As dog owners, we are aware of how crucial it is to regularly clean our dogs’ ears. However, if our dogs aren’t trained to accept ear cleaning or if we don’t feel comfortable doing it, cleaning those ears can be difficult.
While some dogs naturally have clean, healthy ears and may hardly ever need to have them cleaned, other dogs need to have their ears cleaned frequently to avoid the buildup of dirt that can cause ear infections. All dog breeds are susceptible to ear infections, but those with long hanging ears, like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, are among the ones at the most risk.
You should frequently examine your dog’s ears to make sure they are healthy. If your dog pulls away from you, it could be because his ears are hurting even though he could prefer having them stroked when they’re healthy. Therefore, by gently stroking your dog’s ears, you may start evaluating their condition.
How to Tell When a Dog’s Ears Need Cleaning
Verify that your dog genuinely requires ear cleaning before pulling out the dog ear cleaner. Learn what a healthy, clean ear looks like (pink, odorless, and not dirty or inflamed) and smells like (not yeasty or stinky), and only clean your dog’s ears when you detect a change. Over-cleaning your dog’s ears can cause infection and irritation.
While some dogs only need their ears cleaned occasionally, others, including those who are prone to ear infections or those who spend a lot of time in the water, might. The Merck Veterinary Manual advises preventing water from entering the ear canals during bathing and applying topical astringents on dogs who frequently swim to keep the ear canals dry and well-ventilated.
It’s probably time for a cleaning if you smell a faint odor or see your dog moving his head more frequently than usual. Contact your veterinarian if your dog’s ear seems red and inflamed, smells funky, or if he shows signs of pain. These signs, which call for medical treatment, could point to allergies, fleas, ear mites, or ear infections. Frequently, cleaning an infected ear does more harm than good.
To successfully clean your dog’s ears, you just need a few tools: a cotton ball or piece of gauze, dog ear cleaning solution, and a towel. Avoid using anything with a pointed tip, including cotton-tipped swabs (Q-tips). These instruments may force dirt and other material deeper into your dog’s ears, increasing the risk of infection and even causing damage to the ear’s internal structures.
A word of caution: While easy, ear cleaning can be unpleasant. If your dog moves his head a lot while you’re cleaning his ears, you might want to do it in a restroom or another easily cleaned area.
Dog Ear-Cleaning Solutions
There are numerous homemade dog ear cleaning products available online. The safest option is to use ear cleaning products that have been recommended by veterinarians. Some homemade ear-cleaning remedies include poisonous or irritant substances. Others merely don’t do well.
Most veterinary clinics stock dog ear cleanser. As some products may be more advantageous for your dog’s unique needs than others, you can also consult your veterinarian for their recommendations.
How to Clean Dog Ears in 3 Easy Steps
- Bring your dog and your supplies together. It will be simpler to clean your dog’s ears if you wait until he is calm. Don’t be hesitant to entice them with sweets.
- Fill your dog’s ear canal with an ear cleaning solution that has been recommended by a veterinarian, then gently massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds. As the product removes buildup and debris, you will hear a squishing sound. As touching your dog’s ear with the applicator tip could introduce bacteria, avoid doing so.
- Give your dog a headshake. This is where the towel comes in; you may use it to clean his face and shield yourself from the spray. Once your dog has stopped shaking, carefully wipe out the ear canal with a cotton ball or piece of gauze, only going as deep as one knuckle. During the cleaning process, if your dog seems to be in pain, stop and call your veterinarian.
Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Dog Ears?
No. On your dog, avoid using hydrogen peroxide. In fact, this ubiquitous home item might irritate healthy skin cells. Hydrogen peroxide use over an extended period of time may eventually cause harm to the ear itself because ears contain very sensitive tissue. Use only cleaning products that have been recommended by veterinarians.
How to Clean Dog Ears: A Summary
Now that you understand how to clean dog ears, let’s review the fundamentals:
- Understand the appearance and smell of a clean, healthy ear.
- Following a bath, regularly check your dog’s ears.
