Cleaning your dog’s ears is an important task that should be performed on a weekly basis to reduce the chances if a bacterial infection or a yeast infection. Frequent ear cleanings will also provide you with an opportunity to spot a problem such as an ear mite infestation or an infection.
Dogs with long, floppy ears (like the dog pictured in the accompanying photograph) are very prone to ear infections because the ear flaps serve to keep the ear canal covered, warm and dark, with limited air flow. These conditions are ideal for bacteria growth, thereby increasing the pet’s chances of developing an infection. Regular cleanings are especially important in these dogs.
Supplies for Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
You’ll need the following supplies to clean your dog’s ears effectively and quickly:
- Ear cleaning solution;
- Cotton pads;
- Tin foil; and
- Pet treats.
If you do not have ear cleaning solution on-hand, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water. and use this solution to dampen the Q-tips and cotton pads. This will help kill bacteria and the moisture will loosen the ear wax, making it easier to remove.
Step-by-Step Guide to Dog Ear Cleaning
Shake your bottle of ear cleaning solution and then dampen several cotton pads and the tips of half a dozen Q-tips. Place the damp cotton pads and Q-tips on a piece of tin foil.
Begin by using the damp cotton pads to wipe the underside of the ear flaps and the opening to the ear canals. This will remove a large portion of the ear wax.
Next, use the Q-tips to clean the nooks and crannies and the opening of the dog’s ear canal. To avoid injury, only clean what’s visible. Never stick a cotton swab into a dog’s ear canal, as you risk damaging his ear drum.
Once the cleaning is complete, wrap the soiled Q-tips and cotton pads in the tin foil and discard. Then, be sure to offer a dog treat!
Tips for Cleaning a Pet’s Ears
If your dog really dislikes ear cleanings, offer a few treats while you’re swabbing his ears. In time, the dog will associate the process with treats, thereby neutralizing what would otherwise be a bad experience.
Notably, if your dog really dislikes ear cleanings, try warming the cotton pads and Q-tips. Place the dampened pads and Q-tips on a microwavable plate (never place tin foil in the microwave!) and warm them for approximately 10 to 15 seconds. This can make the process a bit more comfortable (but you’ll need to move quickly, as they’ll cool fairly rapidly!)
If your dog has a lot of fur inside his ears, consider trimming the fur to allow for easier access during the cleaning process (or bring your dog to the groomer.) This makes the cleaning process much faster, as you won’t have to worry about cleaning the ear fur as well.
For additional pet care tips and tricks, visit the PetLvr archives!
Photo Source: Evgeniy Lukyanov on Sxc.hu