Dogs that have ear flaps that cover their ear canals often need a little extra ear care to prevent ear infections.
Ear cleaning should be done weekly, twice a week if you live in a very damp environment, such as the Southeastern US in summer, or if you have a lifestyle where your dog is often in water, such as swimming or hunting). Lack of ear care can result in painful ear infections for your dog.
To clean your dog’s ears:
Put about a few drops of cleaner in an ear
Take a cotton ball and saturate it with the ear cleaner. Take the saturated cotton ball and squeeze the liquid into the ear, massage the ear
Using a cotton ball, gently clean the outer ear, and as far in about half an inch
Use a q-tip to clean the smaller areas, but don’t insert the q-tip into the dog’s ear canal
Repeat for the other ear
Here’s a good ear cleaning video.
If you clean your dog’s ears but still see redness, swelling, excessive wax or debris, or notice a yeast or bad smell, it’s time to go to the vet. Ear infections can be very painful and cause other problems, such as sore throats and tonsillitis in dogs.
Ear hair pulling
Ear hair pulling is pretty much what it sounds like: pulling the hair out of the outer part of the ear canal.
Some people swear by ear hair pulling, others think it’s a bad idea. Our philosophy is that if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. By that we mean, that if your dog doesn’t have ear problems, then leave their ear hair alone. Ear hair pulling can cause redness and swelling and for some dogs make their ears worse. It is warranted in cases where your dog has chronic infections and you need to keep their ear canal as clean and dry as possible.
Many groomers and some vets will routinely pull ear hair. If your dog doesn’t need their ear hair pulled, be sure to inform these caregivers ahead of time.