Ear Care For Dogs
Once upon a time, all dogs had pricked (aka upright) ears. However, humans decided that droopy ears looked more appealing and friendlier, so through selective breeding the drop ear was created. However, this physical manipulation didn’t come without consequences. Here are some facts and tips about canine ears and how you can best care for your dog’s aural health!
Dogs with prick ears are far less prone to ear infections than those with drop ears, as they allow for air to circulate and the moisture isn’t trapped under the heavy folds.
Curly coated breeds such as Poodles need special care for their ears, as hair has a tendency to grow inside the canal. Do not use a scissors or clippers to remove this! Allow a trained groomer to pull the hair. They can show you how to do it at home too.
Here are some of the symptoms your dog may be experiencing if they have an ear infection or anothe problem that needs attention:
- Head Shaking
- Tilting of the Head to One Side
- Odor from the Ears
- Persistent Scratching of the Ears
- Blackish, Brown, Red or Yellow Discharge
If your dog is having ear problems, you may want to look to your dog’s food first. If you’re not feeding a high quality diet, the additives and byproducts can often wreak havoc with a dog’s ears and skin.
When you do want to clean your dog’s ears, make sure you only probe as far as you can see - do not stick your fingers down into your dog’s ear canal.
Use only a cotton balls or a wipe made for canine ears to clean your dog’s ears, do not use cotton swabs.
Remember to use care and be gentle – this is a very tender area of your dog’s body!
A solution of warm water mixed with vinegar can be used for rinsing your dog’s ears or you can purchase a natural solution sold at pet stores. Avoid brands with chemicals in them.
Do not squirt liquid directly into your dog’s ear, instead apply it to the cotton ball and then wipe the ear.
Over-cleaning your dog’s ears can cause irritation and can actually lead to ear problems! Do not clean your dog’s ears more than once a week.
While dogs with drop ears suffer from the most issues, all dogs can experience ear issues.
Please seek veterinary attention if your dog is showing signs of discomfort or you believe he may have an ear infection. While regular maintenance is a necessity, it won’t solve a problem once its already taken root.