How to Clean and Maintain my Dogs Ears at Home?
Cleaning your dog’s ears is an important part of their grooming routine, and it’s something that you can easily do at home! With the right supplies and a little bit of patience, you can keep your pup’s ears clean and healthy.
What products should you use to clean your dogs ears?
There are two main types of ear cleaners, external ear cleansers, and internal ear cleaning solutions.
External ear cleaners can come as a solution, or as pre-soaked wipes for added convenience. To use these products, you will dampen a cotton pad with the product, such as the Yuup! Ear Cleansing Lotion (or simply take your Furrish wipes), and wipe any wax or debris from around the ear canal. These types of cleansers are best used daily to maintain good ear health.
Internal ear cleaners are solutions that are applied directly into the ear canal. They can help to break down wax within the ear and remove debris. For dogs prone to ear problems, or for dogs with droopy ears, this style of cleaner is ideal.
The Virbac Epi-Otic Skin and Ear Cleaner is a great internal ear cleanser with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, alcohol free formula that treats and protects against a wide range of infections, as well as removing wax and buildup within the ear for optimal ear health. For best results, use this product 2-3 times a week.
How to clean your dogs ears with an internal cleaning solution:
First, you’ll need to gather the supplies. You’ll need a bottle of ear cleaning solution, such as Virbac Epi-Otic, and cotton pads.
Next, you’ll want to lift your dogs ear into a vertical position, and apply the product to your dog’s ears. Aim the tip of bottle into the ear canal and squeeze the bottle to apply solution liberally, enabling a flushing action. Without letting go of the ear flap, gently massage the base of the ear, downward and inward in order to disperse the product throughout the ear canal for 1 minute. This will help loosen any dirt and debris that may be stuck in the ear. Then allow the pet to shake its head. Remove the excess fluid and debris with a cotton pad or tissue and also clean the inside of the ear flap. Repeat process until the excess fluid no longer looks dirty.
Once you’re done, you can reward your pup with a treat for their patience!
Do I need to pluck my dogs ears?
Some dog breeds will grow hair inside their ear canal. If this hair is not removed, it will continue to grow and can cause a blockage which can lead to ear infections and temporary hearing loss. Not all breeds will need to have their ears plucked, however many long coated breeds such as, Poodles, Bichons, Labradoodles, Schnauzers and Wheaton Terries will benefit from having their ears plucked regularly.
How to pluck hair from your dogs ears:
To pluck your dogs ears at home, you will need a pair of hemostats, or finger condoms, and some ear powder. Hemostats are long, thin tools used to help you get a firm grip on the hair inside your dog’s ear canal. These come in curved and straight varieties. Ear powder, such as the Dezyna Dog Pluck It Powder, helps to dry out the ear and makes it easier to grip and remove the hair.
Before you begin plucking your dogs ear, its important to check their ears to ensure they are in good health. If the ear is completely blocked or has a strange odour, it's important you have this checked by your vet first. Once the ears are in good shape, you can begin maintaining your dogs ear health at home.
Once you are ready to pluck your dogs ears, get your dog, ear powder and hemostats. Start by spreading open the ear so you have a good view of your dogs ear canal. Sprinkle some plucking powder onto the ear canal and work this into the hair with your fingers to absorb any moisture.
Gently insert the hemostats into the ear canal and grab a small section of hair at a time. To remove the hair, you want to twist and gently pull straight up. Be sure to be gentle, as the ear canal is very sensitive. Hair that is ready for removal should have almost no resistance. If you have to apply force to remove the hair, the hair is not ready and should be left. You only want to remove the visible hair, and avoid going too deep into your dogs ears. Once you have removed as much of the visible hair as possible, you can use finger condoms and a small amount of ear powder to pluck out any remaining hair.
Once your done, you can gently clean around the ear using an ear cleanser or ear wipe, and reward your pup for their patience!
Watch this video for a great demonstration of ear plucking and cleaning from Andis Ambasador Gabriel Feitosa, featuring the Andis Vida: