Cleaning a dog’s ears is part of grooming ignored by most dog owners. Dog ears need regular cleaning to decrease incidences of ear infections and excess wax build up. It is always cheaper to perform grooming on your own, in addition to spending more time with your dog as well. With time, your dog will come to like ear cleaning. Dogs can’t scratch themselves in these areas which mean they will love it to some degree. If you perform ear cleaning consistently, your dog’s ears cleaning sessions will be something they will learn to look forward to sooner than you expect.
Precautions to take while cleaning your dog’s ears
Before you start cleaning your dog’s ears, first monitor the ears for infections. Time to time examinations is a good strategy to detect potential diseases in real time. Symptoms of ear infections include inflamed, itchy, red, smelly and sore ears. If you observe any of the above symptoms – see a vet immediately. The earlier the infections are treated, the better. Immediate treatment gives a better prognosis which can reduce the risk of hearing loss and chronic disease. Some dog ear cleaners can damage the ear further if used despite the infections. Cleaning your dog’s ears while they have ear infections can be painful and damaging.
Reasons for cleaning your dog’s ears
- Dogs possess relatively long ear canals that take a right-angled bend. Foreign materials like dust and other particles get in and getting out is difficult.
- If water finds its way into your dog’s ears especially during swimming, the water will go down the horizontal ear canal which puts the dog at risk of infection. Bacteria thrive well in the moist, warm and dark environment. For this reason, swimming dogs need regular ear cleaning.
How to clean your dog’s ears?
To begin the process, you need cotton balls, ear cleaner, and treats. First of all, do a general grooming that involves removing excess, dirty or matted hair near the ear canal or ear flap. To make your dog comfortable before you begin the activity, give them enough treats. Perform the action in the bathroom or anywhere else where you won’t mind a potential mess. Use only recommended dog ear cleaners.
- Give your dog treats for sitting down and familiarize them with the ear cleaner.
- Hold the flap of the ear upright in a gentle manner and put the ear cleaner in the ear canal. Canals are very sensitive and being forceful or rough can cause severe damages to the most delicate inner ear structures.
- While still holding the ear, move your hand downwards.
- Massage the base of the ear with your hand for fifteen seconds. Massaging helps to mix the ear cleaner. You may hear a squelchy noise which means you have done a great job so far.
- Let go of your dog’s ear – the automatic reaction will be your dog shaking their head vigorously.
- Use cotton balls to wipe off the folds until they are clean.
- Give your dog treats and repeat the whole process with the other ear.
Make the process become part of your regular hygiene routine to keep your dog healthier. There are several cleaner types. Choose only the one that best suits your dog needs. Some are designed to break up wax while others have the task of drying up the dog’s ear canal. You can also pick a combination product which does a bit of both. If you are not sure of the cleaner you should use, consult with a vet.
How regular you need to clean your dog’s ears depends on some factors including breed, the level of activity, age and amount of wax production. Cleaning once a month is recommended by vets for most dogs. Swimming dogs, however, need more frequent cleaning for reasons discussed above.
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