To reduce the chance of ear infections, clean dogs ears as recommended by your vet.
All dogs need to have their ears cleaned properly every once in a while. The frequency with which you should clean your dog’s ears depends on a number of factors that vary depending on the dog. While some dogs will need regular ear cleaning, others may need to be monitored for specific ear issues.
Is It Necessary to Clean Dogs Ears?
If your dog is not a fan of grooming, you may be wondering if it is really necessary to clean their ears.
Well, it depends on your dog. Some dogs can go without regular cleanings while others need it.
Just like human ears, dogs do not need serious ear cleanings frequently.
While some dogs require almost no ear maintenance, others will need regular cleanings.
There are some dogs that may need more ear maintenance due to the way their ears are formed or issues such as allergies. Another factor that influences the need for ear cleanings is lifestyle in terms of how much time is spent in the water.
The amount of ear cleaning necessary depends on your dog’s personal features and lifestyle.
Dog Breeds More Vulnerable to Ear Problems
It’s important to note that there are some breeds of dogs that have a higher likelihood of experiencing ear issues. These breeds include those with large or floppy ears such as Beagles or Basset Hounds. The formation of their ears causes the ear canal to be covered and leaves many small crevices vulnerable to bacteria growth.
Causes of Dog Ear Infections
The most common cause of ear infections in dogs are bacteria called Staphylococcus and a yeast fungus called Malassezia. Other causes can include ear mites and hormonal imbalances like thyroid disorders. Another common source of ear issues in dogs are allergies. Allergies can come from natural causes like pollen or as a result of your dog’s diet.
How Often Do Dogs Ears Need to Be Cleaned?
If your dog is not prone to infections or problems with their ears, your veterinarian will likely recommend cleaning their ears once a month. If your dog requires regular maintenance, cleaning will need to take place once or twice per week.
Ask your veterinarian to help you create an ear cleaning routine that will suit your dog’s needs. It’s important not to overdo it and clean your dog’s ears too much, as this can cause other issues.
Signs It’s Time for a Cleaning
If you’re not sure how to tell when your dog’s ears need to be cleaned, there are certain signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.
There are two major signs to keep in mind that indicate the need for cleaning – Smell and Distress. Ear infections have a specific smell which is foul and lets you know something is wrong. This is one of the easiest ways for veterinarians to determine if a dog has ear issues.
Besides smell, you may notice that your dog starts to touch and scratch their ears more often than usual. They may shake their head or try to rub it against different things. This is a sign they are looking for relief from some discomfort.
Other signs of dog ear infection include:
- Red and inflamed ears.
- Crust and scabs around the ears.
- Dark or black wax or discharge in the ear area.
- Hair loss around the ears.
- Swelling of the ear area
Steps to Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
Before cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure to invest in a dog ear cleaning solution. You can get one recommended by your vet or even make one on your own at home using natural oils. Another option is to use a solution which is one-part vinegar and three parts water.
Make sure you also have cotton balls on hand.
Be prepared for the process. It can be slightly difficult, especially if your dog is not a fan of grooming processes in general. It may be helpful to have a helper to restrain your dog while you clean their ears. You can also use treats to walk them through the process more easily.
How to Clean Dogs Ears at Home
Step 1: Pouring the solution into the ear.
If you invested in a cleaning solution that comes in a bottle, simply pour it in until your dog’s ear overflows. If you are using a homemade solution, use a turkey baster to pour the solution into your dog’s ear.
Step 2: Close your dog’s ear and massage the base.
Squeeze your dog’s ear shut with your hands and begin to massage it at the base. This helps the solution stay in your dog’s ear by preventing your dog from shaking it out.
Massage your dog’s ear at the base near the jawline. This helps the solution move around to clean the small crevices in the canal. You will hear a squishy sound while doing this, which is normal. You should massage your dog’s ear for about 15 seconds at the most if the ear is very dirty. Your dog is unlikely to tolerate a massage that long anyway.
Step 3: Allow your dog to shake their ear and spill the solution.
When you have finished the massage, let go of your dog’s ear and allow them to shake it. The solution may fly around, so be prepared to wipe it up.
Step 4: You may need to repeat steps 1 through 3.
One cleaning session may not be enough depending on how dirty your dog’s ears are. You may need to repeat the process a few times.
Step 5: Clean the shell of your dog’s ear by putting solution on a cotton ball.
When you’ve cleaned out your dog’s ear canal, clean the shell of the ear with a cotton ball. It is often recommended to perform a deeper clean into the canal with a cotton ball to get wax buildup, but this should only be done if you are confident in your safe-cleaning abilities, as your dog could be hurt if not done properly.
Step 6: Repeat steps 1 through 5 on the other ear.
Depending on how your dog handles the cleaning, you may want to allow a break between ears.
Things to Be Cautious About Dog Ear Cleanings
Your dog’s ear canal is fragile and you need to be careful not to damage it while cleaning. There are a few factors to consider before beginning the cleaning process.
Do not use Q-Tips in your dog’s ears. You could easily injure your dog accidentally unless you are an expert with the cleaning process. If a deep cleaning process is required, bring your dog to your veterinarian to ensure it’s done safely and correctly.
Always be gentle when you clean dogs ears. If you want to clean deeper parts of the ear with a cotton ball, make sure you move slowly. You want to avoid scratching your dog’s ear canal or rupturing the eardrum accidentally.
If you see any signs of bleeding or notice that your dog is in pain, stop right away. If there is blood, you must take your dog to the vet to make sure that no accidental damage was done.
Take advice from an expert. If your dog’s breed is more vulnerable to ear issues, it’s vital to know how to clean its ears properly. Ask your vet to demonstrate the correct technique so you can clean dogs ears at home.