- Overly frequent ear cleaning can result in severe inflammation.
- Use a dog ear cleaning product that has been approved by a veterinarian.
- If you think your dog may have an ear infection, consult your veterinarian.
Maintaining your dog’s ears helps keep them free from infections. Regular ear checks will also help your dog become less sensitive to handling his ears and catch any further issues, like ear mites, before they worsen.
Are dog ears cleaned by groomers?
An examination and cleaning of the ears are typically included in professional grooming services. Regularly checking your dog’s ears will prevent you from complicating the groomer’s job. In truth, some experts have found organic material and weeds in dogs’ ears, and some weeds, like the deadly “foxtail” weed that thrives on the West Coast of America, can make their way down a dog’s ear canal.
The Ear Cleaning Process
Here are some of the grooming tools that experts use:
- Hemostat: Before and after each cleaning operation, this should be sterilized.
- Deodorizer Powder: Some experts will also use medicated ear powder.
- There are numerous options for ear cleaning products, some of them are natural and contain aloe vera.
- Cotton Balls: For optimal results, groomers should use sterile, medical-grade cotton wool.
Professional groomers almost always start by elevating the dog’s ear and exposing the inside flap so that it faces him. They never use alcohol or Q-Tips (cotton swabs). A little amount of medicinal ear powder is inserted into each ear after any protruding hair surrounding the external ear canal opening is removed.
The groomer trims any hair in the ear canal if there are no signs of ear issues, but they won’t go any deeper than half an inch into the ear hole. The powder is used to dry off wax and hairs, which makes them easier to remove by absorbing moisture. The dog’s hair is grabbed with the hemostats, which are also used to remove any unwelcome particles. The groomer then cleans the hemostats and informs the owner of any findings, including any potential infection symptoms. One of the last procedures is to gently clean the ear canal with cotton balls dipped in the cleaning solution before making sure that all of the powder has been removed from the ears.
A reputable groomer will take their time, never put your dog in harm’s way, and always sanitize their equipment. Make sure your dog’s ears are cleaned properly by getting in touch with an expert right away if you want what’s best for your pet. We assure you that your dog will be incredibly appreciative if you do.
What is the price of cleaning a dog’s ears?
The price of treating an ear infection varies depending on where you live and the veterinarian you choose, but otitis externa treatments, which normally involve an examination, ear cleaning, and medication, cost between $100 and $175.
Imagine if your dog’s ear’s interior becomes infected. If such is the case, the price can soar drastically (we’re talking thousands of dollars), especially if the therapy calls for surgery or an unconscious examination.
How frequently should dog ears be cleaned?
Should you regularly clean your dog’s ears? The answer to this question, which dog owners frequently ask veterinarians, is a loud “yes! Your pup’s general health and happiness depend on you taking good care of their ears.
Why Is Caring for Dog Ears Important? Dogs’ ears are delicate, and over time, as wax and oils accumulate inside the ear, they may become more prone to infections. The risk of infections might be further increased by external factors like too much dampness or allergies.
The following are indications that your dog may have an ear infection:
- a bad odor around or around the ear
- Expulsion from the ear
- ear canal swelling or sensitivity to light
- excessive pawing or ear-scratching
Make an appointment with your veterinarian straight away for an examination and ear cleaning if you have any of these symptoms.
How to Do Dog Ear Cleaning at Home the positive news Ear infections can be avoided altogether with routine cleaning and treatment. Establish a routine of regularly checking your dog’s ears, ideally once a week or once every other week. This will not only enable you to identify possible issues before they become serious, but it will also help your dog become accustomed to having his or her ears touched.
You must use a mild ear cleanser made specifically for dogs if you want to clean your dog’s ears at home. Dribble a little bit of the cleaning solution into the ear canal while holding your dog’s ear flap upright. Use your fingers to massage the base of the ear for around 15-20 seconds as the cleanser penetrates down into the canal.
After this round of cleaning is complete, your dog might want to shake their head; a towel might help to prevent spills. Wipe out any extra solution and any loose earwax using a clean cotton ball or pad (not a cotton swab, which could harm your dog’s ears).
