Do you need help on cleaning your dog’s ears? Many dog owners do not talk about cleaning their dog’s ears because they do not realize how important it is. We’re here to tell you that ear care is a critical part of your dog’s general health. Ears come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Our dogs have L-shaped canals which creates a perfect nesting ground for bacteria. The hair on the outside of their ears helps keep bacteria and other unwanted debris out of the canal, but it doesn’t work all the time. Ear care maintenance should be a routine part of taking care of your dog. Keep reading to find out different tips for cleaning your dog’s ears.
The anatomy of the dog’s ears
If you take your dog’s ear to analyze it, you will see that it is twisted and curvy. This makes it the right place for bacteria and parasites to develop. As a result, it is mandatory to clean it in order to prevent eventual infections.
Debris tends to work its way up the canal and when it gets trapped it makes the dog feel itchy and uncomfortable. It is also important to know that dogs that suffer from allergies are more vulnerable to develop problems with their ears. The same situation is valid for pets with floppy ears like poodles, cocker spaniel and bassets.
The weekly care
The ear check should become part of the grooming routine. If you notice that your dog tends to develop earwax, or it has excessive hair in its ears, you need to clean them more often. Here is how the weekly care should look:
- Whenever the ear looks dirty, you need to clean it with a cotton ball. Though there are various solutions available on the market, it is a good idea to opt for one that you can prepare at home. You will find tested recipes in the following sections of this article;
- It is important to understand that the skin located inside the ear it is very delicate. By no means should you scrub intensively or use solutions that can cause rashes.
- When you clean the dog’s ears you need to stick to the external parts. To be more exact, it is forbidden to stick anything in the ear canal as this can lead to serious problems. If you notice that the dirt does not go away, or it is too deep, you can go to the veterinarian and ask for future guidance.
- In case the ear canal is filled with hair, you may need to groom it a bit. To be more exact, you can tweeze it out on a regular basis (every few weeks) so it does not get tangled. If you are not sure whether it is a good idea to trim the hair, you can ask the veterinarian for specialized advice.
Recipes for irritated ears
Allergies can cause scratching, and this leads to mild ear irritations. In this case, you need to assure proper care. A great idea of a homemade recipe includes the following three ingredients: white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol.
It is recommended to mix only as much as you need for one cleaning session, and prepare more when you see other signs of irritations. In this case, you need to add half hydrogen peroxide, half white vinegar and just one drop of alcohol. If you see that the irritation persists you can ask your veterinarian for a medicated flush that has antibiotic properties and add it when you are done cleaning the ear.
Another great way to calm ear irritations is Aloe Vera gel. All that you need to do is to warm the gel in hot water until it becomes liquid. You can add a tablespoon of this ingredient in each ear, and the effects are immediate. Just like in the case of almond oil, you need to leave it for a couple of minutes before you wipe it with a cloth.
Besides soothing red ears, Aloe Vera also has cleaning properties and can eliminate wax. According to how serious is the problem, you will need to repeat this procedure several times. However, if you see that the dog does not start to feel better you need to go to the veterinarian immediately.
Now, if after you went through these recipes, you’re still not sure if Fido would like it, it’s best to discuss it with your vet. Also, if you’re interested in purchasing ready-to-use products, here is a great selection for you.
Things to avoid
It is mandatory to be gentle when you clean your dog’s ears. This means that intense scrubbing or pushing the cotton ball too deep is strictly forbidden. If you believe that you are not patient enough to get your pet accustomed to this procedure it is advisable to allow a specialist to do it. Here are other things that you need to avoid when you groom the sensitive ears:
- you must not allow water to get inside the canal as this can lead to the formation of fungus and bacteria that can lead to infections;
- avoid using a syringe to introduce the homemade cleaning product as you risk pushing the liquid too far and harm your pet;
- by no means should you go deeper than half an inch inside the ear canal as this is very dangerous.
As it can be seen, it is not that difficult to keep your dog’s ears clean. You simply need to accustom it to this procedure, and everything will be fine. Remember to follow the cleaning rules and never push the cotton ball too deep. Though there are various products on the market that can help you eliminate dirt or wax it is better to opt for homemade ones.
They are gentle to the sensitive skin and do not cause allergies. Furthermore, you only need two or three ingredients to prepare the mixture. It is mandatory to keep your dog safe from infections, and it will live a long and happy life.