Along with training your dog to make sure they are obedient and well-behaved, it’s also very important to keep them as healthy and happy as possible. One of the areas on a dog that can succumb to the most problems is their ears. Since the structure of a dog’s ear is a spiral it has many crevices where bacteria can easily build up, which can lead to infections from trapped debris. As such, ear care for dogs is important - and yet is not commonly known.
Depending on the breed, you may have a dog with large floppy ears, dogs that love water or even active dogs that like to play rough and tumble in outdoor areas. These traits can lead to ear problems, but some breeds are also more susceptible to having issues so it’s worth keeping a close eye on them.
If you feel like your dog or puppy is struggling with their ears, then use the following advice to give them a proper clean, and relieve your poor pooch from pesky irritation.
Watch for warning signs and symptoms
The most obvious sign of ear problems is your dog scratching a lot, to the point where the skin around their ear or ears is red and sore. It can even be so painful that they let out yelps of pain. In these instances, you know for sure that your dog has an itchy ear, or potentially an infection.
Symptoms of an infection consist of:
- Crusty skin
- Bad smells
- Hair loss
General cleaning of your dog’s ears is completely fine, but if symptoms get any worse than just redness or crusty skin, then take them straight in to see the Vet. Potentially they will need antibiotics or ear drops to clear up a bad infection so if in any doubt, book in straight away.
What to use when cleaning your dog’s ears
In the first instance, if your dog is not in excessive pain, you can attempt to clean your dog’s ears if they seem to be irritated by them. Remember to use a proper dog ear rinse that contains no antibiotics, alcohol or steroids, as these can potentially harm your dog rather than make them better. Rather than ear buds that could potentially hurt your dog’s ears, try using cotton wool balls instead.
How to clean your dog’s ear
When cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure to keep your hands clean or use gloves so not to make their ear problem worse. Clean around the ear with one cotton wool ball, and use another ball for the inner ear, but if you meet any resistance inside the dog’s ear, do not go any further. Try to remove any debris and de-tangle any hair that could potentially cause issues down the line
For more tips on maintaining your dog's health and hygiene, check out our guide here.