How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
11 April, 2018
It’s important to keep your dog’s ears clean to ward off infection. If your dog is prone to ear infections, cleaning their ears regularly can help reduce their frequency. Exactly how often you should clean your dog’s ears depends on your dog, whether they are floppy eared, swim a lot or prone to ear infections.
Your veterinarian is always a good place to start
Ask your veterinarian how frequently you should clean your dog’s ears. For some dogs, you will need to clean their ears monthly. For other dogs, you’ll need to clean their ears every other week or even weekly.
Even if your dog doesn’t tend to get ear infections, cleaning them when they look or smell dirty is always a good idea. A dog’s ears should never smell bad. A foul odor or yeasty smell like bread dough means an infection is brewing and your dog should see the vet as soon as possible.
Other signs of an ear infection include red, inflamed ears; head shaking or scratching at the ears; and ear discharge. If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to the vet right way.
Cleaning your dog’s ears at home is easy as soon as you (and your dog) get used to it
Cleaning your dog’s ears at home is easy with the right supplies and techniques. You could also ask your vet or a veterinary technician to show you how to clean your dog’s ears in the clinic so you feel more comfortable when doing it at home.
Have all your supplies ready including treats
You will need cotton balls or gauze and a vet-approved ear cleaner. You can buy ear cleaners from your vet, at pet-supply stores or online. Just be sure you get your vet’s all-clear before using any product to make sure it’s gentle enough for your dog. Do not use Q-tips as they can get stuck in the ear.
Make sure to have a bag of healthy treats handy or his favorite toy ready to be given to your dog each time that your dog cooperates.
To clean your dogs’ ears, the quicker and more efficient the better!
1. Simply squeeze a little bit of the ear cleaner into your dog’s ears and let it drip down into the ear canal. Gently massage the base of the ear which helps the cleaner break down the wax and debris. Let your dog shake his head (you can lightly drape his head with a towel to keep the gunk from flying all over).
2. Gently wipe the outer ear flap and inside the ear with a cotton ball or gauze square. Wipe as far down you as can, using the cotton ball or gauze and your fingers. Keep wiping until your cotton balls come back clean. Pet ear cleaners contain drying agents, so any small amount of cleaner left inside the ear will dry on its own. Give your dog a treat and his favorite toy for a job well done!
3. If your dog has an ear infection and needs medication, apply it after the ears are clean and wiped out.
Should you pluck your dog’s ear hair?
If your dog has a lot of hair growing in the ear canal, it might be beneficial to pluck it out prior to cleaning the ear. If you’re nervous about doing this, ask your vet or groomer to show you how to do it. There are some special, dull tweezers that can help.
With each ear cleaning, you and your dog will get used to the process and it will go by quickly. If your dog is showing severe discomfort, the ears have a bad smell, or the ear canals look very abnormal, take your dog to your vet immediately.