Dogs can get really dirty, especially in their ears. Depending on the breed, a dog can produce a large buildup of earwax which will start to irritate them. The only things more irritating to them than an itch that can’t reach with their paws, are the vet and getting groomed. If you train your dog well enough, cleaning their ears should be a quick and painless experience. If you are unsure, make sure you have help if you need it.
First things first. A dog’s ears are sensitive. That’s why they howl so loud when they hear a dog whistle. Remember to be gentle. It shouldn’t hurt your dog to clean out their ears. If it does, stop the cleaning and seek the advice of your vet. Warning signs of ear problems include a red, swollen, or foul smelling ear, discharge, or scratching in the area.
The most recommended way to clean is through the use of cotton balls and an ear cleaning solution. These solutions can be picked up at your local pet supplies store or make one yourself.
If your dog is fidgeting, have someone gently secure your dog’s head, so they do not move. Make sure to reassure your dog that everything’s fine. Next, gently hold the ear flap up in order to fully expose the ear canal. Drop the recommended amount of solution into the ear. It should only be a few drops depending on your dog’s ear size. Do not overfill the ear cavity.
Take your fingers and gently massage around the outside of the ear canal. It is okay if you hear the solution moving around. It is breaking down the ear wax. After about 20-30 seconds, let your dog shake out the excess. To remove any remaining solution and earwax, gently take a cotton ball and swipe away the excess. If there is stubborn wax, you may want to insert the cotton ball in the canal and gently massage it once more. It is not recommended to use a cotton swab or any other such object because a slip of the hand can cause serious damage to your dog.
Be sure to reassure your dog when it’s over. Give them a treat, so they know that next time you clean their ears, it will be okay.