How to clean your dog’s ears
A key part of being a dog owner is making time for regular grooming. It’s important to thoroughly groom your dog from head to toe, but there are certain areas which may need special care, including the ears.
If you’re unsure how to properly clean your dog’s ears, read on for our advice on how best to go about it.
Why do my dog’s ears need cleaning?
Cleaning dogs’ ears is incredibly important. Your dog’s ears allow your pet to hear, balance, and express themselves properly. However, over time, dirt, wax and oils naturally build up inside your dog’s ear canals, which if left untreated can lead to infection or even hearing damage.
Different breeds of dog have different types of ears; for example, ears that are flat to the head, or ears that stand up straight. Dogs with longer, thicker hair may need more regular attention than shorthair dogs. However, whichever type of ears your dog has, they will still need a good cleaning regime to prevent harmful bacteria and dirt from building up inside.
How do I know whether my dog has an ear infection?
If your dog has a problem with their ears, there may be several signs, including:
Dogs can also get ear mites, small parasites that live in the ears and cause similar symptoms to the above. Ear mites need special medication to treat. If you suspect your dog has an ear infection or ear mites, book an appointment with your vet to sort the problem out.
What do I need to clean my dog’s ears?
If you implement a good at-home care regime for your dog’s ears, this will reduce the likelihood of needing a trip to the vet. You should make time each week to inspect your dog’s ears thoroughly.
To clean your dog’s ears, you will need a cleaning solution specifically for use on dogs and a cotton ball or pad. If you aren’t sure which cleaning solution to get, ask a vet for advice.
To clean your dog’s ears, pour the solution into your dog’s ear canal and gently massage the outside of the ear. Next, use the cotton ball to remove any loosened dirt or build-up from the inside of the ear. It’s important not to use a cotton bud, as these can push dirt further into the ear, making the situation worse.
Once the cleaning is over, reward your dog with a treat and plenty of praise to reinforce good behaviour.
Dog ear cleaning tips
It’s a good idea to start an ear regime as soon as possible when you get your dog, so they have time to adjust to the process. To make this easier, you could get your dog used to their ears being handled from an early age to avoid any problems when you start cleaning them.
While you clean your dog’s ears, it might be best to ask someone to help you, as if your dog fidgets the task can be tricky. Ask someone your dog trusts to gently hold them in place while you clean. If your dog wants to shake their head after you use the cleaning solution, let them – do not try to restrain your dog or force them, as this may cause unnecessary distress.
If you are having trouble cleaning your dog’s ears, or you are unsure how to do it correctly, you can always contact a professional groomer for help.