pet dog with healthy clean ears

Did you hear? This week we’re focusing on ears! Listen up: Healthy ears make a happy pup. Your dog can’t clean their own ears, so if dirt, wax, moisture or other debris gets stuck in there it can be irritating, painful and can lead to infection. Taking care of your best fur-iend means taking care of all aspects of their health and wellbeing including ear cleaning, an important part of your pet’s hygiene needs.  

Frequency: The frequency of ear cleaning varies by breed and activity, but usually about once per month is recommended. Dogs that swim, have allergies or have long hanging ears, may need to have their ears cleaned more frequently. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate ear cleaning schedule for your dog. 

Before Cleaning: Examine your dog’s ears weekly to determine if your dog needs an ear cleaning. Healthy ears should be free of wax and debris, a pink color, with no smell or inflammation. If your dog’s ears appear dirty, have excess wax buildup, or if you notice your dog rubbing their ears or shaking their head, it may be time for a cleaning. If your dog’s ears are red and inflamed, painful, or if you notice a discharge or odor, refrain from ear cleaning and have your dog examined by a veterinarian in case of possible infection. 

Supplies: Cotton balls or cotton rounds, a mild veterinarian approved ear cleaning solution for dogs, and treats (maybe link to FD dog treat page) to reward your dog. Do not use cotton swabs (Qtips) or anything pointed for ear cleaning, as it can push debris further into the ear and can damage the delicate structures of the ear. 

How-To: If at any time you’re concerned about cleaning your dog’s ears, or if your dog resists ear cleaning, consider asking a veterinarian or professional groomer for a demonstration. Your dog’s ears are sensitive so it’s important to be very gentle throughout the procedure and give your dog frequent treats, such as Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Tripe, along with lots of praise, to help them feel more comfortable. 

Begin by carefully folding the flap of your dog’s ear back. Pour a small amount of canine ear cleaning solution into your dog’s ear and immediately massage the base of the ear with the solution still inside. Allow your pet to shake their head if they want to, and then use a cotton ball or cotton round to gently wipe the solution and ear wax debris out of the inner ear. If you have a small dog, tear a cotton ball in half to help fit the small size of the ear canal. After the debris and moisture is wiped from your dog’s ear, repeat the same steps with the other ear, until both ears are cleaned.  

If your dog is prone to ear infections, consider switching to a raw diet. Recurring ear infections may be caused by food allergies from the yeasts and starches found in commercial kibble. – love this crossover!     

By maintaining a regular ear examination and cleaning schedule, and giving your pup lots of Vital Essentials Treats & Snacks during the procedure, your dog may eventually learn to love ear cleaning time. You could even reward your pup’s good behavior with a whole Freeze-Dried Rabbit Ear of their very own! Best of all, you’ll be able to quickly recognize ear infections or other ear-related issues, providing your pup with the best quality of life pawsible. 

Want to hear more? Check out our other Blog Posts, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit the Vital Essentials Website and enter your email to receive exclusive offers. 

You can read about Dog Nail Clipping, Cat Nail Clipping and Cat Ear Cleaning in our other blog posts.