Dog ears come in a variety of forms and sizes, from floppy to sharp, massive to microscopic, and it’s crucial to maintain them healthy.
Dog ear cleaners are one way to keep track of your dog’s ears, but there are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning and caring for such a delicate part of his body.
We know that keeping our dogs’ ears clean is an important part of their care as pet owners.
Cleaning those ears, on the other hand, can be difficult if our dogs haven’t been trained to accept it or if we don’t feel comfortable doing it.
Some dogs have naturally healthy, clean ears and may not require ear cleaning at all, while others require frequent ear cleaning to avoid dirt accumulation that can lead to ear infections.
Checking the health of your dog’s ears on a regular basis is something you should do.
Ear infections are most common in dog breeds with long hanging ears, such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, but ear infections can occur in any breed.
Ear cleanings should be done more frequently in dogs who are prone to ear infections.
When your dog’s ears are healthy, they may love being touched, but if he jerks away from you, they may be sore. You can assess the condition of their ear by gently massaging the dog’s ears.
What is the Significance of Cleaning Dog Ears?
Ear cleaning is an essential part of your dog’s grooming routine. Some dogs require ear cleaning more frequently than others, and hence more importance should be given to such breeds for healthier ears.
Cleaning a dog’s ear is essential, not due to hygienic purposes. Often, Material can lodge deep within the horizontal canal of the dog’s ear canal. You will not be able to discharge this material without the help of cleaning due to the nature of the ear canal.
If not removed, this material can cause itching and ear infections.
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When Do I Have to Clean My Dog’s Ears?
Check to see if your dog genuinely requires ear cleaning before pulling out the dog ear cleaner.
Over-cleaning your dog’s ears can cause infection and irritation, so get to know what a healthy, clean ear looks like (pink, odorless, and not dirty or inflamed) and smells like (not yeasty or stinky), and clean it only when necessary.
Some dogs require ear cleanings only once in a while, while others, such as those who are prone to ear infections or those who spend a lot of time in the water, may require them more frequently.
In dogs that swim frequently, applying topical astringents and avoiding water from entering the ear canals while bathing to keep the ear canals dry and well ventilated is recommended.
It’s probably time for a cleaning if you notice a mild stench or your dog shaking his head more than normal.
Contact your veterinarian if your dog’s ear appears to be red and inflamed, smells yeasty, or he appears to be in pain.
These signs and symptoms could indicate an ear infection, fleas or ear mites, or allergies, and should be treated by a doctor.
Note: Cleaning an infected ear can sometimes be more harmful than beneficial.
Is it Necessary to use a Dog Ear Cleaner?
It is strongly advised that you use a high-quality dog ear cleaner, as they provide proper assistance during the process.
Cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide or alcohol can irritate the ear canal, particularly if it is inflamed or ulcerated. To help prevent ear infections, some ear cleaners contain antibacterial or antifungal ingredients.
There are different types of Dog ear cleaners in the market, and Some cleaners are also more effective at removing wax build-up while others are more effective during an infection.
Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the best ear cleaning solution for your pet.
What do I need to Clean the Ears of My Dog?
Cleaning your pet’s ears on a regular basis is a simple approach to help prevent painful and expensive ear infections. Many dogs have clogged ears that need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is a straightforward process that you can accomplish at home if you have the correct equipment.
- Ear cleaner
- Cotton balls
- Cotton Swabs
- Exam Gloves (optional)
Because of the risk of perforating the ear drum into the ear canal, do not use cotton tip applicators (Q-tips) or anything with a pointed tip.
Furthermore, employing cotton tip applicators can drive material deeper into the ear canal, causing infections and possibly inflicting harm to the ear’s inner structures.
A word of advice for the wise:
While ear cleaning is simple, it can be messy. If your dog shakes his head vigorously while cleaning his ears, you may want to do so in a bathroom or a room that is easy to clean.
Consult your veterinarian before cleaning your dog’s ears if they are red, inflamed, or painful. It’s possible that your dog has an ear infection or a burst eardrum.
What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?
An ear infection, also known as an external ear canal infection, affects a surprising number of dogs and can be caused by a variety of factors:
- Yeasts live on the surface of the skin and thrive in warm, moist environments, such as the ears.
- Some dogs, particularly those with certain ear designs, are predisposed to ear infections.
- Ears that are particularly floppy or hairy, for example, do not receive as much air circulation.
The Cocker Spaniel is an example of a breed that frequently suffers from ear troubles. However, dog breed isn’t the only consideration.
Ear infections are frequently a symptom of a larger problem, such as allergies. It could be a sign of allergic skin diseases, such as food or environmental allergies.
Polyps, foreign material in the ears, and parasites such as ear mites are some of the less common causes.
It’s important to remember that swimming can cause ear infections in dogs in warm weather environments and seasons. After a swim in the lake or pool, make sure your fur and ears are completely dry.
Is it possible that your ears are getting a little stinky?
It could be an indication that your dog needs to spend some time on dry land.
How to Recognize an Ear Infection in a Dog
Scratching, rubbing ears on the floor, redness, a strong stench coming from the ear, and/or abnormal discharge are all early signs of an ear infection.
