As a dog owner, one of your responsibilities is to keep your dog clean and well-groomed. This includes bathing your dog and brushing its coat regularly. Some parts of your dog’s body may need some separate attention, and one such body part is their ears. Sometimes, a dog needs its ears cleaning in addition to your dog’s regular bathing and brushing routine. Unfortunately, many dog owners are unsure of how they should clean their dog’s ears and how often they should do this grooming task. Here is the answer to these questions.
Do All Dog Breeds Have the Same Ear Cleaning Needs?
Not all dog breeds have the same ear cleaning needs are some are more likely to get a build-up of ear wax than others. Similarly, there are some dog breeds that are more prone to developing ear infections than others. The breeds most likely to have ear problems are those with drop ears, as they have more wax build-up and a greater likelihood of developing ear infections, says Dogster. Examples of these breeds include Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and Cocker Spaniels.
The reason that these breeds are more prone to ear problems than dogs with upright ears is that their ears do not get enough airflow. This means that more moisture and decries get trapped inside the ear canal. Once it is trapped, it can develop into yeast or bacterial infections. Another problem is that some breeds, including Bichon Frises and Poodles, grow hair inside their ear canal. This is another factor that increases the risk of ear infections as the hair also reduces airflow. Other causes of ear problems include allergies and parasites.
Why Do You Need to Clean a Dog’s Ears?
According to Banfield, cleaning your dog’s ears is important to reduce the likelihood of infections and an excessive build-up of wax. It is important to keep on top of your dog’s ear hygiene to avoid potentially serious problems that require veterinary attention. Another reason why ear cleaning is so important is that it can help your dog to hear clearly.
When and How Often Should You Clean a Dog’s Ears?
How often you need to clean your dog’s ears can depend on the breed of the dog and whether your dog is prone to ear infections or not. Therefore, how often a dog needs its ears cleaning can differ from one dog to another. You need to clean their ears often enough to avoid wax build-up and infections. On the other hand, some ear wax is important and cleaning their ears too often can lead to irritation.
If you are unsure of how often to clean your dog’s ears, then at least once a month is a good guide. However, there are some dogs that need their ears cleaning at least once a week. A good source of information and advice about how often you should clean your dog’s ears is your veterinarian.
There are also times when you may need to increase your dog’s ear cleaning routine. For example, your vet might recommend cleaning your dog’s ears daily if they are suffering from an ear infection. You might need to clean out their ears before putting in anointment as there is no point putting in the medication unless the ears are clean as the ointment will simply join the wax sitting in your dog’s ears, and this will prevent the ointment from being effective.
Even if your dog does not have an ear infection, there are times when your dog might need an extra ear clean. Sometimes, the ears can look unclean or develop a smell, and this is a sign that they need cleaning. However, if you notice that the ear canal is red or that the ears have developed a very bad odor or smell like yeast, then take them to the veterinarian as they probably have an infection that requires treatment.
Can You Clean a Dog’s Ears Yourself?
Many people wonder if they can clean their dog’s ears themselves or if they need to get someone else to do the job. Well, in most cases, it is a simple task for a dog owner to complete at home. However, if you are a bit grossed out by ear wax or you are nervous about cleaning your dog, then you can take your dog to the groomer or the vet who can both clean your dog’s ears for a charge.
What Will You Need to Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
Before you begin cleaning your dog’s ears, you should make sure you have the right equipment. Although most of these are things around your home, you should consider buying some veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner that does not contain hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. You will also need some tissues or some cotton pads for cleaning, and a towel is a good idea. If your dog has lots of hair in its ears that wax gets caught around, then a pair of tweezers can come in handy. Finally, have some treats on hand so that you can reward your dog for being good while having its ears cleaned.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Cleaning your dog’s ears at home is a simple task, and Hill’s Pet suggests using the following steps.
- Start by inspecting your dog’s ears to see if there is a bad smell or any inflammation. If there are signs of infection, stop cleaning their ears and take them to the veterinarian. If the ears look healthy, then move on to the next step.
- Sit the dog on your lap if it is small enough or sit alongside them on the couch.
- Carefully lift your dog’s ear and put cleaning solution into the ear canal.
- Massage the base of your dog’s ear for around 20 seconds as this will help the cleaning solution to drain down the ear canal and to soften the ear wax.
- Release the ear and hold a towel close to the ear to prevent the solution from going everywhere.
- Using the tissues or cotton pad, wipe around the visible parts of your dog’s ear. Never insert anything into their ear canal during cleaning.
- Give your dog a treat and then repeat the process on the other ear.