Ear Care Routine
Taking care of your dog’s ears
Taking care of your dog’s ears is rather low maintenance, but necessary his whole life. So in case you just homed a puppy accustom him from the very beginning to get touched by the ears and to tolerate that little investigation. Does your dog refuse to tolerate the ear care at all? Just have a read of 8 easy steps to make your dog tolerating ear care.
Why should you do ear care regularly? Let’s have a look at the canine anatomy: a dog’s outer ear is designed very twisty and curvy which is an excellent place for parasites, bacteria and yeast to hide and thrive. If they once managed to get in the canal, it’s hard to work their way up again, they rather slip deeper into the canal which makes an ear infection possible to emerge. Dogs with floppy ears are more likely to suffer from that. Your dog can’t clean his ears himself, he needs another dog friend or you to help him with that.
6 Steps For Your Regularly Ear Care Routine
1. Prepare yourself
Be prepared with clean cotton balls/clean cloth, a proper solution to clean the ears with, like a water-olive-oil solution and a light source to have a chance to actually be able to see something.
2. Wash your hands
Wash your hands properly right before the treatment! You aim to relieve your dog from bacteria etc. not to present him with some of your own.
3. Check the ear
Gently expose the whole outer ear with one hand (you want your other do the cleaning) and check if your dog’s outer ear is dirty. You are looking for brown and blackish debris.
4. Clean it gently
Clean the outer ear gently by wiping it out with a cotton ball or some clean clothes. Soak it with some water-olive-oil solution to effect a smoother wipe. Always wipe in the direction from inward to outward, you want to remove the dirt from the ear, not push it closer to the inner ear. Take your time, give your dog a break when he needs one. TIPP: My dog always wanted to have a sniff on his possessing, after that he agreed to the next wipe – fair enough.
If you’re unsure how to wipe the outer ear, just ask your vet for a demonstration, he or she will be glad you’re asking.
5. Don’t touch the inner ear
You don’t want to clean your dog’s ears too deeply and please never insert anything (like a cotton stick) into your dog’s ears. Don’t try to clean the inner ear yourself: in case you recognise some dirt in the inner ear, please check with your vet.
6. Reward & wash your hands again
When you’re done cleaning, tell him what a good boy/girl he/she is, give him/her some rewarding words for letting you do that. Then again, wash your hands. Please do likewise when giving ear care to more than one dog in one session, you want to avoid passing on bacterias from one dog to another. Make sure to dispose of the wipes directly after ending the procedure.
If you recognize one of the following things in your dog’s ears, please contact your vet to get it checked. Reasons to contact your vet are:
- Redness / swelling
- Bad smell
- Ear discharge
- Hair loss / crusty skin
And of course please contact your vet when you are unsure if you’re having a bad situation or not. Just explain your worries to him and he will clarify the situation which enables you to correctly estimate the same circumstances in the future.
Concluding tip: Talk to your dog. When you clean his ears, just talk to him in a calm voice about what you are doing. “Uh here is some dirt and in this little twist as well, gonna remove that from your ear, mate.” Of course, he won’t understand your words as such, but he picks up your low level of energy, realises that you’re taking care of him and relaxes more during the ear care routine.
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Angelina Marina Behrendt
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