Cleaning your dog’s ears is an integral component to ensure they lead happy, healthy lives. The process can vary from breed to breed, depending on their shape, size, and placement.
Pointed ears – like those of a Doberman – are subject to increased airflow, which is a good, healthy thing.
Folded ears, like a Basset Hound’s, and ears that are particularly hairy, may need more frequent cleanings. While this ear shape can help to prevent access to irritants – they subsequently make it tricky for irritants to escape, once present. And this can lead to infection.
Many groomers may suggest plucking increased ear hair on furrier dogs, to facilitate better airflow. It’s always a great idea to talk to your family veterinarian for guidance on ear cleaning.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when cleaning your dog’s ears at home:
- Use cotton balls, not swabs: While the L-shaped anatomy of a dog’s ear offers some protection, eliminating a direct path to the ear drum, Q-tips are not advisable. Cotton balls (large size for large dogs) are ideal. Using a veterinarian-approved cleaner, moisten the ball and scoop into the nooks and crannies of the dog’s ear, making sure to cover the inner flap – a popular hiding spot for buildup.
- Have a towel handy. Cleaning solution can be messy, particularly if you need to pour it in your dog’s ears. When doing so, try to have your dog lie on its side. After pouring a small amount of solution into your dog’s ear (or placing a moistened cotton ball inside the ear flap), flip the ear closed and gently massage until the liquid dissipates. When your dog shakes its head dirt and debris should rise to the surface where it can be easily wiped out.
- Clean as needed. Of course, contact your veterinarian for professional advice regarding frequency. Dogs who spend more time outdoors may require more frequent cleaning sessions. Bath time is often a good time to clean your dog’s ears.
- Wipe your dog’s feet after every outing: With four paws on the ground at all times, dirt,mud, and other irritants can accumulate, and all too easily enter the ear when your dog scratches. This can lead to ear infections.
- Keep an eye out for telltale signs: If your dog is continuously scratching at its ears and shaking its head, you may want to call the vet. Inflammation and strange odors are also red flags.
Green Acres Pet Resort offers bathing, and grooming spa services to fit every breed and budget. We can give your dog a fresh new look and feel while providing routine maintenance services such as ear cleanings.