Same as humans, dogs also need to be taken care of. They require personal grooming to stay healthy and happy. While various canine health routines, such as teeth cleaning and nail trimming, are best left to professionals, there are some that you can do at home.
It includes cleaning a dog’s ears. It is an essential part of its grooming and can ensure that your furry little friend has clean and healthy ears to listen to its loving owner calling it. But other than that, why should you clean your pup’s ears?
Benefits Of Cleaning Your Pup’s Ears
Perhaps the process of cleaning out your dog’s ears is something that you and your furry friend both do not enjoy. But it is a vital part of their grooming and below are several reasons.
1. Prevent Infections:
Not cleaning a dog’s ears for an extended period can cause a build-up of wax and dirt in its ears. It can eventually become food for various disease-causing bacteria. In addition, excess wax can also be a source of a hindrance when it comes to putting medication into the ear.
2. Gets Rid Of Moisture
Thoroughly cleaning your dog’s ears will help eliminate any excess moisture or water entering its ear. It could have happened while your canine had a bath or was swimming in the pool.
3. Removes Weeds
Weeds and other organic matter can sometimes get caught up in your furry little friend’s ears while it plays. Therefore, it is up to you to examine its ears every week and pull them out.
4. Makes Sure That Your Dog Is Comfortable
When you start to keep your dog’s ears clean, it will help it stay healthy and groomed. In addition, your canine is bound to feel more comfortable and fresher in its skin.
While cleaning a dog’s ears routinely is essential, is it safe to do so at home? Are you wondering if you should consult a proficient vet? Read ahead to discover your answers.
Is It Safe To Clean A Puppy’s Ears At Home?
Generally, cleaning a dog’s ears at home is a safe procedure. However, professionals recommend that you take ample precautions to ensure your pup’s health is not harmed.
Follow the two precautions below and stay safe!
1. Avoid Excessive Cleaning
While it is good to be clean and groomed, it is not recommended that you clean your dog’s ears over once a week or once every two weeks. Ask your vet for advice beforehand if you want to clean more than this.
You need to avoid excessive cleaning because it may also remove healthy bacteria from your canine’s ears. It is the bacteria it needs for various reasons, such as fighting against infections. Regularly cleaning it will eventually leave your pup’s ears bare.
However, if your dog has an ear infection or recently had one, professionals suggest you medicate and clean your furry friend’s ears daily. They also recommended that you stay on this routine until your vet confirms that the infection has fully healed.
2. Use Only Prescribed Cleaners
Before you can go out and purchase a cleaner to clean your pup’s ears, you need to talk to your vet. They are professionals and can suggest a safe cleaner for you, depending on your requirements and your dog type.
However, a cleaner is not the only thing you need to start cleaning your dog’s ears. There are various other things that you will need to get started.
Things You Must Do While Cleaning Your Pup’s Ears
The good news is that cleaning a dog’s ears does not require you to have any special equipment. All you need is a good quality dog-ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet and gauze or cotton balls.
You will also need a couple of treats to reward your canine and ensure that it helps you carry out the process in peace. It would be best if you also kept in mind not to use cotton tip applicators because they could potentially perforate the ear drum. It could also cause trauma to the ear canal or push the debris further into it.
Steps To Cleaning A Dog’s Ears
Once you have all the essentials to cleanse your furry friend’s ears, follow the steps below.
1. Be Prepared With The Tools Beforehand
Is your dog fussy and does not like to take baths, be groomed, or be held? If you nodded yes to any of these questions, you need to be prepared with all the right tools, or things could get messy.
Ensure that suitable clothing, towels, gauze pads or cotton balls, and an ear-cleaning solution is within reach. It is also recommended that you keep tweezers nearby if the insides of your canine’s ear flap are relatively hairy.
2. Start The Grooming Process
If your dog has relatively hairy ears, be sure to take them for a haircut before you start the cleaning process. Once this is done, and your canine is home fresh from a haircut, you can start by removing the matted hair.
Next, you will have to clean the hair growing around the ear flap and the ear canal. For a hairy ear canal, take tweezers to tug some of it. It will provide ample room for better airflow.
