Cleaning your pup’s ears is an important part of the dog grooming process. Unless you do this on a regular basis, the dog’s ears can become a breeding ground for bacteria and infections. Cleaning a dog’s ears doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for you or the dog if you follow some simple instructions.
First, check your dog’s ears regularly for any signs of problems. Problems to look for include debris such as dirt, tiny parasites or any signs of discharge. Your dog’s ears should appear pink and healthy. If they seemed inflamed, project a strong, unpleasant odor or seem sensitive when you touch them, there could be an infection or other type of problem.
You shouldn’t attempt to clean your dog’s ears if you think you see a problem. Instead, take him to your veterinarian for a treatment procedure. If the dog’s ear problem isn’t addressed soon, it could result in hearing loss.
If your dog’s ears simply appear dirty, follow the instructions below for cleaning a dog’s ears:
1. Use an ear-wash formula for cleaning your dog’s ears. Never use peroxide, as it can harm the dog’s ear canal. If you prefer to make your own ear wash solution, simply mix one part of white vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol. Place the solution in a squirt bottle and be sure to shake well before using.
2. Squirt some of the solution in your dog’s ears and massage gently to be sure it’s covering the inside of the ear canal. (Your dog will naturally shake his head after this.)
3. You can use a cotton ball to wipe down the visible portion of the dog’s inner ears, but never use a cotton swab as it might damage his ear drum if inserted too far.
If you have a dog with long ears such as a spaniel, an ear cleaning should be performed once a week. Once a month for cleaning a dog’s ears is the norm for other types of dogs, but you should check your dog’s ears periodically to look for signs of problems.
Your dog may develop chronic ear infections if he has allergies. Check with your veterinarian to find out what you can do to lessen the effect of these allergies and keep your dog from developing ear infections that could eventually affect his hearing.
Dogs need their ears cleaned on a regular basis, just like humans – and you can enlist the services of a dog groomer or take matters into your own hands by following the instructions above. You may want to ask your veterinarian if there are any special instructions or formulas that he would suggest for cleaning your dog’s ears.
A good trick to getting your dog used to having his ears cleaned is to pet him and talk soothingly to him while handling the ears. Also, when cleaning a dog’s ears, be careful not to jab or clean further in the ear than you can see.