treating your dog with preventative medicine monthly. 

Use Diatomaceous Earth

If you would rather not use medication, you can use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth – a natural, white, plant-based powder renowned for its flea, mite, and tick-killing properties. 

Simply scatter a handful on your dog’s coat and bedding.

If you’re looking to clear your dog’s ears, sprinkle some on the outside and the base of the ear. The only thing that should ever go into your dog’s ear canals is a veterinarian-approved ear-cleaning solution. 

Use a Flea Comb

A flea comb is a unique comb with super-thin partitions designed to entrap and remove fleas from hair. It works well to keep flea infestations at bay by helping you identify problems early. 

I strongly recommend cleansing your dog’s fur with a flea comb from time to time, especially if your dog isn’t on the preventative meds we just talked about. 

5. Consult a Veterinarian

And lastly, if you find it hard to deal with the infestation yourself, please consult a veterinarian. A flea infestation is usually not dangerous but can develop into more serious complications.

A vet will be able to help you deal with the problem promptly. They’ll also be able to prescribe stronger medication to help deal with the more resilient of these nasty pests. 


To summarize, if you notice fleas in or around your dog’s ear, you should:

  • Give your dog a thorough bath. Use anti-flea shampoo or salt water for increased efficacy. 
  • Clean your dog’s ears using a veterinarian-approved ear-cleaning solution and cotton balls. 
  • Get rid of the fleas in your house. Vacuum your carpets, pet-beddings, and fabric-based furniture. Wash with hot water for better results. 
  • Get your dog on preventative flea medication. Apply OTC topicals to flee-infested regions for quick results. Alternatively, use Diatomaceous Earth.
  • Consult a veterinarian for tailored advice and a prescription for more effective meds. 
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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!