As a responsible dog owner, you might find yourself asking, “How do I clean my dog’s ears?” Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with this simple guide on maintaining your dog’s ear health right at home and most importantly How to Clean a Dog’s Ears.
Many dog owners often wonder if they should clean their dog’s ears. The straightforward answer is usually yes. Ear care is often an overlooked aspect of your dog’s grooming routine, but it’s crucial for many dogs. It allows you to routinely check for any problems or potential ear infections.
The good news is that cleaning your dog’s ears is a straightforward process that you can do in the comfort of your home, provided both you and your furry friend are comfortable with it.
If you’ve never done it before and are wondering where to start, look no further. We’ve put together this practical guide to walk you through the steps of cleaning your dog’s ears.
How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Ears?
The frequency of ear cleaning for your dog depends on various factors. Dogs with droopy ears, like Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds, typically need more regular ear cleaning because their ear shape restricts airflow, making it easier for debris and moisture to get trapped in the ear canal. This buildup can lead to yeast infections.
If your dog loves to swim, you’ll also need to clean their ears more often. The extra moisture from swimming can make them more susceptible to ear infections. Additionally, it’s essential to be vigilant for ear mites, as they can cause infections and spread to other pets.
In summary, it’s important to clean your dog’s ears regularly enough to prevent infections, but not too frequently, as excessive cleaning can damage the ear canal or cause irritation, leading to further problems.
If you’re uncertain about the right cleaning schedule for your dog, consult your vet. They can provide guidance and recommend a cleaning routine tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
How to Clean a Dog’s Ears
When thinking about how to clean your dog’s ears, the most crucial thing is to make sure your dog is comfortable with the process.
Ideally, you should start handling or cleaning their ears when they’re puppies, as they’re more likely to be okay with it when they grow older. However, if you have a rescue or an older dog that hasn’t had their ears cleaned before, this may not always be possible.
To check if your dog is comfortable with it, gently touch and stroke their ears. If they don’t seem to like it or become stressed, don’t force it! Never attempt to clean their ears if they’re agitated or resisting, as this could upset them and potentially harm them. In such cases, it’s best to take them to the vet, who can safely clean their ears for you.
What You Need for Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
- Damp cotton wool or cotton wool pads.
- Dog-specific ear cleaner (never use human products).
- A clean towel.
- An extra pair of hands (especially helpful if your dog isn’t used to ear handling).
- Plenty of treats for before and after ear cleaning.
It’s essential not to use cotton buds, as they can go too far into the ear and potentially cause damage.
Here’s a 7-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
- Ensure your dog is comfortable, then gently lift their ear, holding it between your thumb and forefinger to examine the inside.
- Check for redness, discharge, or bad odors. A small amount of light-colored wax is normal, but excessive wax, very red ears, pus, or a foul smell indicates a problem and requires veterinary attention.
- Gently wipe around the ear’s entrance with damp cotton wool to remove dirt or excess wax.
- Insert the tip of the dog-friendly ear cleaner into the ear canal, being cautious not to insert it too far, and squeeze the bottle to release the cleaner.
- Massage the base of the ear to help the cleaner move into the ear canal.
- Wipe away any excess cleaner with damp cotton wool.
- Repeat the process for the other ear.
If your vet has prescribed ear drops, apply them shortly after cleaning to ensure effective absorption without being hindered by excess wax.
When Shouldn’t Clean Your Dog’s Ears
When it comes to learning how to clean your dog’s ears, it’s essential to understand the do’s and don’ts. Dogs can be vulnerable to various ear issues, including ear mites, ear infections, and chronic yeast infections.
If you suspect your dog has an infection, you might be tempted to clean their ears, especially if you notice a stronger odor or wax buildup.
However, cleaning your dog’s ears when they have an infection could potentially harm them rather than help. It’s crucial always to consult your vet if you suspect an ear infection before attempting any cleaning.
Signs That Your Dog Has an Ear Infection
If your dog has an ear infection, you can identify it by these signs:
- Sensitive ears: Your dog’s ears will be sensitive to touch, and they might appear red and inflamed.
- Head shaking or ear scratching: Infected ears are incredibly irritating for dogs, so they may shake their head or attempt to scratch their ears.
- Discharge: You may notice a discharge from the ear that could have an unusual smell or color.
Ear mites can also lead to ear infections in your dog. If mites are present, you might see coffee-ground-like clumps, thick black or red/brown crusts, and cuts or scratches in and around their ears.
If you suspect your dog has an infection, it’s crucial to visit the vet promptly. The vet can prescribe antibiotics and ear drops to treat bacterial or yeast infections. If the infection is caused by a parasite, they will provide the appropriate medication to eliminate the parasites.
Now that you know how to do it, remember to regularly check and watch out for anything unusual. Additionally, you can learn more about common dog skin problems and the signs to be aware of.
CHECK THESE OUT: