20 June, 2012

It is important for dog owners to check and clean their dog’s ears on a regular basis.  While most dogs don’t like having their ears cleaned, it is important for their overall health.  Ear infections are very common in dogs and can be avoided by simply keeping your dog’s ears cleaned.

Weekly ear cleaning will keep the ears free of wax and debris, and will also allow you to see what your dog’s ears look like when they are healthy.  Dogs with heavy, floppy ears generally need to have their ears cleaned more often than dogs with prick ears that stand up.

Below are some tips to make the cleaning easier for you and your dog.

Be gentle when handling your dog’s ears

Practice handling your dog’s ears carefully and gently.   You can give your dog treats while you massage the outside and eventually the inside of the ear. Repeat this until your dog really enjoys having his ears handled. Once your dog is used to having his or her ears handled, they will be more comfortable when you actually clean them.

It’s easy to clean my ears!

Next, try to get the hair out inside the ear

In order to clean a dog’s ears properly, you first need to remove the hair inside the ear.  Some dogs have a lot of hair in their ears which can collect dirt, debris and a build-up of ear wax.

Removing or plucking the hair is a little more advanced and it might be better to have a dog groomer do it for you.   You need to have the proper tools and it can get a little tricky.   If you have a very tolerant dog and want to try it yourself, make sure to watch your groomer and ask her or him questions.   Once the ears are free of hair, it is time to begin cleaning.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

To clean your dog’s ears, you need an appropriate ear cleaner (your vet can help you with choosing one), a number of cotton balls, and (if possible) someone who can help you keep your dog calm during the process.

First, put a small amount of ear cleaning solution into the ear canal. Do not force the nozzle of the bottle into the ear canal as you can cause significant damage this way; only the tip of the bottle should be inserted. Once you have the solution in the ear, massage the base of the ear to encourage distribution throughout the canal.

Take a cotton ball and rub the inside of the ear to remove any discharge or accumulated wax.. When the base of the ear is clean, you can use a soaked cotton ball or a soaked wet cloth to clean the ear flap out toward the tip.  And, you’re done!  Easy breezy

Once you get the hang of it, cleaning your dog’s ears will become second nature.  Be sure to give your dog treats after the cleaning for good behavior and to try to make the experience as pleasurable as possible.  Good luck!


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