One thing you need to always keep in mind as a dog owner is a fact that dogs love to have their ears inspected and cleaned regularly. So, it is very important to work with your pooch to help them get that positive experience. Most times, it is advisable to clean your dog’s ears weekly to detect and prevent any ear problems.
Also, note that dogs have sensitive ears, and failure to do proper cleaning may lead to sensitivity, infection, dirt, and infection.
When you do weekly ear cleaning, ensure you look out for waxy buildup, redness, discharge, and dirt.
Checking for Infection
Checking your dog’s ears weekly for signs of infection and parasites, such as ear mites is a good way to keep them healthy. When you keep up with this routine, you’ll be able to get familiar with how their ears appear in good health.
So, if there’s any change in your pet’s ear looks, it may indicate a sign to probe further by first consulting a veterinarian.
Some common signs of infection include:
- Redness or crusting of the skin of the ear flap
- Inflammation or swelling
- Foul odor
- Itchy ears
- Off-color discharge
If you notice any of these signs, ensure you see your veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid the progression of symptoms into long-term problems.
Most times, dogs develop ear problems due to some underlying factors, such as allergies, conformation, and parasites, etc., which need quick attention.
However, do not try to treat ear problems yourself even if you have some ear medication sitting in your home cabinet.
Why it’s important to clean your dog’s ears weekly
Although every dog has individual ears and the frequency of cleaning might vary, it is still important to clean your dog’s ears weekly.
Dogs can have an excessive buildup of wax in their ears, just like in humans. And sometimes, some dogs with drip ears can have a buildup of yeast, which often results in an infection.
The bad part is that a wax or yeast buildup can make your dog’s ears smell horrible. More so, it can be itchy for them, and they can become infected if you don’t clean properly and regularly.
Dogs that have ear infections are at risk of permanent ear damage, including physical distortion and hearing loss.
Basically, there are hundreds of dog breeds, and there are differences in their ear types. However, there are two basic classes of dog ears; those which stick straight up from the base of the head and those which lay flat on the head.
Dog ears that lay flat are at risk of developing issues if they’re not properly taken care of. This is mainly because the ear traps debris, dirt, and moisture against the head. More so, there is no airflow to block the collection of harmful bacteria.
Apart from the dog ear type, the fur within the dog’s ear is also an important factor that can affect a dog’s health. Dogs with a large amount of hair growing from the ear are more prone to developing ear issues. This is mainly because the hair can trap dirt, bacteria inside the ear canal.
That’s one good reason to always remove the hair, clean your dog’s ears, and groom them regularly.
How to clean your dog’s ears
You need to clean your dog’s ears weekly to help them maintain good health.
The first thing to do is to get all the materials needed, including an ear cleaner, damp cotton wool, and maybe ear drops recommended by your veterinarian.
If you have a small dog, you can easily clean their eyes by putting them on your lap. But for larger dogs, you may have to put them on the floor to support easy cleaning.
However, most times, it is good to have a second pair of hands that will help you keep the dog still whilst you perform the cleaning.
Procedure - You can follow the steps below to clean your dog’s ears weekly:
- Use one hand to lift your dog’s ear flap (pinna) vertically and hold with your thumb and your forefinger. This exposes the inner part of the ear and straightens out the ear canal for proper cleaning.
- While suspending your dog’s ear, use your second hand to hold the ear cleaning solution.
- Pour some of the solutions into your dog’s ear, and ensure you fill the ear canal. It is okay if it spills out. However, do not let the tip of the bottle touch your dog’s ear. If it does, ensure you soak or wipe the tip with a clean cotton ball immersed in alcohol. This helps to prevent the spread of yeast or bacteria.
- While holding the ear flap up, massage the base of the ear with the other hand for about 30 seconds. This gives enough time for the solution to break up the debris settled in the ear canal. Normally, you’ll hear a “squishing” sound as the solution travels down.
- Wipe away the debris from the upper ear canal and the inner part of the ear flap using a cotton ball or gauze.
- Give your dog a chance to shake their head. By doing this, the debris and the remaining ear cleaning solution from the ear canal go out to the outer ear opening.
- Once again, hold the ear flap up, and use a cotton ball to clean out the loosened debris and ear cleaning solution from the outer ear opening. Only go as far deep as your finger will reach.
- Don’t try to use a cotton-tipped applicator to remove the cleaning solution. This might cause damages to your dog’s eardrum and ear canal. Besides, it can worsen the situation by pushing debris further into the ear canal.
- Offer your dog nice treats, cuddle them, and say soothing words.
- Follow the same procedure for the other ear.
- If you notice any sign of pain in your dog during the cleaning process, stop and seek the attention of your veterinarian.
- Repeat the cleaning process weekly.
In cases of ear infection that requires taking medication, ensure you clean your dog’s ear first before applying medication to the ears.
Remember, positive reinforcement helps encourage your pooch to be prepared for the next ear cleaning session.
And if you’re nervous to do this cleaning process yourself, you can take your dog to a dog groomer or veterinarian.
Your dog’s ears are sensitive and you need to clean them regularly to prevent any ear issue and sensitivity. A weekly cleaning routine is best to clear off any dirt, irritation sensitivity, infection, and parasites such as ear mites.
If your dog had had infections in the past, has many or long furs inside the ear passage, or has ears that lay down onto the head, then they may be at higher risk of developing ear issues. That’s why it’s vital to clean your dog’s ears weekly.
However, if you notice any colored discharge or serious infection, make sure you schedule a trip to your veterinarian in case your dog needs to take antibiotics or other forms of treatment. But if you clean your dog’s ear weekly and keep them healthy, it may be unnecessary to visit the vet.