Some dogs need to have their ears cleaned more often than others. The right solution and tools can make this job a lot easier for both dog and dog parent. Cleaning ears the right way is easy, but doing it the wrong way can be harmful to your dog’s health. Here are some tips for finding a good all-purpose cleaning solution and how to use it safely.
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent any ear problems, here is the best dog food for ear infection.
- Look for a Natural Product for Frequent Use
- Medicated Solutions are not Always Necessary
- Use Cotton Balls, Not Q-Tips
- Don’t Overuse
- Limit Time Spent in Water
- Create a Routine
- Always be Cautious with DIY Ear Cleaners
Look for a Natural Product for Frequent Use
Ears are sensitive and dogs don’t like to have them messed with unless they are getting them rubbed or scratched in a pleasant and loving way. An ear cleaner that has mild ingredients is all that is generally needed. If your dog needs ear cleanings more frequently than the average dog then a mild formula is key to avoiding irritation.
Medicated Solutions are not Always Necessary
Some solutions are medicated to treat mites and ear infections or other problems. Your dog may be fine with just a very mild solution but at the same time, the medicated versions can help prevent fungal and bacterial issues from occurring as readily.
Use Cotton Balls, Not Q-Tips
Q-tips may be able to reach in a lot of small spaces but this is also why you don’t want them in your dog’s ear. If a dog jerks their head or you stick it in a bit too far, you can cause pain and injury to your dog. Cotton balls or rags are fine. You should never use something that is very pointy or rigid, including your fingers.
Dynarex Cotton Ball Large, Non-Sterile, 1000 Count
MOST EFFECTIVE DOG EAR CLEANING KIT – Mister Ben’s Original Ear Tonic & Wash w/Aloe – Provides FAST RELIEF from Dog Ear Infections, Irritations, Itching, Odors, Bacteria, Mites, Fungus & Yeast
This ear cleaner and medicated drop combo takes care of a variety of ear concerns. The cleaner is good for general care while the medicated drops can be used when extra protection or treatment is needed. For a dog with yeasty ears, this long-lasting solution can make them a happier pooch. Witch hazel, cold pressed aloe, boric acid, vinegar, iodine, and alcohol provide soothing and effective relief of yeasty ears, mites, irritation, and other issues.
If your dog has a legitimate ear condition then you may need to use an ear solution more often or use a specialized one. Regular dogs usually don’t need their ears cleaned more than once every few weeks. Of course, if your dog gets dirt and debris in them or injures their ear you can use ear solution to help improve the cleanliness of the ear.
Too much cleaning can irritate sensitive skin and cause dryness and flaking. Keeping your pooch clean is admirable but dirt is part of dog ownership.
Keep your Dog as Calm as Possible
If you have just had a frustrating experience with your dog then that is not the best time to get out your ear cleaning kit. Clean ears when your dog is as relaxed as possible and there are no strangers or loud kids around. It is better to wait an extra day if it means having a calm dog.
Doggie Dailies Pet Ear Cleaner Plus Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel & Soothing Aloe, Vet Formulated Ear Drops for Dogs & Cats, Gently Removes Wax & Debris, Reduces Odor, and Helps Prevent Mites & Infections
This budget friendly dog ear cleaner contains tea tree oil, witch hazel, and aloe to soothe, calm, treat, and prevent ear irritations. A fresh baby powder scent means no more smelly ears to deal with.
After cleaning your dog’s ears give them a treat and take them for a walk. A little tasty treat and affection will help them realize that ear cleaning time is not all bad.
Watch out for Signs of Allergies or Irritation with New Products
Some dogs have greater sensitivities than others to some ingredients and products. Check out your dog a few hours after using a new solution and see if anything looks amiss. Stop using if irritation is great and talk to your vet.
Burts Bees Ear Cleaning Solution for Dogs
Burt’s Bees fans will be happy to know that there is a dog ear cleaner for them. Using a formula of peppermint, tea tree oil, and witch hazel, this easy to use ear cleaner will leave ears clean and smelling great. This is gentle enough for frequent use and dogs with very sensitive skin.
Ear Cleaning Solutions are not Always the Answer
While ear cleaning solutions are essential to the health of your dog, they are not antibiotics. If your dog has ear issues, it is important to get them addressed as fast as possible. Inner ear infections can be serious and cause severe pain and loss of balance. If caught early they are usually very easy to treat. Regular ear cleanings are often part of the preventative plan after the initial infection has been cured.
Watch out for Signs of Ear Issues
Dogs that are having ear problems will often scratch at their ears or put their paws on their head. They may whine or make noises. Sometimes this is just a little irritation, or they may have something in their ear. No matter what the cause, you should check it out if your dog is showing signs of distress.
Exercise Caution if an Object is Stuck in your Dog’s Ear.
While a small thorn or something of that nature may be easy to remove from your dog’s ear on your own, you need to be careful about removing anything big. Removal of any large or heavily embedded objects from your dog’s ear is a task that you should leave to your veteranarian.
Zymox Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent Hydrocortisone, for Dog & Cat, 1.25 oz
Hydrocortisone-based ear cleaners can help if your dog has irritated and inflamed ears. The hydrocortisone relieves itchiness so your dog is far less likely to paw at their ears or cause sores from scratching too much.
Natural Prevention And Remedies
Coconut oil and tea tree oil can be melted together and a few drops applied to each ear. Both of these oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
1 part white vinegar added to 1 part water is a practical ear cleaning solution for dogs.
1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water is also effective. It is best to mix a fresh batch each time you clean your dog’s ears since hydrogen peroxide can break down over time.
Limit Time Spent in Water
If your dog is prone to ear issues, then too much time spent with wet ears can be a problem. If your dog is hard to keep out of the water then at least try to get them dry ASAP after exposure. Using an antifungal or antibacterial solution after an extended swimming session can also help dogs that like to be active in the water. Dogs with floppy ears that retain moisture are the most at risk for water-related ear issues.
Create a Routine
Periodically looking over your dog’s ears can help you recognize signs of irritation or even see mites if they are present. Just take a peek when you are petting your pooch, and they will just think it is part of the petting!
Always be Cautious with DIY Ear Cleaners
Tea tree oil and other ingredients you may want to add in can be harmful in large doses. Double check recipes for safety and when in doubt ask your veterinarian. Pre-made solutions are affordable, so it might be worth considering buying a product that is mixed for you.
PPP Pet Aroma Care 100 Count Ear Wipes
If you want a simple solution that is space efficient and cost effective then you might want to consider these pre-soaked wipes. Just wipe the inside of your dog’s ear and toss. No cotton balls or anything else needed!
Cleaning a Puppy’s Ears for the First Time
When it comes to cleaning a puppy’s ears the same rules apply as with an older dog, but you may need to have a little help. Having another person distract and pet your puppy while you wipe out their ears is a good method to use, especially the first time. You want the experience to be as pleasant as possible so they don’t dread having it done a second time.
Scout hopes you are now better prepared to keep your dog’s ears clean and treat irritations. Rememeber to have all your products and tools right where you need them and take your time. With practice, ear cleaning will be easy!