Ear infections are among the top reasons behind most vet visits. This is according to Nationwide Pet Insurance’s research that was conducted in 2016. This means that as a dog owner, it is also your responsibility to take good care of your dog’s ears.
Ear health care normally includes cleaning and frequent inspections for irregularities. Dog ear cleaning should be done as often as possible so as to prevent ear under-cleaning. However, ear cleaning shouldn’t be done all too often so as not to compromise the benefits of having a fair amount of ear wax in your dog’s ears.
How often should I clean my dog’s ears?
There’s no definite answer to this as the answer depends on certain factors like your dog’s breed, coat, activities, wax production, and humidity. If your dog’s ears are “normal”, ear cleaning could be done at least once a month. However, even more frequent cleaning is required if your dog is prone to ear infections, or if he belongs to any of the dog breeds with a high susceptibility to ear problems.
Dogs who are overly active and are exposed to the dirt should also be subjected to more frequent ear cleanings. Cleaning frequency is crucial in maintaining your dog’s ears. Over-cleaning may result in an unhealthy amount of earwax in your dog’s ears, thereby exposing the delicate ear skin canals to possible irritants. On the other hand, under cleaning may also cause yeast and bacteria build-up within the ears. Too much yeast and bacteria could potentially lead to ear infections.
If you’re still unsure of how frequent should you clean your dog’s ears, refer to this for starters: “Clean when you see that your dog’s ears are already ‘dirty’”. Alternatively, you may also ask for advice from your trusted veterinarian to clarify the exact dates for regular dog ear cleaning at home.
How to clean your dog’s ears
Conduct a thorough checking of your dog’s ears for possible conditions – preferably after every outdoor play session or during bath time. Normally, wiping the outer ear flaps with cotton balls soaked in dog ear cleanser usually works. However, ear flushing would also be nice if there’s too much buildup of dirt and wax on the outer ear.
When is it not advisable to clean my dog’s ears?
Prior to ear cleaning, it is important to have the dog’s ears checked for ear infections. If you suspect your dog is suffering from an ear infection, you might think that ear cleaning could make your dog’s condition better. Unfortunately, it will not so do not attempt to clean your dog’s ears by yourself if you think your dog has an ear infection. If you do so, you might risk getting the infection worse.
Ear infection could be characterized by odor coming from the dog’s ears, unusual ear discharge, and redness and/or swelling of ears. Dogs who “ear snap” and who are overly sensitive when their ears are touched could be suffering from ear infection as well. Of course, still, the best thing you could do about this is to consult your trusted vet for medical advice.