Personal hygiene is a frequent routine for humans but dogs are also in need of a regular hygiene routine. In order to keep your dog as healthy as possible, they need to have regular check-ups and routine hygiene. If you don’t look after their hygiene then they might get infections or other illnesses. This is especially true for cleaning a dog’s ears because ear infections are the second most common reason dogs visit the vet. Dog owners, please make it a priority to clean your dog’s ears regularly.
How To Clean My Dog’s Ears?
If your dog looks like it has red or irritated ears skip the ear cleaning and take them to the vet first. Irritated ears usually indicate an ear infection and cleaning them might make the infection worse. However, if their ears look normal then it’s a good time for an ear cleaning. Find yourself and your dog a comfortable place to sit for the ear cleaning. A place that you don’t mind getting messy is ideal along with clothing that is okay to get dirty because ear cleaning tends to be messy.
What You Need:
- Ear Cleaner or Solution
- Cotton Wool
What Not To Use:
There are no substances that are good to stick into your dog’s ears. Definitely never put olive oil, vinegar, shampoo, or any other substances in their ears. Also, try to avoid poking cotton buds into their ears. These cotton buds only push wax and debris deeper into their ears and can potentially damage their eardrum.
Step-By-Step Ear Cleaning
- Prepare your pet for the ear cleaning process by sitting them in a comfortable position. Treats really help prepare them for the ear cleaning too.
- Hold the flap of their ear gently in your hands as you fill their ear canal with the ear cleaner.
- Keep hold of the ear as you move your hand to where the ear meets the head.
- Massage the base of the ear to mix the ear cleaner around in the ear canal. A squishy sound indicates you’re doing this correctly.
- After massaging the ear for 20 seconds, stand back (less mess on you) and let go of your dog’s ear. The dog should immediately shake their head.
- Grab some cotton wool to wipe out the folds at the opening of the ear until they’re clean.
- Give your dog a treat and repeat on the other ear.
How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Ears?
Now that you know the best way to clean your dog’s ears, it’s a good idea to know how often this cleaning should be done. Don’t clean their ears randomly. Make ear cleaning a routine so you’re more likely to do it regularly. All dogs should have their ears cleaned at least once a month. However, some breeds need it as frequently as once a week. The exact amount of time between cleanings varies from pet to pet and depends on their breed, age, level of activity, and wax production. Use your judgment on how often to clean your dog’s ears based on your dog’s individual personality and behavior.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has An Ear Infection?
Before cleaning your dog’s ears, double check that there is no infection. An infection should be easy to spot if you’re aware of their normal behavior and physical health. If there is any change in their behavior, then anything abnormal is sure to stand out. Sometimes it’s not that easy to spot an ear infection. So, here are some things to keep an eye out for that may indicate an ear infection:
- Abnormal Odor
- Ear Swelling
- Excess scratching, pawing or rubbing at the ears
- Redness in the ear canal
- Sensitivity or pain around the ears
- Masses around the ear area
Here’s an image of what an infected dog ear looks like:
A lot of dogs actually love to get their ears cleaned because it feels good. The massage and cleaning relieve any built-up pressure and dirt. If there are any more concerns over cleaning your dog’s ears then call your local veterinarian for more information.