I can teach you how to clean dogs’ ears in a way that’s simple and stress-free!
Do your dog’s ears smell or are her ears very waxy? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, you’ll need to learn how to clean dogs’ ears. Don’t be too shy. Cleaning a dog’s ears is a lot like cleaning your own ears. The key is to be gentle. If your dog develops an issue where she needs serious cleaning in her inner ear, your vet should be handling this, not you. If you don’t clean your dog’s ears correctly or are too rough, you may cause serious damage to your dog’s hearing.
The first thing to keep in mind when learning how to clean dogs’ ears is that they are a sensitive body part. If your dog is not used to you handling her ears, start off slowly. Be calm when approaching and pet her ears gently on the outsides and even a little on the inside. I say this about everything that involves training, but invest in some treats! Dogs crave positive reinforcement. If you reward us with treats during training, we’ll be more attentive and excited about what you’re trying to teach us.
After you’ve moved on from the petting stage, you’re ready to begin. First, make sure you have the correct tools. I recommend a washcloth, cotton balls, and ear rinse. Just be sure when you purchase ear rinse that it is safe for dogs. You might want to call your veterinarian’s office before shopping to ask what they recommend. You want to make sure that the product contains no toxic ingredients. You’ll always want a brand that doesn’t include alcohol so that it won’t dry out your dog’s ears.
Two things I should mention that you’ll have to make your own mind up about. I’ve heard that some veterinarians don’t recommend using cotton swabs (like the one in the picture above) in your dog’s ears. They probably are worried you’ll put too much pressure or go too deep into your dog’s ears. I’ve had my ears cleaned with cotton swabs before, and my co-worker swears by them because her tiny dog’s ears are too small to use a cotton ball. Her recommendation is to just touch the cotton swab to the inner ear very lightly. But when in doubt, we always trust our veterinarian’s opinion over anyone’s advice.
The next thing you might want to consider is using apple cider vinegar as the ear rinse for your dog. I’ve heard that many people recommend it because it is a natural product, and it will not harm your dog. None of us in the office use it, so we can’t give you our opinion, but it might be a natural, and cost-effective option you can discuss with your pet vet.
Once you are ready to begin, gather all of your tools, your treats (that’s the most important part), and your dog. Start by petting her ear, and gently run a damp washcloth over the outer and inner area of the ear. If you need to get the inside of your dog’s ear, use a damp cotton ball to cleanse her inner ear. If your dog is overly squirmy throughout the cleaning, you may need to take a break to readjust or calm your pet. Just a reminder, you never want to be too rough or dig too deeply in your dog’s ears. Leave that part up to the professionals, if necessary.
Do you know how to clean dogs’ ears? If you have any more suggestions, please share them in the comments section!
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