3. Properly Restrain Your Dog
Since your dog is small enough to fit onto a table, place it on it and wrap one of your arms around it. You could also have your furry friend lie down on the floor and get on your knees to lean over it. It will allow you to prevent the canine from getting up and creating a mess. It will also ensure that you do not accidentally pour the ear-cleaning solution into their eyes.
However, restraining the dog does not mean that you use force. Be gentle and careful, especially when placing your forearm near the jaw. Then only you should grab your upper elbow of the bottommost front leg to control successfully.
4. Apply The Ear Cleaning Solution
Use your furry friend’s ear flap as a funnel if you do not want to create a mess and spill the ear-cleaning solution everywhere. Doing so will make it easier for you to fill the inner ear to the brim with the ear-cleaning solution, and none will fall out.
But you need to be careful during this process and ensure that you do not end up inserting the tip of the bottle into your dog’s ear. Do not be afraid to use ample ear wash so that the liquid begins to flow out on its own.
5. Massage Your Dog’s Ears
Once you have added the ear-cleaning solution, gently hold the ear flap and thoroughly massage the ear base. Continue doing so for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. Doing so allows the solution to work inside the ear and break up the debris or wax.
6. Wipe Away Any Leftover Debris
After you have successfully massaged your canine’s ears, you can move towards using a gauze pad or a cotton ball to get rid of any excess debris. Make sure to clean out any leftover dirt from inside the air flap and the upper ear canal.
Be as thorough as possible without poking too much inside so that you are all set for at least a week.
7. Give Your Dog Room To Shake
Soon after you complete the ear-cleaning process, your dog will want to shake its head. There is no harm in giving your furry friend room to shake their head once you have removed the leftover debris.
This step is significant as it will allow your canine to get rid of any excess ear wash and additional debris from inside the inner canal. Once your dog has settled down again, take hold of their ear flaps and clean them again with the help of a gauze pad or a cotton ball.
However, remember never to penetrate your pet’s ear farther than where your finger can reach. Otherwise, you could induce severe damage to the dog’s ear canal. You do not want that, do you?
8. Reward Your Dog With A Treat
You are now almost done with the cleaning process. All left is to award your dog with a goody it will love!
If you are carrying out the process on one ear flap at a time, give your furry friend a treat when you complete one side before moving on to the other. It will also motivate your pet to get its ears cleaned in the future.
Things To Look Out For When Cleaning A Dog’s Ears
It is recommended that you often examine your pet’s ears to ensure that it has not contracted any infections or get immediate treatment if it has. Be sure to keep an eye out for ear discharge and the reactions of your canine when you touch its ears.
If your dog feels pain from your touch, you must immediately make an appointment with the vet. They will help you rule out ear mites, infections, or any other concerns that would require medication.
Any pup can quickly develop an infection or get a seed or a burr stuck in its ear canal. However, if your dog swims quite often or has various allergies, it is at a higher risk of developing an ear infection. So, it would help if you were strictly looking for these things.
Right Time To See A Vet?
While cleaning a dog’s ears is something you can easily do at home, it is not the solution to all your problems. Sometimes, issues will require you to see a vet for your canine. If you detect the signs mentioned below, set up an appointment immediately.
- A strange smell coming from the ears
- More debris than there usually is, especially if it varies in colors like red and black
- Irritated and red ear canals
- Excessive head shaking, rubbing the head on the ground, or scratching the ears
- A continuous head tilt
- Whining or crying when you touch the ear
These are indicators of a foreign object being lodged in the ear or an infection. Often, senior dogs experience such issues, along with other diseases, such as old dog vestibular disease.
It is highly recommended that you consult with your vet from the moment you notice any of these signs in your dog. Make sure you do not simply go on cleaning your dog’s ears, thinking that the problem will sort itself out. Please consult a professional soon to ensure your canine does not lose out on its health.
The Final Word
As the owner, it is up to you to regularly examine your dog’s ears and check whether or not it is ready for a cleaning. The guide above outlines the importance of cleaning a dog’s ears and the things you need to complete the process. Following the steps down to a tee will help you groom your canine and have them happy and comfortable in no time. Happy cleaning!