Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Have you experienced calling or stating commands to your beloved dog but it doesn’t respond? Perhaps all the dog needs is a good ear cleaning – and you, his equally beloved human, can help perform that important task.

As a pet parent, one of your main priorities is to make sure your pet is at his optimum health. One of the tasks that you may need to perform regularly is to clean your doggie’s ears. You have to be ready, though, because no matter how well you understand the importance of cleaning your pup’s ears, it still doesn’t make it comfortable for the dog.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Dogs’ ear canals can get up to 10cm long and have this right-angled bend; this structure may make it easy for foreign material to enter, but hard to get out. The dirt inside your dog’s ears may go unnoticed, but not cleaning your dog’s ears can lead to ear infections. If you don’t monitor them, then the ear infections can further progress to more serious health conditions.

One best way to clean dogs’ ears is to make ear inspections and examinations a part of your routine so you can earlier detect any signs of any ear infections and issues. The sooner you realize any issues your dog is dealing with, the better – you can also give relief to the dog’s discomfort sooner.

You can ask specific instructions on when to clean your dog’s ears, but ideally, you can clean your canine companion’s ears at least once a month. Don’t be scared to clean your dog’s ears; it can be pretty easy and simple, as long as you’re careful.

What You Need

Ready to clean your dog’s ears? Here’s what to use to clean dogs’ ears:

Cotton Balls

You should use cotton balls for cleaning your dog’s ears. Don’t use Q-tips; they can hurt your dog’s ears, and  you can end up pushing material deeper into the ears, or worse, rupture and damage the dog’s eardrum. Cotton balls are more preferable to use, but you will only use them for wiping off the dirt on the outer parts of the ears.

Ear Cleaning Liquid

There are different kinds of ear cleaners that you can use, but make sure what you’re using is of good quality. Go for commercial ear cleaners that are completely safe, but will do the job well. Choose ear cleaners that don’t have alcohol, steroids, antibiotics or poisonous materials of any kind.

If you aren’t comfortable with commercial ear cleaners, then you can opt to go for homemade ear cleaners made from equal parts of rubbing alcohol and vinegar. Don’t use the homemade ear rinse if you suspect your dog to have any kind of ear infection, and don’t pour this mixture directly inside the dog’s ear. Make sure the mixture is at room temperature; you wouldn’t want to suddenly feel cold inside your ears, would you?

Dog Treats

The dog treats are also important to keep the dog at ease. Giving dog treats during and after the ear cleaning process will make the dog relaxed and comfortable.

cleaning a dogs ears

The Ear Cleaning Process

Dogs’ ears are sensitive; dogs may not like their ears being cleaned, but you have to get the job done. You don’t immediately go ahead and clean your dogs’ ears. You still have to inspect the ears and prepare the dog itself for cleaning.

If cleaning your dog’s ears makes you uncomfortable, then you might find that the best way to clean dogs’ ears is to ask your veterinarian for assistance. Either the vet will give you lessons and tips that’ll make it easy for you to clean dogs’ ears without hurting the dog, or he will do it himself for a fee.

Ear cleaning can get a bit messy, so you and your dog should be in a place that’s easy to clean. With that in mind, wear clothes that you can get dirty and messy with.  Have everything ready; you wouldn’t want to start and get you and the dog comfortable only to realize that you’ve left something out.

Inspecting the Dog’s Ears

First, check first the actual condition of your dog’s ears. Have the dog either sit or stand in front of you with a good view of the dog’s ear canal.

Ask your dog’s veterinarian first for advice if you encounter any of the following:

  • scabs, scratches, wounds
  • itchy, painful, inflamed and red ears
  • thick waxy material
  • any drainage of fluid coming from the ears.

If there’s any of the aforementioned, then don’t proceed with ear cleaning. They can be signs of ear infection that can worsen if you don’t do ear cleaning correctly.

You can go ahead with cleaning the ears if all you see is earwax or dirt. Don’t go too deep into the ear canal unless you’ve been given clear instructions from your veterinarian.

Cleaning the Ears

Next, dip a cotton ball into your ear rinse. Squeeze out any excess liquid; the cotton ball should be wet, but it should not be dripping. Wipe the ear’s outer flap, particularly the parts that are easy to see. You may need to use a couple of cotton balls especially if the ears are dirtier than usual.

There are some who are comfortable with irrigating dogs’ ears; if you’re skilled or confident enough, then the best way to clean dogs’ ears is to drench the inside of the ears by pouring ear cleaner into the ear canal. Massage the base of the dog’s ear gently for about 30 to 60 seconds. Hearing a squelchy noise means you’re doing it correctly. Let go once you’re done massaging.

Your dog will now shake his head. Use cotton balls to wipe the gunk that come out of your dog’s ears.

Wrapping It Up

As long as you’re gentle and you don’t irritate your dog’s ears, then you should be able to finish the procedure quite quickly without annoying or hurting your dog. Give your dog hugs and treats once you’re done to make the experience as positive as possible for the dog.

Once the dog is used to ear cleaning and it doesn’t feel hurt in the process, then soon it’ll be more comfortable, and the procedure will be done faster. With treats and affection, ear cleaning is an activity that he’ll soon love and look forward to being done.

Some More Resources

If you’re still looking for some more help when it comes to cleaning your dog’s ears check out our roundup of other resources below:

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