Dog’s ears collect dirt and without proper care this can result in smelly ears or painful ear infections. The dark, warm and moist conditions within the ear provides the ideal breeding environment for fleas, mites, and yeast infections, which can go unnoticed under the flap of the ear. Consequently, it is very important to clean your dog’s ears regularly and to check for any sign of parasites or infection. You need to ensure that your pet’s ears are kept free of moisture and that wax doesn’t build up within the ear to provide the conditions favorable for parasites and infections. Inspect the ears for dirt buildup, parasites, cuts and abrasions, or any sign of swelling. If there is an odor or discharge coming from the ear your dog may have an ear infection, which will need to be treated.
A dog’s ears are extremely sensitive – some more so than others. If your dog is not used to having its ears cleaned, it may try to pull away or jerk it’s head in the middle of the process. Before attempting to clean your dog’s ears you will need to desensitize it to your touch by getting it accustomed to you holding and touching the ears. Start by gently touching and stroking the outside ear until he is relaxed; then lift up the ear flap and gently touch inside the flap of the ear without probing too deep. Once your dog is accustomed to your touch you can begin the ear-cleaning process by following the steps outlined below.
Before you begin the process of cleaning your pet’s ears, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and equipment on hand so that you won’t have to leave your pet unattended while you go and fetch an item you need. This will ensure that the ear-cleaning process progresses quickly and smoothly, and will minimize stress for your dog. In the event that you need to leave your pet unattended while you fetch something you need, make sure there is nothing stuck inside his ear that can damage his ears or ear drums should he shake his head or break loose.
Cleaning a dog’s ears is a relatively simple procedure that just requires a steady hand and a little care. If your dog is new to the whole ear-cleaning experience, it may be better to have someone on hand to assist you by holding his head still while you clean his ears. Get your assistant to stand on the opposite side of the grooming table to you if possible, holding the dog firmly by placing one arm around the dog’s neck, holding it under the jaw, with the other hand firmly placed on its butt, forcing him to sit still. If your dog is extremely boisterous, it may help if you take him for a walk or throw a ball for him beforehand to tire him out a bit, as a tired dog is less likely to put up a fight.
Once you have successfully cleaned your dog’s ears, shower him with praise or give him a dog treat or food reward as positive reinforcement for being such a good dog. This will help him associate ear-cleaning as a positive experience that is something to look forward to in future.
Dogs vary with respect to their ear-cleaning demands. Some dogs only need a quick ear check and wipe clean every month or so, while others need to have their ears checked and cleaned weekly. Large-eared breeds, such as bassets and spaniels, typically require more frequent ear-cleaning than short-eared breeds. Check your dog’s ears as part of its general grooming routine, and clean them if necessary.
Watch the video below to let a vet walk you through the process of how to clean a dog’s ears.
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