This article is contributed by guest writer Forrest Webber (Author).
How to Clean Dog Ears: Step-by-Step Guide
Pet parents need to learn the basics of caring for their animals to enjoy their healthy and long life. In particular, canines, renowned as ‘man’s best friends,’ need extra care. The reason is that they are ever-present around their human parents and thus require proper grooming from time to time.
An imperative aspect of dog grooming comes in the form of clean ears. You need to ensure routine ear cleaning of your furry friends to save them from ear infections, wax build-up, and unnecessary visits to the vet’s clinic.
Regular use of medicines for treating infections can impair your dog’s ear in the long run and hamper the pet’s immune system. Thus, experts often advise taking special care of dog cleaning at home to reduce the chances of persistent ear infections.
Easy Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Let us walk through some easy steps you can use to clean your dog’s ears.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies Together
It is always advisable to gather your cleaning supplies before starting the process. Examples of such essential supplies are:
- an ear-cleaning solution meant for dogs
- cotton balls, heavy duty tissues, or an old t-shirt piece
- any medicine the vet prescribes for your pet
Step 2: Lifting the Dog’s Ear Flap
The second step includes lifting and holding your dog’s ear flap. You need to do this step to straighten the dog’s ear canal. You can hold the flap upright between your forefinger and thumb. This would ensure that the flap remains straight when you are cleaning.
Step 3: Applying Ear Cleaner
There are two ways to do this step. Either you can apply the ear cleanser directly into the canine’s ear. To do this, softly insert the bottle’s tip into the dog’s ear canal and press the bottle.
Secondly, you can apply a good amount of the cleaner to a cotton ball and insert the cotton ball into the dog’s ear.
Step 4: Massaging the Ear’s Base
The next step involves messaging the dog’s ear base after applying the cleaner. Gently but firmly massage the base to hear the cleaner circulating well in the ear canal. However, ensure that you do not hurt the dog while doing so.
Step 5: Wipe Out Excess Debris
This step is very important when you need to wipe out any excess ear cleaner or debris found at the top of the dog’s ear.
You can make use of cotton balls or wipes for the process. Also, ensure to remove any remaining cotton balls in your dog’s ear. You may have to repeat this step to get the ear absolutely clean.
Step 6: Apply Medication if Required
The final step includes applying any medication as prescribed by the vet. Do read the instructions given on the bottle before using it. If you think about dog ear drops, always ask the vet beforehand.
Precautions To Follow While Cleaning
Proper ear cleaning requires certain precautions. These precautions help you to reduce the percentage of any mistakes during the cleaning process:
- Always use vet-recommended cleaning solutions only. It is advisable to avoid cleaners having hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
- The reason is that such cleaners may irritate the dog’s sensitive ears.
- Ensure never to insert cotton balls inside the dog’s ear canal. Inserting the cotton ball into the canal may cause permanent damage. Always use cotton balls for cleaning the ears’ ridges.
- Always keep tweezers in hand if your dog has lots of ear hair. They are the safest tool to remove hair without hurting your furry friend.
- If your dog likes to shake its head after cleaning, it is advisable to keep a towel nearby. This helps to clean any potential mess caused during the process.
- While inserting the cleaner’s bottle into your dog’s ear, ensure the bottle’s tip does not touch the ear. This prevents the spreading of any yeast or bacteria.
- While applying cleaner through the cotton ball, ensure not to take the cotton ball deeper than your knuckle’s length.
- Treat your dogs after cleaning, as this would encourage them to look forward to the cleaning process.
Ear care is an integral part of a dog’s cleaning and grooming. Similar to humans, dogs also produce ample ear wax, which, if not cleaned properly, can cause health problems.
Thus, it is advisable to follow a proper ear-cleaning process. Happy cleaning!