Do you pay attention to the state of your dog’s ears? Have you ever noticed they might need some tender loving care… aka cleaning? Like humans, your pup has hygiene needs, and it’s up to us doting pet owners to sort them out! That said, our pampered pooches don’t come with a user manual, so in this article, we will walk you through exactly how to clean dog ears. We’ll show you how to spot dirty dog ears, identify different types of dog ear wax, what dog ear mites are, the proper way to use dog ear cleaner and how to prevent dog ear infections. Read on to discover the best solutions for keeping your furry best friend’s ears in tip-top shape.
While some dog breeds have small upturned ears, many other furry friends have ears that are floppy or downturned. This can make seeing the inside of your dog’s ear a rare occasion. No matter what type of dog you have, it’s best to inspect them somewhat regularly.
When you look inside your dog’s ear, it should appear pink to light pink and be odourless. Some common signs that a dog’s ears are dirty may include an accumulation of wax or debris, redness or irritation, and a foul odour.
If your dog’s ears are significantly dirty, there are a few ways they will let you know something’s awry. They may shake their head or scratch at their ears more than usual or some dogs will hold their head to one side. These are all good indications to inspect your pup’s ears.
As no two dogs are the same, neither are their ears! While breeds such as Chihuahuas, Border collies, Yorkshire terriers and Jack Russell terriers don’t struggle much with ear problems, other dog breeds need special attention regarding ear hygiene. These more delicate breeds include poodles, bichon frises, shih-tzus, and Lhasa apsos. These breeds have longer ears that are more likely to trap dirt and moisture, which means their owners will need to have a more structured routine when it comes to checking and cleaning their dog’s ears.
So now that we know we need to check our dog’s ears regularly, do we actually know what to look out for? Besides looking for an accumulation of dirt, it’s important to know what normal dog ear wax looks like. Pale yellow and light brown are colours associated with healthy dog ear wax. If your furry friend’s ears have ear wax featuring different colours or discharge or a foul odour, it could be time to visit the vet for a professional opinion. Below is a chart from the online vet company Dutch outlining what different ear wax colours can mean for your dog’s ear health.
Ear mites are tiny, parasitic insects that live in the ear canals of your pup. They are most commonly found in cats and dogs but can also infest the ears of other animals, such as rabbits, ferrets, and rats. Ear mites feed on the wax and oils in the ear canal and can create a lot of irritation to their host. Symptoms of an ear mite infestation include head shaking, scratching at the ears, and a black or brown discharge. Treating ear mites typically involves using a topical medication or insecticide to kill them. In severe cases, your dog may require oral medications. It is important to clean your dog’s ears regularly with a gentle cleanser to prevent an infestation of these pesky critters!
Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears can prevent ear mites by removing the build-up of wax and debris that they feed on. Ear mites are also attracted to dirty environments, so keeping your dog’s ears clean will help to keep them away. If your dog already has ear mites, cleaning their ears will help remove the eggs and larvae they leave behind.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is a surefire way to keep them happy, healthy, and ear-mite-free! While no one type of dog ear cleaner works equally for all dogs, a general tip that may be helpful is avoiding ear cleaners that contain alcohol, which can be drying and irritating to the skin. Also, avoid using hydrogen peroxide, as it can irritate healthy skin cells in your precious pup’s ears. Opting for a cleaner that contains natural ingredients such as witch hazel or apple cider vinegar is a gentler option for those delicate ears. Since all breeds are different, certain dogs may prefer different types of ear cleaners, depending on their individual preferences. The best practice would be seeking advice from your vet about which type of dog ear cleaner will be best for your furry friend.
Now it’s finally time to clean your dog’s ears using a dog ear cleaning solution.
You will need:
Step-by-step guide to cleaning your dog’s ears:
As dog owners, we can’t always tell if our pups have a health problem; this includes dog ear infections. It’s good to pay attention to unusual behaviour, but here we will discuss what to look out for regarding the types of ear infections most commonly experienced by dogs.
Different types of dog ear infections can be identified by their symptoms. For example, an infection caused by bacteria often results in a yellow or green discharge from the ear, while an infection caused by yeast can cause the ear to smell bad and appear red and irritated. Fungal dog ear infections are typically characterised by a foul odour, discharge, redness, and itching. There are a few ways to identify an outer ear infection in dogs. One way is to look for signs of discomfort, such as shaking the head or scratching the ears. Another way is to look for changes in the appearance of the ears, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.
The most common symptom of an inner ear infection in dogs is a head tilt. Other symptoms may include:
If you suspect your dog has a severe ear infection or mites and is in pain, it’s best to take them to the vet for an evaluation prior to commencing treatment.
If you’re certain your dog has an ear infection, a gentle daily cleaning can help relieve your pup. Be sure to use a solution recommended by your veterinarian and follow the directions carefully. Avoid getting the solution in your dog’s eyes or mouth.
The actual process of cleaning your dog’s infected ear doesn’t differ much from regular cleaning, as discussed previously. That said, extra care is needed as your pup could be experiencing increased sensitivity and pain in the area. The best practice for cleaning dog ears with infection is to be as gentle as possible so as not to cause any additional discomfort.
Now that you know how to spot dirty dog ears, identify types of dog ear wax, and know what ear mites are, you should be better prepared to get your furry friend’s ears all the attention and care they need. Armed with our dog ear cleaning instructions and the knowledge of treating dog ear infections, you’re well on your way to giving your pup the happiest and healthiest life they deserve.