While bathing and brushing dogs is an important part of being a pet owner, there are other aspects of grooming which pet parents should consider in between groomings. One of these aspects is proper dog ear care. Dogs can be at risk for developing infections in the ear canal which can be painful and even create further health issues. But, with routine ear care, dogs can live happier and healthier lives. While ear care is a part of professional grooming and something we teach our students at Merryfield Academy, it’s also something dog owners should be aware of at home, too.

The Types of Dog Ears Most at Risk for Infection or Issues

There are hundreds of breeds of dogs. Therefore, there are many types of dog ears. Essentially, there are two classes of dog ears; those which lay flat on the head and those which stick straight up from the base of the head. While all types of dog ears may be at risk for developing issues, especially if they aren’t properly taken care of, ears which lay flat are the most at risk. This is because the ear will trap dirt, debris, and moisture against the head with no airflow to reduce the buildup of harmful bacteria. Along with the type of dog ear, pet owners should be aware of the fur which resides within the dog’s ear. Whether short or long hair, different breeds will show different amounts of hair within the ear. Dogs which have large amounts of hair growing from the ear, usually long-haired dogs, are also more prone to developing ear issues. This is because the hair can help keep bacteria, dirt, and grime trapped inside the canal of the ear. So, it’s important that the hair is removed, cleaned, and regularly checked during and in between grooming visits.

Examining your Dog for Ear Issues

While it’s important to regularly check and clean your dog’s ears, it’s also important to know how to tell if your dog is developing ear issues which need attention from a vet. Some ways to tell if your dog’s ears may need cleaning or medical attention include:
  • Shaking of the head frequently
  • Repetitive scratching of the ears
  • Redness of the inner ear
  • Pus or grime located in the ear
  • A foul smell which resembles yeast
Keep in mind that if your dog’s inner ears are red or giving off a foul smell, cleaning may not help. This is because redness and the smell are signs of an infection of the ear. If you notice these signs, your dog may be in pain and further medical issues may arise if you do not get veterinary care soon.

At Home Dog Ear Care

A good rule of thumb is to check and clean your dog’s ears once a week. To clean, use a cleaning solution approved by your vet. Pour the solution into the canal of the ear and gently massage the outer base of the ear to loosen any buildup. Keep in mind that your dog will want to shake his/her head during this stage. Allow them to do so. Then, take a cotton ball to remove any excess dirt, grime, or debris. Remember, don’t utilize cotton swabs as they can actually push debris back into the ear canal putting your dog at further risk for infection.

Get Professional Help for Dog Ear Care

If your dog has had ear infections in the past, has ears which lay down onto the head, or has long or large amounts of fur residing within the ear passage, he/she may be at a higher risk for developing ear issues. And, professional help from a groomer can reduce the chances for future problems and vet bills. If you would like professional dog ear care, our learning students at the Merryfield Academy can help! Give us a call today at 954-771-4030 to find out when our discounted grooming options are available! What to become a professional pet groomer? Start a new career today dealing with clients you’ll love: dogs and cats!  

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