21 Apr 2015
Whether your dog’s ears are long, shaped like a rosebud or bat ears, or they stand up in prick-eared fashion, it’s important to keep them clean. In extreme cases, dogs with dirty, infected ears can lose their hearing. Infected ears can lead to other health problems as well. Fortunately, regular ear cleaning is easy to do and it doesn’t require much in the way of accessories.
What you will need
You only need a few things to clean your dog’s ears:
- Ear cleaner
- Cotton balls or cloth
If you have a Terrier breed or a dog that has a lot of hair inside the ear, you may need a hemostat. This is a pair of tweezers with a small clamp-shaped end and handles so you can easily remove hair from inside the ears. This will allow air to get inside the ear and prevent ear infections. You can use a little ear powder sprinkled in the ear to make this hair easier to grip.
With most dogs you can simply use the ear cleaner and the cotton balls or cloth. You can buy ear cleaner from your veterinarian or from a good pet store or a pet retailer online. There are many good brands.
Cleaning your dog’s ears
To clean your dog’s ears you should make sure the ear cleaning solution is at room temperature. Nothing will make a dog squeamish about his ears faster than if you squirt cold liquid into them so make sure the cleaner is a pleasant temperature.
Try to clean your dog’s ears when you’re both relaxed. Your dog should be in front of you. It’s good if you have some treats with you so you can reward him for his cooperation.
Start by putting a few drops of the cleaner in one of your dog’s ears. Then gently massage the base of your dog’s ear. Slowly move your fingers over the base of the ear to loosen any wax and dirt that have accumulated. This should feel good to your dog. Then gently take one of the cotton balls or the cloth and stroke the inside of the ear to remove the loosened wax and dirt. Keep wiping the inside of the ear until the cotton ball or cloth comes away clean. You may have to put in a few more drops in your dog’s ear and massage a little more if the ear is very dirty.
You should not hold the bottle up and pour it into your dog’s ear. Not only is this unpleasant for your dog but that’s far too much liquid to put in your dog’s ear. It only takes a few drops of the cleaner each time to loosen the wax and dirt.
Once you have cleaned the first ear you can move over and clean the other ear. Make sure you give your dog some treats while you’re working to keep him cooperating.
Mites and infections
If your dog has ears that are no more than normally dirty, it should just take you a few minutes to clean them. However, if your dog’s ears are very gunky with brown or black wax, cleaning may take longer. This might indicate that your dog has had some mites or an infection at some time. Look for signs that your dog has any current infection or parasites. If you see anything that looks suspicious you should contact your veterinarian. Your vet can provide you with a miticide to get rid of ear mites. A yeast infection can be harder to eliminate. If you see signs of an infection you should talk to your vet and let him or her examine your dog’s ears.
In most cases you can clean your dog’s ears and be finished in just a few minutes. If you practice cleaning your dog’s ears each week then you will quickly spot any potential problems before they become something to be concerned about.
If you clean your dog’s ears gently and give him some treats while you clean, most dogs won’t mind having their ears cleaned. It also helps if you start cleaning ears when your dog is young so they know that it’s no big deal. Take care of your dog’s ears and you’ll never have a problem.