Listen up! Thorough and regular ear cleaning and maintenance can help your dog avoid ear problems and infections. Also it will help you familiarize yourself with your dog’s ears so you can recognize abnormalities. But many dogs dread getting their ears cleaned, making it difficult for you. Here are a few tips to make the ear cleaning experience a positive one for you both!

1. Trim or gently pluck hair inside dog’s ears. Some dog breeds have a great deal of hair inside their ears. Begin by plucking or trimming the hair inside the dog’s ears to improve air flow and visibility while cleaning the dog’s ears. It is generally not painful to pluck a dog’s ear hair, but pluck small bunches of hair at a time to avoid discomfort.

2. Apply ear cleaning solution to a cotton ball or Q-tip. To make the actual ear cleaning process quicker, begin by moistening several cotton balls/cotton pads and several Q-tips.

3. Wipe away ear wax and build up. Using the damp cotton pad or cotton ball, gently wipe away the dog’s ear build-up and ear wax. This will remove large portions of  ear gunk.

4. Clean the nooks and crannies of your dog ear gently with a Q-tip. To get in all those little nooks and crannies of the dog’s ear, use the damp Q-tips to clean away any remaining visible ear wax and ear build-up. Only clean the parts of the ear that are visible –  DO NOT stick the Q-tip down the dogs ear canal, which can damage your dog’s ear and hearing.

shutterstock_942890685. Give the dog a treat! Reward your dog with a treat for good behavior during and at the end of the ear cleaning process. Positive reinforcement with treats and a kind, encouraging voice will make for a positive experience for your pup.

6. REPEAT ear cleaning once a week. Regular ear cleanings are vital to prevent ear infections in dogs. This also enables pet owners to spot an infection and act quickly if the dog does develop an ear infection.

**If your dog has floppy ears then you will need to clean them more often due to poor air circulation, which can serve as the breeding grounds for ear infections.

***Ease your dog into ear cleaning by gently massaging their ears and rewarding with treat. Then once they are used to their ears being touched, attempt an ear cleaning.

What are signs your dog needs a to see a vet? If your dog is scratching ears constantly, ears are smelly & odorous, red or inflamed,  or if your dog is constantly shaking his head, seek vet assistance to rule our existing ear infection or other ear problem.