If you have a dog, you’ve probably realized that their ears need to be cleaned every now and then. However, cleaning your dog’s ears at home can be tricky, and it may take a little trial and error to get it right. So, what’s the best way to go about this project?
In the article below, we’ll help you learn more about cleaning your dog’s ears appropriately. You can use this guide to find out more about the right steps to take to complete this task, and to learn more about safety when cleaning your dog’s ears, too.
Get the Right Materials
First, you’ll need to stock up on all the materials you need and assemble them in the bathroom or another good working space. You will need a towel, some cotton balls, and ear cleaning solution that is safe for use by dogs. You can find this type of solution at the pet store, or you can purchase it directly from your veterinarian.
Once you’ve got everything you need, set up the space and then walk away for a little while. This way, your dog will be less likely to associate the presence of these items with having their ears cleaned out.
Choose High-Value Treats
Dogs typically do not like to get liquid in their ears, and your dog may be uncomfortable with you cleaning their ears like this. However, this type of ear hygiene is necessary for your dog’s health and wellness. To encourage them to allow you to clean their ears, choose high value treats and keep them handy while you work.
After each step of the process, give your dog a treat or two and encourage them to settle down again before continuing. This slow but steady method with lots of rewards for good behavior will make the experience easier for you both.
Squeeze in the Solution
When your dog has settled in the space where you’re planning to work, gently open one of their ears (unfolding it if necessary) and insert the applicator tip of the solution into the canal. Do not put the tip too far into the canal.
Next, squeeze a little bit of the solution down into your dog’s ear. They will likely not like this feeling and will probably try to pull away from you, but it is important to get enough of the solution in before you continue to the next step. Do not let them shake their head just yet.
Massage the Ear Canal
Before your dog has a chance to shake their head and remove the ear cleaning solution, massage the ear canal to ensure enough of the solution gets down into the ear. You can do this by rubbing the base of your dog’s ear gently, squishing it a bit to get the solution everywhere it needs to be.
Typically, dogs will settle down for this part because it feels better and provides some relief from the sensation of the liquid. However, your pet may still need some treats to get through this stage.
Wipe the Ear
Let your dog shake their head after you’ve had a chance to massage the ear canal. Use the towel you brought with you to clean up any messes from the head shaking. After this, it’s time to wipe down the ear and remove any excess fluid that is still present from the cleaning.
Using a clean cotton ball for each ear, carefully wipe out the solution that is still on the shell of the ear. You may need to dip the cotton ball down into the canal just a little bit but be careful to work slowly and never press the cotton down into your dog’s ear with any force.
Don’t Go Too Deep
It is important to remember not to insert the applicator for your dog’s ear cleaning solution too far down into the ear. This can cause damage and may increase bacteria as well.
Never put the applicator tip in further than a knuckle on your fingers. Keep this tip in mind when deciding how far to swab the cotton ball after you’re finished, too. This way, you’ll prevent damage to the dog’s inner ear.
Birch Lake Animal Hospital Can Help
Were you able to learn something useful about cleaning your dog’s ears? This guide should give you the basics you need to know about taking care of your pet’s ear hygiene. However, if you need more assistance, you can always ask your vet to demonstrate for you. If you are unable to clean your dog’s ears yourself for any reason, call your Birch Lake Animal Hospital vet at (651) 426-2246 or book an appointment online.
About Birch Lake Animal Hospital
The staff at Birch Lake Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical care for our highly-valued patients and clients.