How to clean a dog’s ears
Having a dog implies a responsibility since it is not only to enjoy the good things, but also to take care of your pet’s needs. Tasks such as bathing him, taking him to the vet or knowing how to clean a dog’s ears are very important because they can prevent health problems.
For this reason we want to help you to know how to clean a dog’s ears. Here you will find a complete guide to carry out this weekly care. Shall we get down to work?
Why you should check your dog’s ears
In case you don’t know, a dog’s ears are one of the most sensitive parts of these animals. And that makes them a place where infections can enter. If they are not taken care of, in the long run they can suffer from periodic otitis, hearing problems, hearing loss or even worse, as they could spread that infection to other parts of their body.
Periodic check-up, as well as cleaning, is very important and should be done several times a month to check that it is well. Keep in mind that dogs cannot clean their ears by themselves, they need their owner’s help.
By taking care of your dog’s ears you will not only keep him clean, but also avoid health problems or having to visit the vet.
How to clean a dog’s ears
Here we want to give you a practical guide on how to clean a dog’s ears, from the elements you will need to the steps you should take to do it. Of course, keep in mind that if you notice anything unusual, the best thing to do is to consult a veterinarian before the problem gets worse.
Let’s start by telling you all the necessary items to clean a dog’s ears. These are not hard to find and you will most likely have them in your own home.
Specifically, we are referring to:
Ear cleaner for dogs. You can find it in pet stores, but also in the veterinarian’s office where you usually go.
If your dog is big, or if you have a very restless dog that does not allow himself to be cleaned easily, then the best thing you can do is to do this task between two people so that one holds him while the other handles and cleans the ears.
Finally, you may want to have some treats to give after cleaning a dog’s ears as a reward. This way he will learn over time that, if he lets himself do it, he will get something he really likes afterwards. Of course, don’t forget that petting or spending time with him can also be great rewards.
Frequency of ear cleaning
One of the most important things to know when cleaning a dog’s ears is their frequency. That is, how often you have to clean them to keep them healthy. And in this case, the answer is not as easy as you may think because it will largely depend on the breed of dog you have.
As you know, there are many breeds of dogs, and each one has different characteristics. In this case, what you should keep in mind is that dogs with long, droopy ears (those that cover the ear canal) are more prone to ear infections.
In other words, dogs with long, droopy ears need more regular cleaning than those with short, upturned ears.
And how often to clean? Well:
If they are dogs with short, upturned ears: 1-2 times a month.
For dogs with long, droopy ears: 1-2 times a week.
Depending on the dog’s lifestyle, this frequency may vary, but regular cleaning is important to avoid major problems in the ear canal, especially if there is little airflow or if moisture or debris builds up.
Steps to clean your dog’s ears
Have you ever cleaned your dog’s ears? Ideally, you should do it from the time he is a puppy, so that he gets used to letting you do it. You should start by taking him to a place where he feels comfortable. If he becomes nervous, it may be necessary to have a helper hold him while you examine the ear and clean it.
Grasp the ear and hold it between your thumb and forefinger. This way you can take a good look inside the ear and see if there is discharge, odor or redness. If you notice any of these things, including a lot of wax, it is best to see a veterinarian to make sure there is no more serious problem.
The next step is to gently clean the ear with a damp cotton swab. You can use serum to clean it properly. Be careful not to put too much absorbent cotton in the ear because it will be unpleasant for them. Then, insert the tip of the dog cleaner and pour some of the liquid. Massage well so that it passes through the ear canal and release the ear.
It is normal for the dog to shake it off, but after it does so, try to pick up the ear again as you did at the beginning and remove the excess with another clean, moistened cotton ball.
You will have to do the same on the other ear.
How to prevent ear problems in dogs
In addition to cleaning, it is important to prevent some situations that can promote the development of ear infections. For example, humidity, either when bathing or if it gets wet (from a rain) because this can cause bacteria to breed in the ears.
Another point to take into account is foreign bodies, which will cause irritation. We are talking about dust, plants to which it sticks and rubs its ears (or gets stuck to it), etc.
The hair, since some breeds of dogs have longer hair and it is usually cut, but it is not really the best because this hair acts as a barrier against foreign bodies, humidity…
Symptoms of otitis in your dog
And how do you know if your dog has ear problems? Otitis is common, especially in summer, when we get them wetter. Therefore, knowing what symptoms can alert you can help you to act before it gets worse.
Among these warnings we have:
Your dog shakes more than usual.
Scratching or rubbing.
If your dog’s head is tilted to one side.
Avoidance of ear contact.
Discharge and bad smell.
If you notice several of these symptoms and despite cleaning his ears, the best thing to do is to take him to the veterinarian for a check-up.