If your dog exhibits these behaviors, it’s critical to take them to the vet, as untreated infections can spread to the middle and inner ear, causing serious consequences.
If your dog is sick all over or has a persistent head cold, these could be symptoms of a more serious ear infection, and you should contact your veterinarian immediately soon.
Dog Ear Cleaner Products
There are a lot of homemade dog ear cleaning solutions on the internet. The safest option is to use ear-cleaning products that have been recommended by a veterinarian.
Some components in homemade ear-cleaning remedies are toxic or annoying. Others simply do not do well.
Dog Ear cleaners are available at most veterinarian practices, You can also inquire about which product your veterinarian recommends for your dog, as some solutions may be better suited to your dog’s specific needs than others.
Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears with Hydrogen Peroxide?
No! Use hydrogen peroxide sparingly on your dog.
This common household item has the potential to irritate healthy skin cells. Ears contain extremely delicate tissue, and prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide may result in ear damage.
Use only cleaners that have been recommended by a veterinarian.
What Should a Dog Owner Look for in an Ear Cleaner?
The following are some considerations to make when selecting a dog ear cleaner:
- Select a Veterinary-Approved Option
Although there are many homemade ear-cleaning solution recipes for dogs on the internet, store-bought products are often the safest option because they undergo extensive testing and clearly label ingredients.
Some homemade ear cleaning treatments can be hazardous or irritating to your dog’s ear’s sensitive skin.
- Stick to ear cleaners that are liquid.
Because dogs’ ear canals are long and small, and have a right-angle form, liquid ear cleaning solution is often far more effective than wipes. As a result, wipes can’t reach down into the canal to clean it.
Liquid cleaners are better at dislodging waxy gunk because we can use the force of the shake to just get out all of that debris by squirting it into the canal, massaging the base of the ear, and then letting your dog shake it out.
- Examine the Ingredients
Make sure your dog cleaner doesn’t contain any potentially harmful ingredients. Tea tree oil is one of the most important ingredients to avoid as Dogs can have a variety of negative reactions to it.
The cleaner’s active ingredients will also tell you what it does:
- Antimicrobial like salicylic acid and lactic acid work best at preventing yeast and mild bacterial infections.
- Hydrocortisone is an anti-itch medication.
- Ketoconazole is a type of antifungal medication.
- Take into account your dog’s specific requirements.
Keep in mind that some cleaners are better at removing wax and others at drying an ear after swimming. Some are also medicated to prevent the growth of yeast, bacteria, or fungi in the ear.
If you’re not sure what to get, your veterinarian can discuss what your dog is most at risk for and point you in the right direction.
Do you Need Assistance Selecting a Dog Ear Cleaner for Your Canine Companion?
Below is a list of some of the best dog ear cleaners:
1. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Cleaner
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- Is recommended by many veterinarians.
- It’s “a fantastic all-around product for dogs with chronic ear problems” that’s “backed up by scientific evidence.”
- Helps to maintain the ear’s pH and epidermal barrier while also removing debris.”
- It’s been around for a long time and is safe, gentle, and pleasant to the nose.”
- Has a pleasant citrus aroma.
- It comes in two different bottle sizes.
- For dogs with allergies, sensitive ears, or chronic ear infections, this product is effective.
- Removes waxy debris with ease.
- To dry out the ear canal, it contains a drying agent (salicylic acid).
Consider the following:
- It didn’t work as well for some reviewers’ pets with extremely waxy ears.
- Only the 4oz and 8oz bottle sizes are available.
2. Zymox Ear Cleaner
- Excellent ear cleaner recommended by a number of veterinarians.
- It’s a great over-the-counter option for basic ear cleaning in dogs with healthy ears, and it’s been scientifically proven to remove debris.
- The ear canal is disinfected and cleaned with a proprietary blend of enzymes.
- Infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and yeast are treated.
- It’s gentle enough to use on a regular basis.
- It contains hydrocortisone, a steroid that helps to relieve itching.
Consider the following:
- While it can treat minor infections, speak with your veterinarian first to see if they recommend something stronger for a more serious infection.
- The nozzle on the bottle can come loose, according to some reviewers.
- For dogs who require frequent ear cleanings, hydrocortisone may be too strong.
3. MalAcetic Otic Cleanser
For Bacterial Infections in Dogs, the Best Ear Cleaner
It also has an acetic and boric acid formula that helps to keep the pH of your dog’s ear in check.
- Antimicrobial properties aid in the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections ranging from mild to moderate.
- It’s simple to use.
- Bottles come in three sizes: 4 oz, 8 oz, and 16 oz.
Consider the following:
- It had a bad odor, according to some online reviewers.
- It’s possible that it won’t work as well at preventing all types of infections.
4. TrizULTRA + Keto Flush (4 oz)
For Fungal Infections in Dogs, the Best Ear Cleaner
- It’s gentle and has antifungal properties.
- It can also be used as a pretreatment for more severe ear infections when applied 15-30 minutes before a topical antibiotic.
- However, before using it to treat a severe ear infection in your dog, consult your veterinarian.
