How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

How To Clean Your Dog's Ears

This is an easy, quick gesture that is very useful for the hygiene and health of the dog, especially in breeds with a predisposition to ear diseases. If daily cleaning is not desirable, regular maintenance is recommended. Here are our tips for listening to your dog’s health.

Cleaning a dog’s ear is a measure of hygiene and prevention of great importance, but many owners still tend to neglect it. However, this simple and quick gesture allows many inconveniences and ailments. Performed on a regular basis, it provides the dog with cleanliness and protection. It should be accustomed to it from an early age to prevent it from perceiving this treatment as an unpleasant experience. Why clean your dog’s ears and how to proceed? Here are some tips that may help you.

Why wash your dog’s ears?

If neglected, the dog’s ears can quickly see large concentrations of impurities accumulate: dust, plant debris, earwax, etc. These promote the development of bacteria, which can lead to more or less serious infections and diseases. Unexamined, uncleaned ears also provide niches for external parasites such as ticks.

The ears should therefore be cleaned regularly in all dogs, however, some are even more exposed than others to various ailments. There are, indeed, races having predisposition to ear infections repeatedly, like large floppy ears ( CockersSpaniels ), along with ear canal ( German Shepherds ) to abundant hair at the base of the ear ( PoodlesBichons …), with significant cerumen secretion ( LabradorsSpringers …) and tortuous auditory canal ( Chow ChowShar-Pei).

Other breeds are, in turn, especially prone to atopic dermatitis that may affect the ears, like the Beauceron, the Bulldog francais, the Boxer, the Cairn Terrier, the Chihuahua, the English Bulldog , the Setter or another Yorkshire Terrier .

This does not mean that other breeds are not affected by these problems at all, but simply that the varieties mentioned are more likely to suffer from them because of the anatomy of their ears and their genetic makeup.

What to know before cleaning

In order for a dog’s ear cleaning to be effective, it is important to know a few essential aspects.

Start with the cleaning product to be used, which must be a specific ear lotion for dogs. For the application of this product, rather than using a cotton swab, it would be better to use a piece of cotton. The cotton swab is of no use because the ear canal is angled. It can even help make the problem worse, as it tends to push the dirt down. Nevertheless, it can be used for cleaning the outer part of the ear.

Regarding the frequency of cleaning, it is advisable to do it once a week in dogs with floppy ears and once or twice a month in others. The inspection of the ears must be even more regular.

Forget the cotton swab

with humans, the cotton swab has the annoying tendency to push earwax towards the eardrum. The same goes for your dog. In fact, never use a cotton swab for your companion. Because, in addition to being counterproductive, it does not blend well with your dog’s ear canal. This is in an “L” (or angled) shape and you risk damaging it.

How to clean your dog’s ears?

Here are the steps to follow for effective ear cleaning:

  • Pull the ear and hold it firmly (without hurting the dog)  to clear the cavities.
  • Pour a drop of the ear lotion (held vertically for dogs with floppy ears) to the bottom of the ear.
  • Lightly squeeze the base of the ear and massage it so that the lotion penetrates and dissolves the impurities.
  • Insert a cotton ball at the back of the ear then massage again so that the product and the dirt adhere to it. By massaging, the cotton will rise slightly, which will facilitate its extraction.
  • Remove the cotton ball and clean the outer part of the ear with a cotton swab.
About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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