Ear cleaning is an aspect of dog grooming that shouldn’t be neglected.
Without regular cleaning, wax and oils build up inside the ear, increasing the risk of ear infection and hearing damage. With this in mind, it’s a good idea for any pet owner to know how to clean dog ears.
First, what do you need?
Ear cleanser: Look for a veterinarian-recommended commercial cleaning solution. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can irritate your dog’s sensitive ears, cautions The Spruce Pets. If you’re not sure whether something is okay to use on your dog, simply ask your vet or dog groomer, “What can I clean my dog’s ears with?”
Cotton balls or pads: Cotton swabs may also be used to clean the ridges of the outer ear, but should never be inserted in the ear canal. By doing so you could cause permanent hearing damage.
Tweezers: These are good to have on hand if your dog has a lot of hair in his ears.
A towel: This is recommended for containing potential messes, especially if your dog is prone to shaking his head when something gets in his ears.
Treats: You’ll want to reward your pup when it’s all done.
How to Clean Dog Ears
Before you begin, take a moment to inspect your dog’s ears. If they appear red or inflamed, they smell bad, or your dog shows signs that they itch, stop what you’re doing and contact your vet. Your dog may have an infection or an infestation of ear mites, either of which will need to be treated. If your dog has a lot of hair, use tweezers to clear hair out of the ear canal. Once the ears are clear and everything appears normal, read the directions on the ear cleanser. You can also follow this step-by-step process to clean your pooch’s ears:
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1. After getting your pup to sit, reward him with a treat and allow him to inspect the bottle of ear cleaner.
2. If his ears aren’t already erect, hold the ear flap upright and carefully fill the ear canal with a cleaning solution.
3. Keeping the ear flap out of the way, gently massage the base of the ear with your fingers for about twenty seconds.
4. Release the ear and allow your dog to shake his head if he desires. Hold a towel over his head to prevent the solution from flying everywhere.
5. Use a cotton ball or a cotton pad wrapped around your index finger to gently wipe the visible part of your dog’s ear canal and outer ear. Use a cotton swab only if necessary and only on the visible portion of your dog’s ear.
6. Reward your pup with another treat and then repeat these steps for the other ear.
VIDEO: How to Clean your Dog’s Ears!