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“Should I be cleaning my dog’s ears?” Well, usually the answer is yes! Just like humans, some dogs are more prone to gunk and wax build-up in their ears, and alongside teeth cleaning, is an often forgotten part of essential dog grooming.
As responsible pet parents, we should be grooming our pets as we would our children; helping our furry friends out with their regular hygiene to preserve their health and happiness. Thankfully, when it comes to ear cleaning, the process is relatively simple and can be done at home (if Fido is OK with that, that is!)
So, let’s learn how to clean your dog’s ears…
Before you clean your dog’s ears, you need to gather the following:
Before you begin, always make sure your dog is comfortable. Use a soft, praising tone and encourage them with lots of petting and niceties throughout the process.
Begin by lifting their ear gently, and taking a good look inside.
If your dog isn’t happy about having their ears cleaned, do not force them to go through the process with you or scold them for their reluctance. Qualified veterinary nurses can help out here, so make an appointment if your furry friend is behaving anxious or scared.
Petlab Co. Pro Tip: If your doggo is currently taking prescribed ear drops from the vet, it’s good practice to administer them soon after an ear clean. As the cleaning solution will have helped remove excess wax and muck, this can aid the medicine being absorbed more effectively!
When asking yourself “how often should I clean my dog’s ears?”, this really depends on your dog.
Beagles, Basset Hounds, English Cocker Spaniels, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are more prone to ear complications so require more regular cleaning than other breeds. Long droopy ears restrict airflow so debris and moisture can more easily become built up in their ear canal, triggering yeast infections and bacterial growth.
Dogs that like to swim or get very mucky on their walks will also need more regular ear cleaning too.
You need to be regularly cleaning your dog’s ears enough to prevent infection, but not overdoing it so it causes long term damage. Once a week is usually enough, but if you want a specific cleaning schedule, particularly if you own an ear-vulnerable breed, consult with your vet.
"Cleaning the ears is important for certain dogs who are prone to mucky ears - this is especially true for dogs with allergic skin diseases. These dogs are prone to infections because excess wax and debris may be irritating and will create a favourable environment for bacteria and yeast to proliferate, as well as inactivating certain ear antibiotics.
However, if your dog has suddenly begun shaking its head, circling to one side or developed tenderness in an ear, it’s important to see your vet before attempting to clean the ears at home. This is because, if a foreign object has become lodged, it will need to be removed using specialist equipment. Similarly, your vet will need to check that the ear drum is not ruptured before administering any ointments into the ear."