Giving My Pets What They NeedGiving My Pets What They Need

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Giving My Pets What They Need

After almost losing our family dog to a preventable infection, I realized that we needed to take her veterinary care more seriously. We started taking her in for regular checkups and focusing on vaccinations, and I know that it has made a few differences. Up until that time, our dog had always seemed a little off, but after she started getting the care that she needed, she would run and play like her peers. I want other pet owners to understand the importance of veterinary care, so I made this website. Find out what you need to do to take care of your pet by reading these articles.

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Dog Ear Cleaning 101

The typical human has an ear canal that is a mere inch long. Your dog, however, depending on the breed and size, has an ear canal that is 2-4 inches long. It also has a crook in it. That leaves a lot of room for the ears to become dirty. Cleaning your dog's ears is easy if you have the right supplies and know-how however. Here's what you need to know.

Why Should Your Dog's Ears Be Cleaned?

Just as humans are more susceptible to impaired hearing and infections if their ear canals become dirty, so are a dog's. And because of the bend in their ear canal, it is harder for things to get back out on their own.

Additionally, if your dog is a frequent swimmer, water can settle in their lower ear canal, and that moist, dark, and warm environment provides the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and yeast as well as mites to take hold. This will ultimately lead to an ear infection, which is just as painful in canines as it is in humans. Some breeds are also prone to skin allergies. This usually makes them more prone to ear infections as well.

What Tools Are Needed To Clean A Dog's Ears?

You will need:

  • A quality ear cleaner. The internet is full of home recipes and remedies for every malady known to man and beast. Skip the magic potions of apple cider vinegar or olive oil and just use a quality commercial ear clear specifically meant for your pet. Check with your veterinarian for a recommendation.
  • Cotton wool. This can be found at your local druggist or pet store. Cotton wool is just like cotton balls, but rather than coming in little balls, it comes in a long rope and you can break off the sizes that will work best for you dog.
  • Your pet's favorite treat. Choose a small biscuit-type treat, not a rawhide. 

How Do You Clean The Ears?

Ear cleaning is a messy job because your dog will shake his ears, so if at all possible, do it outside or in an easy-to-clean area of your home. Put his leash on and have a partner hold him close to the collar. Tell him to sit, and give him his favorite small treat.

Grab hold of the first ear and fill it with the ear cleaner. Massage the base of the ear where it meets his head for 30 seconds, still holding on to his ear with your other hand. Then both you and the handler quickly step back as you release his ear. He will vigorously shake his head, loosening any dirt. Use the cotton rope to clean all of the outer folds until the cotton comes away clean. Give him another treat, and repeat the process for the other ear. If his ears look red, have a bad odor coming from them, or you swab up a lot of black looking "dirt," he may have an infection or mites and should be seen by the vet as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable cleaning your dog's ears, you can always have the veterinarian's assistant or your groomer clean them for you. To find out more, contact someone like Apple Valley Animal Hospital.