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Dog Ear Care - Keeping Your Dog’s Ears Healthy And Pain Free

For good hygiene and to prevent your dog developing ear infection, regular cleaning of the ears is necessary.

This cleaning may be done at home when you perform your dog's grooming or you can take your dog to the vet to have his ears cleaned.

For ear cleaning at home, the following items will come in handy:

- Cotton balls

- Mineral oil

- Q-tips

- Tweezers

Dog’s ears are different in shape. Some dogs such as beagles have floppy ears while some like German shepherds have pointed ears. Regardless of the shape, ears serve as a harbour for parasites and other micro organism that cause infection. If the ears are not cleaned such organisms will proliferate causing an infection. Too much wax in the dog’s ears may also lead to bad odours.

When cleaning the cotton balls are soaked in some mineral oil. The ear is then gently held and cleaned slowly ensuring that all the dirt is removed. The q-tips should only be used on the ear flap. Trying to insert them into the ear canal is very dangerous since it may damage the delicate ear drum.

You can also use a commercially available ear cleaning solution or cream. These are available at pet shops. The solution is applied to the ear canal in form of drops or the cream can be squeezed into the ear canal.

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This is uncomfortable for the dog and the dog may shake his head to get rid of it. After applying it, place your hands at the base of the ears and gently massage. This is to allow the solution to be evenly spread in the ear.

Tweezers come in handy in dogs with a lot of hair in the ear canal. The tweezers is used to pluck off excess hair in order to allow air to be able to circulate in the ear. Too much hair may also cause moisture and wax to accumulate in the ear making a perfect breeding ground for ear parasites. Pluck off a few hairs at a time to avoid causing the dog pain.

How regularly should you clean your dog’s ears?

This depends on several factors such as how soon they get dirty; bad odour as well as if the dog is suffering from an ear infection. Cleaning the dog’s ears too many times causes irritation and should be avoided. If the dog’s ears start exuding a bad smell then you should clean them, however some odours may indicate an infection in which case a trip to the vet is necessary.

Depending on the treatment, the doctor has to decide what is best for dogs with infected ears and may have their ears cleaned as frequently as every three days.

Other chemicals you can use when cleaning your dog’s ears are hydrogen peroxide and alcohol based products. The alcohol based products will promote drying of the dog’s ears. However, alcohol is irritating to the dog and it is important to ensure that the dog does not have any wounds in the canal that are likely to be irritated.

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