One of the most important parts in the grooming routine for your dog is cleaning their ears. While it may not always be your top to-do list, it is essential to clean them regularly to help prevent common health problems.
The ears of your dog are the perfect spot for bacteria to grow and yeast, which can later cause serious infections.
Preparing to clean your dog’s ears
To make things easier for you and your four-legged furry friend, you can try handling them while you are petting them. Flip up each ear flap of your dog and look inside occasionally, then put it down and give your pup some form of praise. You can also rub inside the ear, but refrain from going further in other than what you can see. By doing this consistent handling, you are training your dog to tolerate, instead of dreading having their ears cleaned.
Check for ear infections
It is recommended to have the ears of your furry friend checked at least once a week to see if there are any signs of infection, parasite, debris or dirt. When you take a look inside each ear, it should have a fleshy-pink, healthy color, free of any excessive wax buildup or dirty discharge. Below are some signs that your dog has an ear infection:
- strong, foul odor
- ears that are sensitive to touch
- any type of discharge that looks dirty
- swelling or inflammation in or around the ear canal
You may also notice your dog rubbing its ears along the ground, scratching them or shaking their head violently. Should you see any of those symptoms, do not attempt to clean the ears of your dog. Instead, call your veterinarian right away to ask for an appropriate treatment. Ear infections that are not properly treated can cause permanent damage and even hearing loss.
How to clean the ears of your dog
If your dog’s ears are healthy, but looks dirty, you can choose to clean them using a commercial dog ear wash, or you can also make your own. It is advisable to have the ears of your pup cleaned inside the bathroom or in a place where you won’t mind mess.
To start cleaning the ears of your dog, put a generous amount of cleaner in each ear, then massage the base of the ears for about thirty seconds. Next, stand back a little and let your mutt shake its head. Then, wipe the visible part of your dog’s inner ears using a tissue or cotton ball to remove any excess cleaner. As much as possible, do not use a Q-tip to clean the ears of your dog, because it could damage its ear drum.
Dog breeds that have long ears, like Cocker Spaniels and Hounds, or pups that swim a lot requires having their ears cleaned once a week. In case the ears of your dog look healthy, you will only need to clean them once a month. You can also ask your veterinarian for specific instructions to know what is best for your pup regarding ear cleaning.