Ear cleaning is an essential part of keeping your dog clean. Knowing how to clean dogs ears is a guaranteed way to prevent dog ear infections, which are dominant infections in dogs.
Different dog breeds are prone to ear infections to varying degree. Hence it is important to understand your dog breed well to know how to prevent painful bacterial and fungal infections of the dog ear.
Dog’s Ear Structure
Before we move to explaining how to clean dogs ears, it is quite important to understand the anatomy of the dog ear. Below is what you need to know about the dog’s ear.
- Pinna: This is the most visible part of the ear. It is the outside flap of the ear that you always have contact with every time you get to see your dog. The pinna differs in dog as there are dogs that have it flop while others have it straight. Dogs that have floppy ears allow lesser airflow into the dog ear; this is because the flap is covering the ear completely. The difference in the pinna structure of the dogs is a key factor in determining the probability of your dog coming down with ear infection.
- External Canal: Immediately after the ear opening, you find the external canal of the dog ear. The ear is a vertical canal initially and becomes horizontally inclined towards the end. This is the part of the ear where you get to feel the cartilage of the ear – this cartilage is responsible for creating ridges on the surface. Glands that oils and wax into the ear is in this part of the ear.
- Eardrum: This is the site for the tympanic membrane which is responsible for protecting the middle and inner ear. Aside from protecting the middle ear and the inner ear, this part of the ear also shoulders the responsibility of vibrating in response to sound waves and aid hearing. It is a very important cog in the anatomy of the dog ear that must not be tempered with.
- Middle and Inner Ear: Just after the eardrum lie the middle ear and then the inner ear. These are the points where most, if not all, of the delicate structures that deal with hearing and balancing is located. In other word, it is the most important part of the ear and any damage to these parts of the ear can lead to permanent loss of hearing and balancing.
Now that you know the structure of the dog ear, it is high time you knew the core concept that makes cleaning a dog ear important. That is, why exactly do you have to clean your dogs ear regularly?
Importance Of Cleaning Dog Ears
The external canal is the most vital part of your dog’s ear. It needs thorough cleaning at regular intervals. In any case you need to be careful when operating around the sensitive dog ear.
One of the causes of ear infection is lack of airflow in the right quantity and quality into the ear. What this does to the ear is to increase the rate at which it can have ear infections. This is why dogs with floppy outer ear are more prone to ear infections than breeds with a regular straight outer ear.
Basset Hounds, for example, have excessive glands in the external canal of their ears. This often leads to over secretion in the ear, which cumulates to form debris. One of the most common cause for ear infections in dogs.
Bacteria and fungi are the other factors that improve the chances of your dog coming up with ear infection. The more the bacteria in the ear, the higher the risk of getting the infection, because the infection is in line with excess bacteria presence in the ear.
How do you now conquer all these problems without breaking the bank?
This is where dog ear cleaning comes in! The main point of cleaning the ear is to:
- Keep it clean,
- Remove the debris in the ear completely,
- Mitigate the growth of bacteria and fungi in the ear, and
- Keep the ear as dry as possible.
These are the main importance of cleaning the dog ears at regular intervals. The use of the right cleanser and other cleaning materials will make it easier and more effective.
It is very important to be prepared with the right tools and equipment before starting the process. These include:
Ear Cleanser: A quality natural ear cleaner is the best. Do not be lure into buying ear cleaning solution that has hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in it. These ingredients can cause irritation and are generally more aggressive toward your dog’s skin and ear debris.
Cotton Balls or Gauze: These are important as they are used to wipe and clean the dirt in the external canal.
How To Clean Dogs Ears
First, soak the cotton balls with your chosen ear cleaner solution (for example the Rockwell Pets Pro Natural Ear Cleaner). Hold the ears flap firmly (for floppy ears) and carefully clean the inside of the flap. Once this is done, it is time to use a new cotton ball to carefully wipe the external canal of the ear. Apply a small amount of the ear cleaning solution for best results.
Use the cotton balls coupled with your finger to wipe out the dirt from the ear canal. Your finger should only go as far as you can see or as far as the dog feels comfortable with. Please be careful to follow this instruction to avoid damaging the sensitive ear of your dog.
Then, gently massage the base of the ear. This is the part where the ear cartilage is located, it is very close to the jaw. Once you have thoroughly massaged this part, you will hear a snacking sound. The ear wax loosens and detaches from the ear debris. The massage allows the natural cleanser to access the ridges in the canal and further loosen the debris. Often this has has accumulated for a long time and is more difficult to extract. Few seconds of massage should be sufficient for regular dirt. You will need to do more if you know that the ear is very dirty. In general, you should assess the situation before starting the cleaning process to adapt accordingly.
Please be very careful with the applicator, so that you do not end up damaging the eardrum.
It is very possible that you will need to repeat the process as there might still be dirt in the dog ear. Do not be surprised, this it is very normal. Just start again from the beginning and follow the individual steps. It is also common that he shakes his head after procedure.
ATTENTION: Under no circumstances use cotton swabs to clean the ear. The applicator can condense the ear wax and seriously damage the eardrum of your dog.
You might also be interested in leaning more about How To Cure Dog Ear Infection.
Please also visit the Shop to learn more about the Rockwell Pets Pro Natural Ear Cleaner.
Now up to you! What is your experience with cleaning your dogs ears? Comment below.