Advice for Caring for Dog Ears Are you unsure about how frequently to clean your dog’s ears? A good basic guideline is once each month. Dogs who swim frequently or breeds with long, floppy ears could require weekly or even biweekly ear cleanings. Ensure that your dog’s ears are completely dry after swimming or taking a bath.
Cleaning your dog’s ears will be simpler if you practice good general care, such as maintaining clean, neatly trimmed, and mat-free hair around the ear flap. Above all, use as little force as you can, and avoid sticking anything directly into the canal. Your dog’s hearing could suffer permanent harm if you do that.
Making ear cleaning enjoyable for dogs is crucial because it can be unpleasant for them. Only clean your dog’s ears when they are already relaxed, and be sure to give them lots of treats both during and after.
A crucial component of your dog’s overall care regimen is learning how to take care of their ears. You can contribute to ensuring your pup’s ears remain healthy for life by performing occasional at-home ear cleanings, routine professional groomings, and keeping up with vet check-ups.
Are dog ears cleaned by vets or groomers?
Responsible pet ownership requires grooming, which goes beyond simple nail and fur maintenance. One of the most frequently neglected aspects of dog care is cleaning their ears, although doing so can be dangerous. Inflammation, ear infections, and veterinarian visits can occasionally result from dirty dog ears.
Fortunately, most pet owners can quickly learn how to clean a dog’s ears. Additionally, some people want to get their dog’s ears cleaned by a groomer. Want to know how to clean a puppy’s ears? Even if you don’t need to start yet, you’re moving in the correct direction. It’s crucial to get your puppy used to routine grooming if you want them to feel at ease or tolerate the process as adults.
Here’s all you need to know about cleaning out dogs’ ears, whether your dog is shaking their head and you suspect anything may be amiss or you’ve just brought home a new pet and want to get ahead of grooming skills.
Do I need to clean my dog’s ears?
In order to remove wax and dirt, many dogs do need routine ear cleanings. They may find it challenging to eliminate these chemicals on their own due to their anatomy. Some dogs, though, are able to go their entire lives without having their ears cleaned. How can you determine whether you need to learn how to properly clean a dog’s ears?
It’s crucial to understand how to do this in order to make your dog more comfortable, but some dog breeds—particularly those with large, floppy ears or hairy ears—are more vulnerable to ear problems than others. Giant breeds including Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands, as well as Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Old English Sheepdogs, Bluetick Coonhounds, and Basset Hounds, may all require routine upkeep in particular.
Dogs who frequently swim or have allergies may also be more prone to ear problems. Regular care can lessen the chance of inflammation brought on by allergies or water in the ear.
Remember that over-washing a dog’s ears can actually interfere with the body’s normal cleaning cycle and lead to irritation or even illness. Consult your veterinarian, and even if routine dog ear wax removal is not necessary and your dog is allergy-free, you should nevertheless frequently check their ears for the following symptoms:
How often should I clean my dog’s ears?
The breed and sensitivity of each dog may often determine how frequently their ears should be cleaned. Simply follow the list above to check your dog’s ears every week or so if they haven’t had any ear issues or if you’re curious about how to clean puppy ears, which may not be necessary. A weekly or biweekly dog ear flush may be sufficient for severe wax accumulation or allergies.
If your dog has an infection in their ears, you should follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for treatment, frequency, and duration. Consult your veterinarian if you experience any persistent ear problems, including allergies.
What do groomers use to clean dogs’ ears?
To dry out the wax, groomers frequently start with medicinal ear powder. Then, they might use a device resembling a pair of tweezers called a hemostator to remove dirt. The greatest dog ear cleaner for your pet’s breed will often be selected, and they’ll gently clean the ear canal. Only this final step is advised for typical owners when learning how to clean dog ears at home.
What can I use to clean my dog’s ears?
Supplies like powders and tweezers might not be the ideal options if you’re not a groomer. The essential tools needed to clean out a dog’s ears for the average pet parent are: