Dogs, primarily with flappy ears, are prone to ear infections. If you can clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis, it can help prevent ear infections and/or illnesses associated with the ear. Some dogs have very little ear buildup and simply need their ears wiped out occasionally. Other dogs need thorough ear cleanings every week or two. Inspect your dog’s ears regularly and talk to your vet about your specific dog’s needs.
You can do the following to clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis.
Ear Cleaning Supplies
Below is what you need to clean your dog’s ears at home:
Ear cleansing solution: Look for a high quality ear cleaner recommended by veterinarians. You can also make a homemade ear cleanser (for dogs without major ear issues) by mixing one part table vinegar to two parts water. Make sure to avoid ear cleansers that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as these can cause irritation.
Cotton balls, cotton pads or gauze squares
Tweezers (for dogs with too much hair in the ear canals)
A towel or dish cloth
Getting Started With Ear Cleaning
Ideally, you should clean your dog’s ears in your bathtub or outside. The cleaning will cause your dog to automatically shake his head and the ear debris and cleaner can end up on your walls and possibly you! That is yet another reason to have a towel handy for you and your dog.
Before cleaning your dog’s ears, take a look inside them. You can get an idea of how dirty they are and you can check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, that hair may need to be plucked. You can do this with your fingers or tweezers.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
1, Begin by holding your dog’s ear flap up and squirting a few drops of cleanser on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. If using homemade solution, get a squeeze bottle or bulb syringe with a tip that is about an inch long. Then, you should gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give a gentle squeeze. Do not use an excessive amount of pressure when squeezing the cleanser into the ear.
2. Before your dog can shake his head, begin massaging the base of your dog’s ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a smooshing sound. By massaging the ear, you are helping the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds, you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.
3. Once your dog has a good shake, use the cotton or gauze and your finger to wipe out the ear canal. You can put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it. You may wish to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris out of the ridges. Remember, that you should never put the cotton-tipped applicators into the ear any further than you can see as it can cause damage to the eardrum can occur.
If your pup’s ears still seems dirty, try to repeat the process. Then, move on to the other ear. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog’s head off. Then, of course, reward your dog with treats for his or her great behavior and you can be rewarded for a job well done!