Welcome to our dog blog, where we put the spotlight on the health and happiness of our beloved best mate! Today, we're going to delve into an essential aspect of puppy care: Cleaning their adorable ears. While puppies are bundles of joy and endless cuteness, they require regular grooming and attention to ensure they lead a healthy and comfortable life.
So - "Ears to a Happy Pup: The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Puppy's Ears is a crucial part of their grooming routine, as it helps prevent infections and keeps their ears in tip-top condition. In this article, we'll explore many of the "dos and don'ts" of looking after your puppy's ears, providing you with the information you need to become a pro at this vital task.
If you are NOT confident in cleaning your Dog's ears - SEEK professional advice FIRST: Vet, Groomer.
How often should I clean my dogs ears? The frequency of cleaning your puppy's ears can vary depending on their breed, age, activity level, and individual ear health. In general, most puppies do not require frequent ear cleaning, as their ears are designed to naturally maintain their cleanliness.
For puppies with healthy ears and no specific issues, a general guideline is to clean their ears once every 2 months. However, it's essential to monitor your puppy's ears regularly and look for signs of dirt, wax buildup, or any signs of infection.
If your puppies breed is prone to ear problems, has floppy ears that trap moisture, or spends a lot of time in water (e.g. swimming), more frequent cleaning may be necessary. On the other hand, over-cleaning can also be harmful as it may disrupt the natural balance of ear and lead to irritation.
To determine the best cleaning schedule for your puppy, it's always best to consult with your veterinarian. They can assess your puppy's individual needs and provide personalised recommendations for ear cleaning based on their health and lifestyle. Remember, regular check-ups with your vet are essential to ensure your puppy's overall well-being, including their ear health. Professional groomers can also be a wealth of information so Ask them to check the ears when they are getting a makeover.
There are some differences in cleaning the ears of long-eared dogs compared to short-eared dogs. The primary distinction lies in the anatomy and susceptibility to certain ear problems. Here are some points to consider for each type of dog:
Ear Structure: Breeds with long, droopy ears, such as Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, or Bloodhounds, have ear flaps that can cover the ear canal. This design creates a warm, dark, and moist environment inside the ears, which makes them more prone to ear infections.
Increased Dirt and Debris: Long ears tend to collect more dirt, debris, and wax from the environment. This accumulation can lead to ear problems if not cleaned regularly.
More Frequent Cleaning: Long-eared dogs generally require more frequent ear cleaning to prevent issues. Regular cleaning can help remove dirt and excess wax, reducing the risk of infections.
Ear Exposure: Breeds with erect or short ears, such as Labradors, Boxers, or Dalmatians, have better air circulation within their ear canals due to the openness of their ears. This helps to keep the ears drier and less prone to infections.
Lower Risk of Ear Infections: Short-eared dogs typically have a lower risk of developing ear infections compared to long-eared breeds. However, it doesn't mean they are entirely exempt from ear care.
Can I use human ear cleaning products on my puppy?
No. Humans have products specifically designed for Humans and this s the same for our puppy. No peroxide or any type of harsh substance. When researching this subject I came across numerous articles and videos etc about making your own cleaner. Yes you could. I love my puppy so I choose to get my product from my Vet or Pet Store. No, i don't suggest using things like Baby Wipes wither. The Ph levels are completely different Canine to Human.
Can I use Q-tips for cleaning my puppy's ears?
No. Nothing pointer. No Q - Tips or rolled up cloth or anything else. We only ever want to oush anything down into their ear. Remember the Ear cleaning solution is what will clean the lower portion of the puppies Ear. When you using a wipe or cloth you are really cleaning the ear itself. Not the lower ear.
The Dos of Cleaning Your Puppy's Ears: In Brief:
Use the Right Tools: Before you begin, make sure to gather the necessary supplies. You'll need the dog-specific ear cleaner we talked about earlier in the article, cotton balls or gauze, and some treats to reward your puppy for their cooperation. Don't forget the towel! When you put in the Ear cleaning solution and then the puppy shakes their head - watch out.
Trim Excess hair: If your puppy has lots of ear hair you may need to trim this. Please make sure you remove any hair which is cut. Don't just cut the ear hair without first checking the breed standard to ensure you don't remove too much. It can act as a barrier to insects, water egress and more.
Choose the Right Time: Find a quiet and comfortable space to clean your puppy's ears. Minimise distractions and noises that might startle them. It's a good idea to do it after a play session or exercise, so they are a bit tired and more inclined to sit still. Familiarising your puppy to everything is a great thing to do. Practice a few times without actually trying to put anything in their ear at all. Once their comfortable life is a little easier.
Be Gentle and Patient: Approach ear cleaning with a gentle touch and a calm demeanor. Puppies can be sensitive about their ears, so take your time and make it a positive experience for them. Its better to familiarise them with everything first. We have discussed this in lots of our Dog Blogs. Start with a gentle touch and start near the tip of the ear to get the puppy used to this sense of touch.
Inspect Before Cleaning: Before you start cleaning, inspect your puppy's ears for any signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or foul odor. If you notice anything unusual, consult your veterinarian before proceeding. We always suggest that you use a torch to see down into your dogs ears - not into their ear canal.
Use Proper Technique: Follow your veterinarian's instructions on how to clean your puppy's ears correctly. Typically, you will apply the ear cleaner as directed and gently massage the base of the ear to loosen debris. Use the cotton balls or gauze to wipe away the dirt and excess solution carefully. Use a towel on the puppies head and allow him/her to shake their heads.
The Don'ts of Cleaning Your Puppy's Ears:
Avoid Using Q-tips: Never use cotton swabs or Q-tips to clean your puppy's ears. They can push debris further into the ear canal and potentially cause injury.
No Harsh Chemicals: Never use human products or harsh chemicals to clean your puppy's ears. Stick to dog-specific ear cleaners recommended by your veterinarian.
Don't Overdo It: Cleaning your puppy's ears too frequently can disrupt the natural balance of ear wax and lead to irritation. Follow your vet's advice on how often to clean them based on your puppy's individual needs.
Conclusion: Your puppy's ears are not only adorable but also crucial to their well-being. Proper ear cleaning, when done with care and the right techniques, can prevent infections and ensure your BEst Friend enjoys a happy and healthy life. Remember the dos and don'ts we've covered in this article, and always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns or notice anything unusual. By incorporating ear cleaning into your puppy's grooming routine, you'll strengthen the bond between you and your new puppy while keeping them comfortable and content for years to come. Happy ear cleaning! Peter
"Authored by Peter Bonney, Director of Bonnie's Dog Obedience and Puppy School, this informative piece offers valuable insights into puppy care. For further reading, you can download books authored by the esteemed Founder and Matriarch of Bonnies, Ms. Val Bonney." Searching for "Dog Training" in Brisbane then search for "Bonnies".