- It’s fragrance-free, so it’s ideal for dogs who are sensitive to scents.
- Its formula is non-stinging.
- It contains the antifungal ketoconazole.
- It can also be used for other animals, such as cats and horses.
Consider the following:
- It’s better for fungal infections than bacterial infections, so it might not work for all dogs.
- This cleanser is more expensive than some of the others on this list.
5. Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Ear Cleaning Solution
Ear Cleaner For Waxy Ears In Dogs
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If your dog’s ears get filthy, it’s safe and gentle enough to use 2-3 times a day (though hopefully that won’t be the case once you start a regular cleaning routine.
- It’s made with a gentle formula.
- Bottles of various sizes are available (up to 1-gallon.)
- It’s a good option for multi-pet households because it’s safe for both dogs and cats.
- Cleans dries, acidifies, and deodorizes with this formula.
Consider the following:
- It has a strong odor that lingers long after you’ve cleaned your dog’s ears.
- For yeast infections, it doesn’t function as effectively
6. Pet MD Veterinary Tris Flush
Ear Cleaner for Dogs at the Lowest Price
This is a simple and inexpensive over-the-counter cleanser that contains an antifungal and antibiotic to help clear any mild infection your dog might have.
- A non-stinging, gentle formula.
- Aids in the removal of odors.
- The bottle is simple to use.
- It is suitable for both dogs and cats, making it an excellent choice for multi-pet households.
- This product comes in a huge bottle.
Consider the following:
- The smell is strong, according to multiple online reviewers, and it is not fragrance-free.
Is it Necessary to Clean the Ears of all Dogs?
While it is important to clean your dog’s ears as needed, excessive cleaning can cause ear canal irritation, which can lead to infection.
Some dogs may never require ear cleaning if their ears are healthy and clean. Cleaning your dog’s ears is recommended if you notice discharge or an odor when inspecting the ear.
Your veterinarian can advise you on how often you should clean your dog’s ears.
Ear Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide
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- Sit on the floor and place your dog in front of you, with his back end between your legs.
- Take one ear and lift the ear flap vertically to expose the ear canal and assist in straightening it out.
- Hold the ear cleaning solution in your other hand while gently but firmly holding your dog’s ear flap.
- Place a drop of ear cleaning solution in your dog’s ear. Fill the ear canal with enough cleaner to completely fill it. If some cleaner leaks into the ear canal, that’s fine.
Do not insert the bottle’s tip into your ear and wipe the top off the bottle.
Hold the ear flap vertically and gently massage the base of the ear below the ear entrance for about 30 seconds.
As the cleaning solution moves around in the horizontal part of the ear canal, you should hear a’squishing’ sound.
- Using a cotton ball or gauze, wipe away debris from the inside part of the ear flap and the upper ear canal while still holding the ear flap up.
- Give your dog a shake to permit leftover dirt and cleaning solutions to drift off into the ear’s outer aperture.
- Raise the ear flap, using a cotton ball or gauze, remove any debris and residual cleaning solution from the ear canal outer and inner opening.
Never remove the solution from the ear canal using a cotton-tipped applicator (Q-tip). This can cause damage to the ear canal and/or eardrum, as well as pushing material deeper into the ear canal.
- Give your dog some treats.
- Repeat the process for another ear.
If your dog looks to be in pain while being cleaned, stop immediately and consult your veterinarian.
Medication Application Step-by-Step Guide
If your dog gets an ear infection that necessitates treatment, wipe the ears first and then administer the medication.
- Medication can be applied right after your dog’s ears have been cleaned.
Your veterinarian will tell you how often to apply the medication and how many drops are required.
- Gently but firmly grip the ear tip and pull the ear flap straight up to expose the ear canal and assist in straightening it out.
- Give your veterinarian the number of drops of medication that he or she has prescribed.
- Do not insert the bottle’s tip into the ear.
To avoid the spread of bacteria or yeast, wipe the top of the bottle with a clean cotton ball soaked in alcohol if it comes into contact with your dog’s ear.
- Hold the ear flap upright for another 30 seconds while gently massaging the base of the ear below the ear entrance.
This ensures that the drug is evenly distributed throughout the ear canal.
As the drug coats the horizontal part of the ear canal, you should hear a’squishing’ sound in your ear once more.
- If the infection has spread to the inner section of the ear flap, apply the specified dose of medication to the infected area. Use your finger to spread the medication around (preferably covered with a glove).
- If necessary, repeat the process with the second ear.
- Wipe away any debris or medication that has accumulated on the flap area of the ear with a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaning solution.
A Summary of How to Clean Dog Ears
Now that you know how to clean dog ears, let’s review the basics:
- Recognize the appearance and odor of a healthy, clean ear.
- Check your dog’s ears after a bath frequently.
- Cleaning your ears too frequently can irritate them.
- Use an ear-cleaning solution for dogs that have been approved by a veterinarian.
- If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, contact your veterinarian.
Preventing infections in your dog’s ears is simple.
Regular ear checks will also detect any additional issues, such as ear mites, before they become worse, and will desensitize your dog to ear manipulation.