How to clean your dog’s ears without hurting him? This is the question dog owners often ask themselves when dog bathing time comes. The trouble is that dogs’ ears are very sensitive, so you need to be extra careful when cleaning them. One wrong move, and you can harm your pup.
And that’s why many dog owners are reluctant to even come near their dog’s ears. But, that’s even worse – not cleaning your dog’s ears on a regular basis can cause all sorts of problems. The ears are moist and warm, thus an ideal environment for all kinds of parasites that can harm your four-legged friend.
Actually, ear infections are incredibly common in dogs, probably more than you can imagine. The reason why you might not be aware of this fact is that many dog owners don’t even notice that their pup is hurting. Dogs are brave creatures, so many of them will push through the pain until the infection goes away.
The trouble is that sometimes, the infection won’t go away on its own. If you notice your pup is shaking his head or scratching his ears ferociously, you can be sure that there’s a problem. The key to efficiently dealing with it is spotting it in time. But, in order to prevent such scenarios from happening ever again, you need to do all in your power to maintain your pup’s ear hygiene. And by this, we mean that you need to clean his ears thoroughly on a regular basis.
So, what does ‘thoroughly’ mean in this case? Well, removing dirt and disinfecting his ears is just one part of the process; you also need to make sure there’s no water left in, which could serve as a home to bacteria, viruses, and yeasts. To help you learn how to clean your dog’s ears the right way, we’ve decided to give you 7 useful tips. So, without any further ado, here they are!
1. Know-How Often to Do It
How often should you clean your dog’s ears is something that depends on many factors. It depends on his age, his health, his breed, and so on. This is why the best advice we can give you is to check with a veterinarian to see how often you should do it.
If your pup has sensitive ears that are prone to infections, you will have to do it more often. Cleaning his ears is crucial for preventing all kinds of ear diseases, including those that can lead to complete deafness of the dog. In this case, cleaning his ears once every two weeks is a must. But, you will have to do it even more often if your pup has recently had problems with ear infections.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that only dogs with sensitive ears should be treated this way. In order to prevent any potential problems, you will need to clean your dog’s ears at least once a month. The difference, however, is that you won’t have to do it as thoroughly as you would with a dog prone to ear infections. In this case, you would just need to put a few drops of ear cleaning solution in his ear canal.
Cleaning your dog’s ears with water is not the right option. Actually, it’s just the opposite. The water can freely travel down the ear canal where it’s likely to stay, creating a suitable environment for all kinds of parasites. Instead of using water that’s beneficial for microbes, you need to use an ear cleaning solution that kills them.
Your goal is to find the best dog ear cleaner, which will kill all the germs, remove all the dirt, and act soothingly to make your pup’s ears stop hurting and itching. The better the ear cleaner, the less frequently you will have to use it. So, even if it seems pricey at first, you can be sure that a good dog ear cleaner is guaranteed to pay off in the future.
3. Spray Might be the Perfect Option
Whether you decide to buy a top-rated dog ear cleaner or make your own by using such ingredients as hydrogen peroxide, you will probably have a difficult time getting it in deep inside your dog’s ear. The inner ear of a dog is a true labyrinth, and liquid solutions often can’t reach every part of it. This goes double if your pup is a relentless little creature that hates when someone is touching his ears.
This is why you might wanna consider buying a spray bottle that will create mist out of the cleaning solution. This way, it can push it all the way to the affected area, even if it’s very difficult to reach. This way, you will be able to clean his ears without risk of causing him any pain.
4. Start Off with Cotton Balls
Before using dog ear cleaner, it’s important to remove all the dirt that might be clogging the ear tunnel. The thing is that dogs love getting dirt all over them and bits of that dirt often end up in their ears. If you don’t remove it before applying the cleaner, the solution might not be able to reach all the parts of the inner ear.
This is why it is important to use a cotton ball to try to remove dirt, but also excess ear wax and any potential discharge that might be there as a result of an ear infection. We advise using cotton balls, but not Q-tips. Although they might appear like a useful solution, in this case, using them is just too risky, especially if your pup isn’t too crazy about you messing around with his ears. One sudden movement and you can accidentally injure him with a Q-tip. And we’re talking about serious injuries, such as pierced eardrums.
5. Make Sure No Water Comes In During the Bath
If your decision is to clean your pup’s ears during the bath, you need to make sure that the bathwater doesn’t get inside his ear. Sure, cleaning his ears while he’s in the bath does seem convenient, but you need to be extra careful with this.
Our advice is to put some cotton balls inside his ear during the bath and take care of the ear cleaning afterward. Even if the bathwater is mixed with a dog shampoo, you definitely don’t want it to get inside his ear canal. Dog shampoo is not meant to be used for his ears. But, a dog ear cleaner is.
6. Do All You Can To Calm the Dog Down
If his ears are hurting him, your pup will be reluctant to let you touch them, nonetheless, pour something in. But, the only way to help him is to add some drops of dog ear cleaner into his ear. So, how are you supposed to persuade a stubborn pup to let you clean his ears?
The answer is food! Dogs love eating, and when their favorite food is around, they can easily get distracted. So, the key to keeping your dog calm while you’re cleaning his ears is to give him his favorite snacks.
7. Pluck the Ear Hair Before Cleaning
Some dog breeds with long coat often have a lot of hair growing inside their ears. And that makes ear cleaning a very difficult job for the pet parent. The solution to this problem is pretty obvious. You need to pluck the hairs before being able to proceed to clean the ear canal.
If you haven’t done this before, worry not because it’s a fairly easy job, which, most importantly, does not cause a lot of pain to the dog. Actually, it seems they don’t mind it at all. The only problem is that you can harm your dog with the tweezers if he’s not being still.
So, if you have a pup who just can’t spend more than a few seconds without moving, maybe it’s best to do it manually, plucking one hair at a time with your fingers. Or, an even better alternative is to ask professional dog groomers for help.
One last thing to remember about plucking the ear hair is that it can make the skin inside the ear red. Your pup probably won’t show it, but there might be some irritation in the ear. If you notice it, it’s best to leave ear cleaning for some other day. The irritation should go away after only a day or two.
Final Piece of Advice
If your pup is having serious problems with ears, the best thing you can do is not to look for solutions on the internet but take him to the vet straight away. This is probably the best advice we can give you – the vet is the one who should know what kind of treatment your pup needs to get rid of ear infections and prevent them from returning back.