Knowing how to clean your pet’s ears is very important. Animals can develop ear infections just like humans. In addition, things in the environment such as pollen and dirt can aggravate their ears.
Why Clean Your Pets Ears?
Ears are a part of the body that needs regular care. In both dogs and cats the ears can be sensitive to both environmental and food allergies.
Ear infections are painful and something you want to try to prevent. Cleaning your pet’s ears will help them get rid of dirt and wax buildup in the ears.
Are Some Breeds More Prone to Ear Problems?
Yes, dogs with floppy ears, ones that lay flat, or are hairy are more prone to ear irritation. Dirt and moisture can get trapped in the ears causing an infection.
Any breed may develop ear problems but spaniels, sheepdogs, retrievers, pit bulls and poodles may be more prone to them.
Symptoms of Ear Infection
- Scratching at ears
- Rubbing ears on hard surfaces
- Shaking head
- Yeasty smell or redness in ears
Call your vet if you suspect an ear infection.
How Often Should You Clean Your Pets Ears?
Dr Glaza recommends that you clean your animals ears weekly if you have dogs prone to ear infections. Daily if your dog has a disease or trying to hit a minor infection before it becomes bad.
Steps to Cleaning Your Dogs Ears?
Have your animal comfortable with you touching their ears.
Read our blog Come, Sit, Stay, to learn more about basic training techniques
Clean ears in a small room such as a bathroom that provides easy cleanup and the animal will feel like they can’t run off.
Have the ear cleaner at room temperature
Position a larger dog between your legs, A smaller dog or cat can be held securely on the floor or on you lap. An assistant is always helpful.
Hold the outer ear flap up and backwards to open up their ear canal. Fill the ear canal with ear cleanser.
Gently massage for thirty seconds, the outside of the ear along the base to work the cleanser into the ear. This will also help to dislodge excess ear wax and dirt.
Use a soft cloth to remove debris that has come to the surface
Never stick things down in your pet’s ear! This could be harmful and cause the pet pain.
Allow the ear cleaner to work things out of the ear so you can wipe them away.
If you notice any swelling, redness or your pet exhibits pain contact your veterinarian.
Cleaning Cats Ears
Ear cleaning is not usually needed in cats as they tend to self-clean more. However, some cats may be prone to wax buildup and ear infections. Talk to your veterinarian if your cat is having ear problems.
Its important to use a cleaner made for cats. Things like hydrogen peroxide can cause additional problems and irritation.
Don’t stick Q-Tips in a cat’s ear. Their ear canal is short, and you risk puncturing the ear drum.
Follow the same steps as you would for cleaning a dog’s ear.
Proper ear care is important. Give us a call if you have any questions, want to purchase ear cleaner, or schedule an appointment. 859-472-4141
Author, Ame Vanorio, does our media outreach and is the director of Fox Run Environmental Education Center.