Grooming your pooch is an essential part of any loving pawrent’s weekly routine. It’s a great way to check in on their overall health, keep their coat looking sleek and of course get some well-needed floofy cuddles in. However, an often overlooked but important part of any well-rounded dog grooming routine is cleaning dogs ears. A dog’s ear canal is much deeper than our own, allowing for superhuman hearing around four times stronger than yours or mine. A downside of this though is that grime, dirt and bacteria are more easily trapped in their ears which can lead to nasty ear infections if not cleaned regularly. To prevent infection, you should be cleaning your dog’s ears but before you reach for the cotton buds, join us as we navigate the ins and outs of how to clean your dog’s ears safely!
Do All Dogs Need Their Ears Cleaned?
Some dogs naturally have very clean and healthy ears, and may barely need to have their ears cleaned. Research by the Royal Veterinary College revealed that small breed dogs weighing under 10kg had a lower risk of ear infections than larger breeds, so if you have an itty bitty floof like a Chihuahua or Jack Russel terrier you may be in luck and not have to do much in the ear department.
On the other hand, if you own a large breed of pooch, a poodle or a doggy with long floppy ears such as a basset hound or a beagle, you should be regularly checking and cleaning their ears as they have the highest risk of ear infections.
How To Tell If Your Dog’s Ears Need Cleaning
Even if you have a doggy that’s at a high risk of ear infection, it’s impawtent not to overclean their ears. Doggy ears are very sensitive, so cleaning their ears too much or doing it when they don’t need it can damage the lining of their ear canal or even lead to an infection. Therefore only clean your dog’s ears when they really need it.
If your pooch’s ears smell a bit stinky or yeasty, or you can see dirt or grime in their ears, it’s a good indicator that they need cleaning.
If they are showing any signs of pain such as pawing at their ears, or excessively itching their ears and shaking their head, this may indicate that they have an ear infection and should be taken to their vet. Cleaning an infected ear can actually make it worse and may be quite painful for your pooch, so it’s best to have this done by a professional.
Cleaning Dogs Ears 101: How To Clean A Dog’s Ears
Like brushing your dog’s teeth, cleaning their ears is a grooming task that you’re best to start as early as possible. This will allow them to adjust to it as a normal part of their grooming routine and will make them less likely to kick up a fuss.
However, if you didn’t adopt your fur baby as a pup, they may be less likely to tolerate ear cleaning. If your pooch doesn’t allow you to clean their ears, don’t force it as this can lead to injuries to their canal. Instead, have their vet do it for you. Additionally, if you notice any signs that they may have an ear infection, have them assessed by their vet prior to any ear cleaning.
If your pooch loves a scratch around their ears and they don’t mind you cleaning them, here’s your one-stop guide to cleaning dogs ears.
Cleaning Dogs Ears 101: Shopping List
Before you get stuck in, here’s a list of equipment you’ll need:
- Cotton wool.
- Ear cleaning solution specifically labelled for dogs.
- A clean dry towel.
- Tasty nutritious dog treats to reward them for being such good boys and girls.
Cleaning Dogs Ears 101: Step By Step Guide
Cleaning dogs ears can be a messy process, so it’s best to do this outside or in the bathroom so you don’t get yucky ear wax sprayed everywhere when your pooch shakes their head.
When you’ve got all of your supplies it’s time to follow these steps:
- Pop your gloves on and gather all of your supplies. Give your doggy a quick cuddle and start patting them around their ears so that they get used to you handling them.
- Once they’re calm and relaxed, gently place the nozzle of the dog ear-cleaning solution into the entrance of their ear canal. Don’t push it in too far, just below the entrance of their ear canal is enough.
- Squeeze the bottle of the solution into their ear – one big squeeze is usually enough, then massage the base of their ear to release any built-up grime or dirt.
- Let your dog do their magic and shake their head side to side to release the solution from their ears. Be sure to cover your face or look away so that none of that gunk gets in your eyes or ears!
- Finally, using a damp piece of cotton wool, clean around the entrance of their ear to get rid of any leftover dirt.
- Finally, reward them with their favourite dog treat to positively reinforce their good behaviour. This will make cleaning dogs ears much easier in the future!
Cleaning Dogs Ears: What Not To Do
Just like in your own ears, you should never use a cotton bud as this can push wax and dirt further down the ear canal which can lead to infections, an impacted ear canal or even a burst ear drum.
Never use hydrogen peroxide or other human products when cleaning dogs ears as this can irritate the sensitive lining of their ear canal leading to pain and infection. Always stick to ear cleaning solution that is veterinary-formulated and specifically labelled for use on dogs.
How To Get Your Dog Crazy About Ear Cleaning With Scrumbles
The best way to keep your pooch coming back for more ear cleaning is to feed them a delicious dog treat after a successful ear-cleaning mission. This will positively reinforce them in their good behaviour and make it a much easier task for you!
All of our dog treats are made with 100% natural ingredients and free from added sugar, salt and artificial additives and fillers making them a guilt-free treat for your well-behaved floof.
Our Softies Dog Treats are gently baked to a soft bite for easy munching, perfect for dog training.
We also add gut-loving prebiotic slippery elm bark which improves healthy digestion and soothes sensitive tums. Rated 100% in palatability testing, they’re certified lip-smacking making them ideal for even the fussiest of pooches.
So go on, treat your pup the Scrumbles way and allow them to thrive from the inside out!