Has your dog mastered the art of not listening? Well perhaps there is underlining issue that needs dealt with and a good ear cleaning is in order. Regular weekly ear cleanings are important aspect of your pets care and should not be taken lightly.  Learning to clean your dog’s ear properly is the first step told prevention of discomfort, hearing loss, and ear infections. Ear infections are caused by bacteria that can lurk in the dark corners of your dogs ear canal. Although cleaning your dog-ears may seem like a chore and struggle at times it is VERY important.

Dogs and humans have a lot in common we both get waxy build up in the ears.  Over time if not cleaned the waxy build-up can set the mood for some bacteria & fungal growth leading to ear & fungal yeast infections.  Dogs with floppy ears have a higher risk of getting chronic ear infections. Their ears are warm, dark & moist with little airflow making them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. With that said dogs with floppy ears should be cleaned twice a week.

So what are the signs of an ear infection that all loving owners should be aware of? Redness, swelling, pain, head shaking, frequent ear scratching, thick ear discharge and odor are sure signs. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, seeking the aid of a certified vet is key.

If not treated properly and in a timely fashion the infection can make its way to your dog’s inner ear where he or she can suffer from permanent hearing damage. Even resulting in a dog’s version of vertigo, where your dog is unable to stay balance.

Here are a few helpful steps that will make cleaning your dogs ear an easy task. Make sure to have lots of dog biscuits and praise along the way to ease any discomfort and fears your dog may have. It’s important that you stay calm and upbeat through the entire process. Don’t panic or get upset if your dog does not cooperate, this takes time.  But the squirming, whining and struggle is well worth enduring for your beloved pup and precious ears.

1.    First you will need the proper tools: ear cleaner, cotton balls (or cotton pads), Q-tips and lots of dog’s treats. Best Bully Sticks will surely do the trick and provide lots of chewing joy even after the ear cleaning is all said and done

2.     Warm up the ear cleaner bottle in a bowl of hot water for 5- 7 minutes, shaking the bottle occasionally and replacing the bowl of water with hot water as it cools.  Many dogs hate the thought and feeling of something cold in their ears. So, warming the ear cleaning solution will ease the discomfort and calm your dog.

3.    Sit the dog in a corner of a couch or arm chair and take your position alongside him.  This will help you and your dog maintain a comfortable position and prevent him from squirming out of the chair.

4.    Proceed by dampening a wet cotton ball or cotton pad with the ear cleaning solution and begin wiping the ear gently. Depending on how wet and dirty between the ears Spot is will determine how many cotton balls or pads will fall casualty. Once you have finished one ear move on to the next. Lucky for you and Spot this ear-cleaning regime will remove a lot of ear wax and dirt.

For floppy ear dogs, lift the ear upright so you can see the inside. Make sure the dog’s head is not tilted as you need the cleansing solution to go downward into the ear canal.

Did you know that fur inside a dog’s ear canal makes them more prone to bacteria build-up. If your dog has furry ear canals making it difficult clean, slowly and gently pluck away or trim those dog ear hairs. Don’t worry this is not a painful process.

5.    Then dampen both ends of the several Q-tips with the warm dog-ear solution and begin venturing in the cracks and crevasse and outer portion of your dog-ear to remove the wax.  Keep in mind dog ears are not only sensitive to sound but also touch, so never stick the Q-tip into the ear canal. Only clean the portions of the ear that are visible.

No matter how young or old your dog is they can still reap the rewards of regular proper ear care with gentleness and praise. But as always we do advise that if you have a young pup or thinking about adopting a pup to start them getting use to an ear cleaning regime early. This will surely make them more cooperative and un-afraid through their pup, teen and senior years.