Did you know that rubbing your dog’s ears is also a great way to make sure they’re healthy? In today's post, our Orange Park vets discuss how to tell if you're dog's ears are in good shape and how to perform a deep clean of your dog's ears should the need arise.
Ear cleaning is a necessary part of dog grooming that should not be overlooked. If your dog goes to a professional groomer, his ears are probably cleaned regularly. Regardless, it is handy for dog owners to know how to clean their dog's ears too.
What supplies do I need to clean my dog's ears?
To begin, you'll need the right supplies. These include:
Ear Cleanser: Look for a commercial cleaning solution that has been recommended by a veterinarian. Cleansers containing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can irritate your dog's sensitive ears, should be avoided. If you're unsure, simply ask your veterinarian if something is safe to use on your dog
Cotton Balls or Pads: Cotton swabs can be used to clean the outer and inner ear canals, but they should never be inserted into the ear canal.
Tweezers: If your dog has a lot of hair in his ears, keep these on hand.
Towel: This is recommended for containing potential messes, especially if your dog shakes his head when something gets in his ears.
Treats: As a reward when everything is done.
How to Clean a Dog's Ears
Take a moment to inspect your dog's ears before you start. If they are red or inflamed, they smell bad, or your dog shows signs that they itch, stop and contact your vet. Your dog's ears may be infected or full of ear mites.
You can clean your dog's ears by going through these steps:
- Get your dog to sit and reward him with a treat. Allow him to inspect the bottle of ear cleaner.
- If his ears aren't already up, hold the ear flap upright and carefully fill the ear canal with the cleaning solution.
- Keeping the ear flap out of the way, gently massage the base of the ear with your fingers for about twenty seconds.
- Release the ear and allow your dog to shake his head if he wants. Hold a towel over his head to prevent the solution from flying everywhere.
- Gently wipe the visible part of your dog's ear canal and outer ear with a cotton ball or a cotton pad wrapped around your index finger. Only use a cotton swab on the visible portion of your dog's ear if necessary.
- Reward your pup with another treat and then repeat these steps for the other ear.
Making the Process Easier
Cleaning your dog's ears can be a troublesome task, so here are some tips from our vets to make it a little easier.
Keep Your Dog in a Confined Space or Clean Their Ears Outside
If you don't want water to get everywhere, keep your dog in a small area. Put him in a tub or, better yet, get your dog outside. Make sure you wear old clothes that won't get ruined if you spill cleaning solution on them.
Don't Cut Corners With the Solution
There's a lot more happening in your dog's ear canal than meets the eye. Filling the whole canal with the solution will help clean the whole ear. Your dog will shake his head to get rid of any cleaner that doesn't get wiped up. If the ears still look dirty when you're done, you can do it again, but stop right away if you see redness, bleeding, or signs that your dog is in pain.
Clean Floppy-Eared Dog's Ears More Frequently
Some dogs, like those with short ears and not a lot of hair, may only need to have their ears cleaned when they start to look dirty. Dogs with floppy ears or a lot of hair around the ears should have a cleaning at least every other week. An inspection of their ears never hurts either.