Clean your Dog’s Ears to Keep Them Healthy

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A dog’s ears are part of its charm. They can be upright, crimped, floppy, long or short. But what all dog’s ears have in common is that they need care from time to time. Some vets recommend cleaning your dog’s ears either every week or every other week, while others recommend once a month if the dog is otherwise healthy and doesn’t frequently get into situations where his ears get wet or dirty. Cleaning the ears not only removes dirt and excess wax, but protects your pet against parasites and ear infections.

Where to Begin

Frankly, dogs don’t like having their ears messed with, and this might be one of those times when you’re sorry you can’t tell your pet that some temporarily uncomfortable procedure is for their own good. The best place to clean your dog’s ears is in a room that can stand some spillage, such as the bathroom. The only equipment needed are cotton balls or pads and hemostats. These aren’t the hemostats used to clamp blood vessels, but combination tweezers and scissors that are used to pull out dead hair and grip cotton balls. They come in different sizes, and some have curved blades. Never use Q-tips or anything else that can be pushed inside the dog’s ear canal.

A Belly Rub Before Ear Rub

Before starting the cleaning, love your dog up a bit. Rub his chest or his belly and talk soothingly to him. Make him associate ear cleaning with at least a bit of pleasure. Brush and comb his fur, including the fur around his ears. Then, put a bit of the cleaning solution in his ear, then gently massage the base of the ear for about 20 seconds to spread the solution. He’s going to shake his head, but that’s a good thing because it loosens the dirt and wax in his ear. Then, use a cotton ball to wipe up the excess solution. You can use your fingers or grip the cotton ball in a hemostat. Repeat the procedure until the cotton ball is free of wax. Repeat on the other ear. Then, give the dog a treat and another tummy rub, and let him know he’s been a good boy.

What to Clean With

Ear cleaning solution can be bought in the pet store, but you can mix it up at home. One is nothing but one part water and one part white vinegar, while another is one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide. Don’t use alcohol because some dogs are allergic, and alcohol can dry out the skin. Some vets don’t even recommend the water and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide solutions but recommend that you use a store-bought cleaner.

What To Watch Out For

Cleaning the ears shouldn’t hurt the dog. If he acts like he’s in pain, that might be a sign that he has an ear infection. Other signs of ear infections are:

  • A bad odor coming from the ear
  • A discharge
  • Redness and inflammation in the ear
  • A swollen ear

The dog may scratch or rub at his ears compulsively, and you may feel a mass around the ear. In that case, you should run Barkley to the vet so the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

Ear cleaning now and then should be a regular feature of dog care. It goes a long way in keeping your pooch healthy, happy and comfortable.

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