Dog Maintenance Series: Clean Those Ears!

Do you clean your ears? I’m sure you do! So what can stop you from making that cute pair of your pooch’s hearing devices sparkling clean? Well, dog ears should not be sparkling, to start with. And you should clean them in a particular way.

Every owner needs to know these important points about dog ears:

  • Dog ears are sensitive and need correct regular maintenance.
  • Dogs, in general, do not want you to clean their ears.
  • If you do things the wrong way, you can cause serious damage.

Few words of caution: if anything is weird or unusual about your dog’s ears – see the vet.

Dog Maintenance. How to clean your dog's ears? Dogs In HD

Mailo is kindly demonstrating us his clean ‘outer flap’.

So what is the best way to clean your dog’s ears to keep him or her healthy?

  • Prepare everything in advance: get the right tools and put them within easy reach.

You don’t want to use cotton swabs because they can hurt your dog’s ears. Prepare a bag of cotton balls available or wrap your finger in gauze and use it. Wash your hands properly with soap or wear latex gloves.

The most important tool is the ear rinse. Choose one that is entirely safe for your dog and performs well. I use water based chlorhexidine from my first aid toolkit. It doesn’t cause itching, stinging or burning sensations. Always look for a product that contains no antibiotics, steroids, alcohol, or toxic materials of any kind.

Learn how to create a useful first aid kit for your dog.

Put tools mentioned within easy reach to avoid distractions and time and your dog’s patience waisted. Keep treats handy but away from tools that should stay clean.

  • Start on a positive note!

How to make the experience positive for your dog? Involve treats and affection. But, only give them when pooch cooperates. Remember, you are reinforcing good habits and associations you need. Do not stress your dog or act rude!

It is always easier to perform doggy maintenance when your loyal friend is responsive and follows your requests. If your dog is overly excited and you can’t lay him or her down for the procedure, delay it until you improve the situation.

Start by reading this useful article by our dog behaviorist.

If it’s your dog’s first ever ear cleaning session, make it extra calm and pleasant for future success. Don’t hesitate to open that bag of treats. Always reward cooperation!

  • Be gentle and follow the rules.

Ask your dog to lay down where you can see well and move freely. It should be comfortable for both of you.

To clean your dog’s ears without causing injury, start on the outside and work your way in gently. Stop when you feel resistance! If you try to push further in, you can damage your dog’s ear, so stay cautious. Moisten a cotton ball with ear rinse and wipe the part of the ear that you can easily see, the outer flap. Then wet a new cotton ball to clean the inner ear. Doing this once a week is a perfect schedule.

Give your dog affection and treats to make sure this event ends on a positive note. If your pup relaxes during the process, you are one lucky owner! (Like us. Our boy Mailo never objects ear cleaning. He seems to enjoy it!)

After the cleaning, you can evaluate cotton balls or gauze you have used. If they are especially dirty or you notice any weird discharge or traces of blood or they smell, you should see your dog’s vet. Make sure everything is ok.


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