Being a dog owner entails a lot of playfulness, walks around the neighbourhood, and cuddling, but it also implies a lot of responsibility. They need routine care to maintain their health and happiness, from brushing their teeth and grooming to keeping up with vaccinations and nail trimming. One chore that isn’t very enjoyable is cleaning your dog’s ears, but it’s something that you should do regularly to prevent irritation or infection.
Certain long-haired breeds, including Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, are prone to ear infections. If a dog owner suspects a condition, they should promptly take their pet to the veterinarian and never put anything in its ears. Ensuring your dog’s ears stay clean and healthy using these tips and methods will help you prevent unpleasant ear infections.
Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
Some dogs—those who swim, play in the dirt, or have large, floppy ears full of fur—don’t have earwax, or their habits necessitate regular ear cleaning. However, dogs who swim or bathe and get water in their ears will benefit from having their ears cleaned. Regular ear cleaning is also beneficial for dogs with allergies or ear infections. Keeping your dog’s ears clean can lessen or even eliminate ear infections.
Once a month, check your dog for earwax buildup. Groomers also do a standard ear examination. And if you aren’t sure, ask your veterinarian to examine your dog. They can assess if there is a cause for not getting ear cleanings.
For puppies with an irritated ear canal or dogs with damage to their eardrums, veterinarians may advise against routine at-home ear cleanings. If cleaning your dog’s ears at home is not advised, your veterinarian can help. That can be a suitable choice for dogs with an infection or other medical conditions or if you are simply uncomfortable cleaning your dog’s ears.
Do Dog Ear Cleaners Work?
There are a tonne of homemade dog ear cleaning recipes available online. However, certain homemade ear cleaners have annoying or dangerous components, and others aren’t effective. That makes medically-tested pet ear cleaners your safest option. These are both gentle and effective for cleaning your furry pal’s ears.
These aid in cleaning and debris removal from the ear canal and are specially made for healthy ears. You can apply a suitable pet ear cleaner one to three times a week using a cotton ball or gauze to remove any excess wax and visible debris. Dogs without recurring ear infections won’t require as frequent ear cleanings. Frequent cleanings will help stop ear infections in dogs who swim regularly.
However, not all pet ear cleaners are made equal; therefore, you must be extra cautious when working in this delicate area. Before cleaning your dog’s ears, speak with your veterinarian. Then, it’s okay if cleaning your dog’s ears bothers you; your doctor can also assist.
When choosing a pet ear cleaner product for your pup, ask your vet which one would be best for them. A cerumenolytic, or ear wax softener, is a component of effective ear cleaners that helps break down wax build-up. Avoiding harsh substances like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can aggravate already-irritated and inflamed ear tissue, is something that experts suggest. An additional major no-no when it comes to ear cleaning? Going deep inside the ear or using a cotton swab can be dangerous. The secret is to touch gently.
Tips for First-time Ear Cleaning
If you are cleaning your dog’s ears for the first time after consulting your veterinarian, here are some suggestions:
- Ear wipes are a wonderful place to start with simple outer ear care. Don’t go deep into the ear; start small and slow until you gain more comfort.
- If your dog needs liquid ear cleanser, take them outside or to the restroom to give it to them; they’ll shake their head and spray the solution everywhere!
- When applying liquid ear cleaning to your dog, never put the nozzle inside the ear. Fill the ear canal gently from above.
- After giving your dog a dose of liquid ear cleaning, give them a 30-second massage at the base of their ears.
- Clean when your dog is calm and sleepy. A hyperactive dog won’t sit motionless and still during an ear cleaning. Your dog will be calm and eager for a long night of sleep after a hectic day if you clean their ears right before bed. To help them relax even more, place them on their side and give them light rubs.
- When it comes to cleaning your dog’s ears, less is more. If your dog is prone to ear issues, the objective is to monitor wax buildup and gently maintain clean, healthy ears rather than clearing out every nook and cranny.
A Simple 5-Step How-to Guide for Easy Ear Cleaning
- While they are on their side, hold their ear open and apply the cleaner to the exposed ear canal.
- Once the fluid is visible, fill the ear and gently clamp the ear tight to keep it contained.
- Spend at least 30 seconds gently massaging the base of the ear. You ought to hear the liquid swirling. You can use this action to release any debris out of your reach.
- To help dislodge even more debris and raise it higher in the ear canal, release your pinch on the ear canal and let your dog shake like they do when wet.
- Gently remove any debris from the ear canal as far as it is comfortable to do so—no more than one knuckle—by wrapping gauze or a torn cotton ball around your finger. Wipe all the nooks and crannies with your pinky for the most comfortable access.