When you get a little puppy or adopt a dog, it is really hard to be able to understand all the additional responsibilities that you are taking on. Of course, one of the most important responsibilities that you are taking on is that of being the dog’s loving owner and giving them the same affection and attention that you would be giving a child. The other part of this responsibility is to ensure that you are well equipped to keep the dog clean and healthy.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is an essential part of keeping your dog well groomed. There are two different ways for cleaning dog ears. The first way is by going to a professional groomer or to your veterinarian who will do this task for you for a small amount of money. The other option is to do it yourself. If you choose the latter option, it is crucial that you take the required precautions and lean a little bit about dog ears before you take on the task.
Why is cleaning your dog’s ears so crucial?
The inner ears of a dog are shaped in a twisty and curvy way which makes it easy for parasite, bacteria, yeasts and in general other things that you do not want inside your dogs’ ear to get in there and thrive. This should be enough motivation for you to want to learn about cleaning your dog’s ears. If trapped debris is left in there for long periods of time, your dog can get infections. This happens most often to dogs with allergies and dogs that have floppy ears, such as cocker spaniels, basset hounds, poodles, pugs, etc. You will know that your dog has ear infection if they are scratching and rubbing at their ears, as well as shaking their heads. Sometimes you may even see the dog ears red or swelling.
At other times, dogs that tend to have ear wax accumulate in their ear regularly need to have their ears cleaned on a regular basis. Additionally, some dogs have lots of inner ear hair that needs to be tweezed out regularly to ensure that they will not transfer debris and other bacteria into the dog’s ear. Moreover, if we are not careful with the ears of dogs that swim and bath regularly, they could get painful ear infections. You can pour a little bit of ear drying solution that is available readily in the market into your dog’s ear to keep them from having infections and to ensure that they are able to still be around water.
What is the proper way for cleaning dog ears?
Do not use Q-tips for your dog’s ears as it can poke and injure your dog! Before you try cleaning your dog’s ear yourself, it is advisable that you go to a veterinarian who can show you the proper way for cleaning dog ears.
Before you start to clean your dog’s ear, take him to a place where you know he will be comfortable. You can also give him a blanket, favorite toy or treat to keep him busy during this time so that he is not anxious or pulling away from you during the process. Finally, make sure that your dog is comfortable with you touching his ear. You can practice by slowly massaging your dog’s ear with your fingers and showing him that when you touch his ear it is as a means of affection.
Here are three easy steps to cleaning dog ears—
Mixing 50% lukewarm water with 50% hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil or vinegar can do this. There are also multiple kinds of ear cleaning solutions that are available in the market for you to use with your pet. If you are more comfortable with a market bought solution, go for it!
Dip in Solution
You can now dip a cotton ball into the mixture to get it soaked. Squeeze out the excessive solution so that the cotton ball is wet but not dripping. An alternative to the cotton balls is getting some gauze that is harder than cotton ball but a lot softer than Q-tips that might scare your canine friend. You can hold the gauze in place by using your thumb and index finger.
Clean with Solution
At this point, you can wipe your dog’s outer ear with this cotton ball and remove any debris. Slowing work your way to the inner ear while still continuing to keep the gentle touch. Small dogs might need small cotton swabs to complete this process rather than cotton balls. Please be careful during this step because if you go too far into your dog’s ear you can injure them. If their ear is injured, the dog might have a harder time hearing or permanently lose their hearing abilities.
Remember to stay calm during this process! As long as you are staying at the front of the ear canal and using a soft, slow hand, you and your dog should be perfectly fine!
You do not want to clean your dog’s ear too frequently because this may cause irritation for the ear and the skin around it. That being said, you should clean your dog’s ear every two weeks because dirt and debris can accumulate quite fast and you do not want it to block your canine’s ear or cause an infection between the times that you clean.
What if my dog STILL gets an infection?
After cleaning your dog’s ears regularly, if your dog still has an ear infection, you should go see your veterinarian immediately. They will examine your dog’s ear under a microscope and help figure out exactly what is wrong with your dog’s ear to begin with.
If your dog’s ears are producing any discharge or bad smells, look red and swelled or having crusty skin or hair loss, you should contact your veterinarian immediately to get it checked! It is important to know what is causing these symptoms and treat it immediately. Often times, your vet might give your dog antibiotics or other medication and solutions to keep their ears healthy and clean.