Short, pointy, floppy, folded, or fluffy dog ears come in all kinds of beautiful! But with great beauty comes great responsibility. Keeping those adorable ears healthy and clean is a vital part of doggy care.
Veterinarians say one of the most common reasons for a visit is ear infections and complications. The best way to avoid these frequent vet trips is to give your dog a good ear-cleaning at home.
TruDog's BOOST ME is a freeze-dried, versatile supplement that contains simple ingredients packed with powerful nutrition.
21 Breeds With The Highest Risk Of Ear Infection
Everyone loves those funny floppy ears! What many people don’t know is that floppy ears, or ears where the outer ear folds over the ear canal, are at most risk for ear infection. If your dog is one of the following breeds, or a mix of the following, they will be more prone to ear infections than other breeds and need to be given extra care.
- Afghan Hound
- Basset Hound
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Cocker Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Great Dane
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Saint Bernard
- Shih Tzu
- Springer Spaniel
Remember, even if your dog isn’t one of the ones on the list, it’s still a good idea to check their ears frequently, and talk with your vet to find the most suitable ear care for your pup.
How Often Should I Be Cleaning My Dog’s Ears?
Cleaning ears too frequently is actually just as dangerous as not cleaning them at all. Your dog needs a healthy amount of ear wax in order to keep the ear canals lubricated and protected from infection.
So how much cleaning is the right amount? Unfortunately, the answer varies depending on your dog’s breed, coat, wax productions, activity level, and even the humidity. The bottom line is, you want to clean out your dog’s ears whenever they’re dirty. If your dog is prone to ear infections, or tends to swim or roll in the dirt frequently, it is most likely that you will need to clean out your dog’s ears weekly, or even daily. Otherwise, your dog may only need a cleaning once a month.
For a simple and easy ear cleaning solution, check out Clear Me: a natural, safe and effective ear cleaner for all breeds of dogs.
Should I Do A Quick Cleanse, Or A Full Flush?
Your dog’s ears won’t need to be fully flushed or deeply cleaned each time. Check the ears frequently, especially after a particularly adventurous, vigorous, or dirty outing. Most of the time your dog will just need a small amount of veterinarian approved cleanser and a simple wipe with a cotton swab on the pinna, or the outer part of the ear.
To check if your dog needs a more thorough flushing, gently lift the pinna to look down into the ear canal. If you can see dirt or debris built up, it’s time for a deeper cleaning of the L-shaped horizontal ear canal.
The most important thing to remember is to NEVER USE A Q-TIP! Using a q-tip on your dog’s ear is very dangerous because there is a risk of damaging the vertical ear canal, which can lead to further complications. Cotton swabs are sufficient for at-home cleaning. Leave the q-tips to your veterinarian.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has An Ear Infection?
If your dog has an ear infection, it’s best to keep the swabs and cleanser away from the ear until your vet can have a look and give you further instructions. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s time to visit your vet.
- Sensitivity or pain when you touch the ears
- Violent head shaking or “ear snapping”
- Pus or blood
- Redness or swelling
- Odor from the ears
- Frequent scratching, pawing, or rubbing the ears
A Smile From Ear To Ear!
Ear care should be a positive experience for you and your dog! Make sure you are aware of any possible risks, and be sure to keep your vet in the know as well. As for your pooch, be sure to give lots of praise any time you clean out the ears. You want at-home cleaning to be as enjoyable as possible so that it runs smoothly for everyone.