How do I clean my dog’s ears?
Alert and upright, long and floppy, folded in half or simply fluffy; dog ears come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: a need for regular cleaning. Wait, so you mean I have to clean my dog’s ears too? Yes. Not only is it necessary, but an important part of what should be your dog’s grooming routine. While not all dog breeds need to have their ears cleaned constantly, some require cleaning more than others. Here is an easy-to-follow process to clean your dog’s ears.
- Set the stage
With any process, its all about preparation. Having the items in place before calling your dog over means you are organised and can groom your dog efficiently and effectively. Having items all over the place would otherwise inevitably lead to your dog wandering off, making the whole process take far longer than it should.
- Choose a place to clean your dog's ears where any splatter from him shaking his head won't cause a problem. You might use the tub, a shower stall, or outside.
- Ear wipes or cotton balls – cotton tips or Q-tips are dangerous as they can damage the ear cannal, so stay away from these.
- Gentle cleaning solution – choose a product specifically formulated to dissolve wax and debris and remove odours from pets’ ears. Stay away from human products as these may be dangerous for pets.
- Treats – these should be within arm’s reach and in plentiful!; and
- Help – having another pair of hands to gently hold your pet in place may help you and your pet with the experience.
Start by taking a good look inside each of his ears for excessive dirt, debris, infection, and excessive amounts of hair. If you see what looks like brown coffee grounds at the opening of your pet’s ear canal, it may mean your dog has mites. In this case, it’s best to abandon the cleaning process and visit your local vet.
- It’s best to clean your dog’s ears when both you and your dog are calm. Reassure your dog with lots of pats and soothing words.
- In one of their ear flaps, dribble the recommended amount of cleaning solution into the ear cannal.
- Gently massage the area where the ear meets the head for about 20-30 seconds. You should be able to hear a small sound as the solution moves around the ear cannal and breaks up any built-up.
- If your pet wants to shake its head, let it. This will help bring softened ear was and debris out of the ear cannal.
- Using an ear wipe or cotton ball, very gently clean the ear flap and opening of the ear cannal.
- Repeat this process for the other ear.
- Reward your dog with plenty of treats, love and affection. Cuddles are a must! This will allow your pet to associate ear cleaning time with a pleasant experience. It’s crucial that you provide for such an experience especially when your dog is a young pup.
How often you need to clean your dog’s ears depends on a variety of factors such a breed, coat, age and wax production. Twice a month is ideal for normal dogs.