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How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

In a 2008 pet health study conducted by the VPI pet insurance company, ear infections were the number one reason dog owners sought veterinary care. Thorough and regular ear cleaning and maintenance can help your dog avoid ear problems and infections.

Many dogs do not like having their ears cleaned, which makes doing a good job very difficult. It is helpful, before you even begin cleaning your dog’s ears that you learn how to make this grooming experience pleasurable for your dog.

Handling Your Dog’s Ears

Practice handling your dog’s ears gently. Give delicious treats while you massage the outside of and eventually the inside of the ear. Repeat this until your dog really enjoys having his ears handled. Once your dog accepts all kinds of ear manipulation with your hands, repeat the procedure using a cloth and then with cotton balls.

Your Dog’s Ears

Dogs with heavy, floppy ears generally need to have their ears cleaned more frequently than dogs with prick ears (which stand upright and allow for better air circulation), and dogs that have a lot of hair in the inside of their ears may require additional maintenance (increased cleaning and for some, plucking of hair growing in the ear).

If your dog is itching his ears a lot, if the ears smell funny, are very red or inflamed, if your dog is constantly shaking his head, it is best to visit your veterinarian as these may be indications of an existing ear infection or other ear problem.

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