It is a good idea to routinely clean your dog’s ears each time you bathe him, or once a week, as it will keep them healthy. One of the most important reasons to clean your dog’s ears is to prevent ear infections.
Regular ear cleaning helps prevent the accumulation of yeast (a common cause of canine ear infections) which can cause discomfort and may lead to more serious issue. Plus, it doesn’t smell nice!
Before we start giving tips on how to clean your best friends ears, there are three very important things you should know:
- If you don’t do it right, you can cause serious damage so don’t go in all guns blazing.
- They’re sensitive, so they need regular maintenance to prevent infections.
- Dogs don’t want their ears cleaned, so you’re going to have to work with them.
- An indication that your dog has mucky ears is the infamous head shaking / flapping of the ears.
Make it Fun
Like anything with dogs, we need to bring them along slowly and try and put a positive spin on it. It’s important to take things slow as you don’t want a wriggly pooch making it difficult. So, when they are sitting nicely, give them a little treat, it’s a tried and tested way of getting them to cooperate!
What to Use
As with humans, we must not use cue tips to clean our pets ears, they can cause damage to the internal ear and we don’t want that. Instead, have a bag of cotton balls at the ready or failing that, you can wrap your finger in gauze instead. However, the most important tool is in fact the ear cleaning solution itself. You must ensure that it is completely safe to use on your dog but still strong enough to get the job done. Always look at the ingredients and avoid anything that contains: antibiotics, steroids, alcohol, or toxic materials of any kind.
This may sound obvious but its best to make sure you’ve got everything you need within arms reach. The last thing you want is to be halfway through and remember you left the solution in the other room which in turn will mean you’ll have to leave the dog to go fetch it (see what we did there) thus resulting in a grappling match and having to start all over again.
Where to Begin
To clean your dog’s ears successfully and without causing harm, you’ll want to start on the outside and work your way in – but stop once you start to feel resistance. Err on the side of caution as you don’t want to do any damage.
- Start by wetting the cotton ball with the ear rinse and wipe the part of the ear you can see clearly, the outer flap. Then, wet another cotton ball and do the inner ear until it’s as clean as you can get it. Doesn’t sound too difficult does it?…….
You should try to schedule this ritual in about once a week but if your dogs ears are particularly dirty, you may want to pop them down the vets just to be on the safe side.