It's important to clean your dog's ears to avoid yeast or bacterial infections or ear mites, this can have a negative impact on their quality of life due to the pain. Ear mites and bacterial infections can also lead to nerve damage, ringing in the ear and damage to the ear canal and in some severe cases it can lead to hearing loss.
Problems with ears:
If your dog has any of the below concerns, it's important that your dog sees a vet:
- Shaking their head more frequently than normal
- Holding their head to one side
- Scratching at their ear(s) or pain when touching the ears
- Discharge from the ear(s)
- Skin of the ear flap appearing red and sore
- The ear flap becoming swollen or enlarged
How often should you clean your dog's ears?
We suggest cleaning ears every other month. If your dog has long ears or swims often, you many need to do this bi-weekly.
What you will need:
- Cotton wool pads (Not ear buds)
- Saline solution in a squeezy bottle
- Patience for your pooch
Gently lift the ear flap up. Hold the rinse bottle vertically and squeeze the ear rinse into the ear. The canal is long, so will take more fluid than you expect.
Keeping the dog’s head in a firm but gentle grip, take hold of the base of the ear and massage it. Pull the ear gently up and away from the head in a circular motion so that the rinse gets into the canal for 20 to 30 seconds. This will help break up and dissolve the wax in the ear canal.
Release the dog’s head and get the dog to shake it. Once they've done this, use the cotton wool pads to mop whatever is left on the ear flap and in the upper areas of the canal.
Remember that if your dog is not used to this process, it may take some time to get them comfortable with it. Make sure you give your pooch lots of cuddles, praise and a few healthy treats to ease him/ her into it. If your pooch is not interested in staying still and playing ball then opt for a gradual easing into it and going a bit further each time you do it so that they don't get too anxious.
For more information on how to clean your dog's ears and other key grooming tips, download our free Grooming Guide.