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Do I need to clean my dog’s ears?

Updated on February 18, 2012

Ear infection is one of the common health concerns of dogs. A dog can lose its ability to hear if the serious infection is left untreated. Ear infections can be prevented if the dog’s ears are regularly inspected and cleaned. Does this mean that dog owners need to clean the ears of the pet? Yes.

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When ear cleaning must not be done by the dog owner

Does your dog to excessively shakes its head? Is the ear swollen and reddened? Is there a foul odor emanating from the ears? Does the ear have discharge and excessive build up of ear debris? These are signs of ear infection. In cases such as these, cleaning the ears of the dog must be done by a vet. Infected ears would be painful. The dog will most certainly resist being touched. But more than this concern, attempting to clean an infected ear can cause more damage that can result to permanent hearing disability.

Preparing the dog for the ear cleaning routine

Teaching a dog to tolerate ear cleaning must be started while it is still a puppy. However, this does not mean that older dogs cannot be trained to tolerate an ear cleaning session. The trick is to accustom the dog to being touched in the ears. Touch the dog every opportunity you have. Fondle the ears, examine the inner ear and occasionally lift the ear flap. A dog comfortable to being touched in the ears will not show resistance when ear cleaning time comes.

Why is there a need to clean the dog’s ears?

Ear cleaning is another important aspect of caring for a dog. You are aware that your pet has very sensitive hearing abilities but are you aware too that your dog’s L shaped ear canal has many ridges and grooves? The moist structure of the ears is ideal for infection causing bacteria to grow especially if ear wax and debris are not regularly removed.

How to clean the dog’s ears

Most dogs would only need a once a month ear cleaning but if your dog has floppy ears and it loves water, you need to clean the ears weekly to avoid infection. Cleaning the pet’s ears would be easy but be cautioned against using Q tips to remove ear wax embedded deeply in the ear canal as this can perforate the ear drums. Ear cleaners formulated for dogs can be used. Apply the cleaner the ears generously and massage the ears for a few seconds. The dog will shake its head to remove the excess cleaner along with the ear wax and debris. Remove the remaining dirt inside the ears with a soft cloth or with a cotton ball.

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