If you’re a pet parent, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your canine companion in good health. Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly is one of the ways that you can keep them comfortable and prevent dog ear infections. Sounds simple, right? Or maybe not. So, if the idea of giving your dog an ear cleaning treatment at home fills you with apprehension, read on to find out how best to do it and why it is so important.
Why Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
Ear cleaning is an essential part of caring for your darling dog. pooch It’s especially important if they swim a lot, have long, dangly ear flaps, or are really fluffy. Bacteria can thrive if wax or dirt builds up in the ears, especially if the ear canals are moist and have no airflow. This can lead to dog ear infections. If your dog regularly suffers from itchy ears, they might have seasonal allergies, and keeping their ears clean will be an important part of keeping painful ear infections at bay.
When Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
If you adopt a puppy, it’s never too early to start handling their ears and getting them used to a bit of maintenance! However, if you’re going to clean your puppy’s ears, you should make sure that the cleaner is puppy-safe. In terms of how often to clean your dog’s ears, this depends on whether they are more at risk of ear infections.
If your dog swims regularly, you should clean their ears after each swimming session to remove any water or debris from their ear canal. If your dog has furry or narrow ear canals, or long, dangly ears, it’s best to clean their ears at least once a week. If your dog isn’t a swimmer and doesn’t have allergies or any other increased risk of ear problems, you should check their ears weekly and clean them if they are visibly dirty. Your veterinarian will be able to help with an individually tailored plan for applying an ear cleaning treatment to your dog’s ears at home.
How Do You Clean a Dog’s Ears at Home?
Dog ear infections can be very painful and require specific treatment from your veterinarian. If your dog is uncomfortable or the ears look red and sore, you should get them checked by a vet. However, if your dog’s ears are just dirty, you can follow this 10-step guide to help you clean their ears at home:
Choose a Suitable Place
Ear cleaning can get pretty messy! So, you might want to go outside or choose somewhere with wipeable surfaces and definitely steer clear of your expensive rug or brand-new sofa!
Cleaning your dog’s ears is a much easier task if you have two pairs of hands. Try to recruit a family member, friend, or neighbor to help you by restraining your dog because ear cleaning isn’t really a one-person job!
Ear infections can make your dog’s ears sore. If your dog is in pain, they’re more likely to lash out, so take care and be as gentle as you can.
Even if you have a laid-back dog, if they’ve never had their ears cleaned before, they might be a bit wary and confused on the first attempt. So, it’s best to take it slow. Start by just handling their ears and giving them plenty of encouragement and perhaps some treats! Over time, you can build up to cleaning the ears.
Lift the Ear Flap
It’s best to hold the ear up straight to expose the ear canal.
Apply the Ear Cleaner
Most ear cleaners come in a squeezy bottle. Insert the tip of the nozzle into your dog’s ear canal and give a good squeeze until you see the fluid filling the ear. Try not to worry about wasting ear cleaner – it’s a messy job, and some is bound to spill onto the floor.
Massage the Ear
Use your fingers to massage around the base of your dog’s ear. You should hear a squelching noise as the cleaning liquid moves around the ear canal, loosening the wax.
Wipe With Cotton Wool
Use cotton wool to wipe away excess ear cleaner. You can also clean the ear flap and external ear, but don’t stick Q-tips or any other object into the ear canal itself.
One application probably isn’t enough. It’s best to repeat the process until the ear cleaner you wipe away is clear of wax and dirt.
When you’ve finished cleaning your dog’s ears, stand back! Dogs often shake their heads after having their ears cleaned, covering everything in sight in second-hand ear cleaning solution! Yuck!
Can You Treat a Dog Ear Infection at Home?
If your dog has dirty ears, it’s safe to give them treatment at home. However, for dog ear infections an ear cleaner alone just doesn’t cut it. Dog ear infections can’t be treated at home without prescribed treatment from a veterinarian. Treatment usually involves antibiotic drops alongside an ear cleaner, but this depends on what type of infection your poor pooch has. It’s vital to seek veterinary advice if you think your dog has an ear infection because they’re often painful and can cause long-term damage.
Cleaning your dog’s ears might seem like an impossible task, but if you follow our step-by-step guide, you’ll find it’s more simple than you think!