How to clean your dog's ears

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You’ve probably heard different advice on cleaning your dog’s ears, so how do you know which advice to follow? Veterinarian Dr Nick Wonders explains how to keep your pooch’s ears clean and healthy.

Good grooming habits

It's best to get into the habit of introducing a normal grooming routine, including a bath, brushing, clipping, and so on. The regularity and specifics are entirely dependent upon the age and breed of the dog. Make sure you check your dog’s ears for any redness, discharge or odour as a regular part of your grooming routine.

Breeds prone to ear infections

Those of you with Cocker Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles, or any floppy or droopy-eared dog breed may have suspected that these breeds were predisposed to ear disease. Certain dog breeds are predisposed to ear infections due to the long-convoluted ear canals they are born with, their anatomy prevents the ear from being regularly ventilated, allowing for moisture to become trapped and the development of infection. Throw in an allergy or two, and a dog who likes the water, and you are well on your way to having a pooch that requires regular ear maintenance and cleaning.

Ear problems aren’t only confined to those breeds with longer floppy ears, you may have a pet prone to allergies or one who likes to swim. Ear health varies substantially, depending on your dog’s breed, age, behavior, and health status.

How to keep your dog's ears clean and healthy:

  • Regularly check your dog’s ears for exudate (fluid), offensive smells, pain, swelling and so on. These can all be indications of an ear infection or disease, and the sooner you detect the problem, the quicker you can get it under control.
  • Use an ear cleaner like PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner and some cotton wool balls  if you see any mild grease or discharge or if you have a pup that regularly gets ear infections. Try to avoid excessive ear cleaning, as it can become irritating, particularly if using an ear cleaning solution.
  • When your dog goes to their local groomer, always ask that they carefully examine the ear canal for signs of ear disease
  • When bathing your dog, try to avoid getting water in their ear canal, as this can quickly lead to infections
  • If you notice your dog irritated or seemingly in pain, or you detect an offensive odour or an exudative appearance to the ear canal, go to your veterinary clinic immediately 

Hopefully this answers some of your questions relating to looking after the health of your pooch’s ears. If you need any more advice, please discuss this with your vet at your pet’s next check-up.

Related products:

  • PAW Dermega® Omega 3 & 6 Oral Supplement is specifically designed for skin health. Containing omega fatty acids, PAW Dermega aids in the treatment of allergic and inflammatory dermatological conditions responsive to polyunsaturated fatty acids in dogs.
  • PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner is formulated as a gentle, alcohol and acid-free low irritant alternative for cleaning your pet’s ears.