Cleaning Dogs Ears – A Step-by-Step Guide

cleaning dogs ears

Every dog needs to have their ears checked and cleaned on a regular basis. This is true whether they have long, droopy ears or small, pointy ears. So, follow this step-by-step guide to learn about cleaning dogs ears.

Cleaning Dogs Ears

Using a cotton swabs to clean the ear canal is NOT RECOMMENDED for people or dogs — it’s dangerous and they can cause damage. But, you can’t leave your dog’s ears unchecked because many dogs are vulnerable to ear mites.

Some dogs with long ears may even have dirty ears from accidentally dragging them through food, which can lead to potential health issues. Even if there is no need to apply medication or drops to your dog’s ears, remaining mindful of the cleanliness of their ears is a good idea.

Learn how to clean your dog’s ears properly to prevent the buildup of dirt, wax, debris, or foreign bodies and keep your dog healthy.

Check Your Dog’s Ears

If you don’t check your dog’s ears regularly, you won’t know whether they need cleaning. You need to know what you’re looking for during an ear check.

Start from the outside of the ears and look for:

  • Tangled fur
  • Dirt buildup
  • Mites
  • Parasites
  • Sores
  • Red patches

If you find tangles, gently comb them out. If there are tough knots or patches of long, unkempt fur, consider trimming them.

Check the Inside of the Ears

Next, check the inside of the ear. Look for:

  • Dirt
  • Grime
  • Excessive was
  • Dead skin
  • Anything block the ear canal

Read also: Chronic Ear Infection in Dogs and What to Do

A little ear wax is natural and isn’t anything to worry about. But, if the wax is especially thick or dirty and greasy, there may be an issue. Blood should not appear in the ear, nor  should there be an unpleasant odor. If something smells off, it may indicate an infection or parasite infestation, so get your dog to the vet.

Notice the hair inside the ears. If any dirt or wax is trapped, it needs to be combed out. The hair inside your dog’s ears can be trimmed, but it must be done with extreme caution.

The ear canal should be visible and clean, without any signs of inflammation, wax obstruction, or buildup of dirt or debris.

Long Ear Hair Growth

If you notice that the hair inside your dog’s ears is very long, you may want to consider to regular grooming to keep it neat. Stay on top of the hair growth in your dog’s ears, as it’s more difficult to deal with overgrowth than to act preventatively.

If you see small tangles, use your fingers to break them apart. Keep the ends of hair trimmed with blunt scissors. Keep your use of scissors in your dog’s ears minimal and never use sharp scissors. Better yet, leave this to a profession, just to be safe.

Keeping Dogs Ears Clean and Dry

After removing excess hair and dirt from the ears, clean them with a medicated wash. For example, use Chlorhexidine or a formula that your veterinarian recommends.

Use the formula with a damp cotton ball, being careful not to overwet your dog’s ears. Do not squirt or pour water into your dog’s ears. Use the cotton ball to remove grit, dirt, dead skin, and wax from the ear’s shell, without scrubbing or digging.

Do not put anything directly into the ear canal.

After sufficiently cleaning your dog’s ears and ridding them of cleaning solution residue, dry them gently and carefully with a paper towel or  a clean, dry cloth.

Wait until your dog’s ears are dry and then move on to the administering of any medication or drops. You can even use a preventative medicated powder to fight infections.

These powders can often be found at pet stores, or online, without a prescription and are useful in keeping the ears clean and healthy.

The frequency with which you will need to check him will depend on their unique anatomy. As a rule of thumb, drooping, longer ears tend to require greater care than open and pointy ears. So follow this step-by-step guide to cleaning dogs ears to get it right.

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