Our dogs require check-ups and grooming in order to make sure that they are in prime physical condition and there are no problems or infections to treat.
One area that cannot be overlooked here is the ear.
Dog ears are sensitive to infection and it is important to keep them clean and free from bacteria so that the ear canal can function properly.
In order to do this, you need regular checks and a good dog ear cleaner.
What this guide on cleaning dogs ears aims to teach you
There are essentially two parts to this guide on doggy ear rinses: how to clean a dog’s ears correctly and safely and how to make ear cleaner for dogs.
The first part will look at the issue of dog ear health and the basic method of cleaning them out. It is crucial to understand how to do this safely, how to respect the well-being of the dog but – just as importantly – you also need to have an understanding of the warning signs. Dog ears are sensitive organs that need a gentle touch and appropriate care.
After learning a little more about how to apply the dog ear washes, the guide will look at some of the different options that are out there. There is the choice between OTC and natural products, as well as the choice between natural ingredients for DIY recipes. There is some debate about certain approach so you need to understand the best method.
Finally, the guide will look at some of the other issues, such as regularity of treatment, the importance of drying ears and other tips and tricks.
Dog ear problems: why might you need to make or buy an ear cleaning solution for dogs?
Before we look at how to make ear wash for dogs, we need to understand a little more about why these dog ear solutions are often so necessary.
Let’s start by looking at the possible signs that will tell you if your dog might have a problem.
Excessive wax build up shows that there is a problem or potential infection that the ear is trying to fight off. If unchecked, this can become uncomfortable and damaging and your dog may exhibit this with scratching and head shaking.
A buildup of wax, dirt or water can lead to discomfort, bacteria, discharge and more serious infections.
There are also the potential issues of ear mites and drainage problems. Dietary changes can also play their part when it comes to the health of your dog’s ears. Excess grain or sugar consumption has been known to have an impact. Sugar in particular can be an issue for yeast build up.
Essentially, there is a lot to consider when thinking about the ear health of your dog.
You need to understand what a healthy ear should be like, how to keep an ear clean to keep it healthy and the best solutions to use
Dog ear wax is essential because these animals are prone to infections
Dogs need earwax, it helps to protect the ear canal from bugs and infections and keeps it clean.
Unfortunately, many dogs can be prone to ear ailments. This is especially true in dogs where the ears hang down, like spaniels and setters because this flap provides a dark, moist environment where bacteria can breed more easily.
It is important to be able to understand when a pet appears to be secreting too much ear wax as well as the tell-tale signs of infection.
If you suspect an infection, go to the vet for an appropriate course of treatment.
If you are simply looking to get a safe ear wash to keep an ear clean during the treatment or for occasion maintenance, you need to know how to apply them.
How to clean your pet’s ears with an ear wash for dogs
The steps for cleaning a dog’s ears are actually pretty simple.
>> Use the applicator to apply a small amount of liquid to the ear.
>> Massage the solution in so it gets to work.
>> Work from the outside in and stop when you feel resistance, you don’t want to push too hard on the sensitive area of the ear and risk further damage.
>> Your dog will feel the need to shake out the excess so let them.
>> Then, dry the ears with cotton balls or a clean cloth.
You really do need to use a dog solution applicator for the best approach. This tool allows for a small, controlled amount of liquid to target the right area. This means that there is no risk of filing the ear with too much liquid and making the dog uncomfortable.
Be patient with your dog when carrying out these treatments.
When you use your ear rinse for dogs, think about how this feels for them. Imagine what it is like when you have a waxy build up in your ear during an infection and how troubling it can be. Also consider the hearing loss.
If dog ear infections go unchecked and untreated, it can result in deafness, perhaps permanently. Regular checks and maintenance during grooming can help.
You have to remember that there is a good chance that your pet will not want to have their ears cleaned at all – especially if they are new to the process.
Dog ears are very sensitive and they will not like anyone poking around and putting wet solutions in there. Just as with grooming, nail clipping and any other foreign form of contact, you need to work with your dog and try to make the experience as positive as possible.
You can’t simply tell the dog that you are doing this for their own good. Use positive reinforcement and treats when the dog cooperates and handles the treatment well. If they associate the treatment with praise, food and play, they are more likely to keep still on follow up treatments.
With the method sorted, it is time to choose your wash.
Do you want a dog ear solution that promises to be the strongest, toughest formula in the pet store, or would you rather go for a natural dog ear cleaner with a simple, gentle formula. It is important to take the time to not only consider where you get your wash – with store-bought or home-made – but also the different ingredients that could be used.
The problem with OTC options.
There are always going to be fears over the precise ingredients that go into these store-bought dog ear cleaner recipes.
there are a number of over the counter ear rinses out there that are designed to offer the best solution and relief, and many of them can work brilliantly, but there are potential risks. Be careful when reading the labels and instructions.
Try and find a product without toxic materials, antibiotics or steroids. It is important to leave the medication to the vet and instead focus on providing a simple cleaning solution.
The solution for many dog owners is to go for a homemade dog ear cleaning solution.
This concern over the ingredients and the potential for harsh chemicals has lead many dog owners to opt for natural, home-made solutions where they can be sure of using nothing but wholesome, friendly ingredients and keep it simple.
These solutions will vary from owner to owner as different household try different measurements and combinations. There are some ingredients that are commonly used, others that are rare and some that cause some debate. These ingredients include apple cider vinegar, rubbing alcohol and…..
There are some concerns about the use of alcohol when creating a homemade ear cleaner for dogs. Some dog owners recommend using purified water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol – in equal parts mixed together – and using this in small amounts as a wash. This is a great cleaning agent that will sterilize the ear and help to combat bacteria growth, but some owners prefer to stay away from alcohol altogether because they are worried about it being too harsh. Others would rather use apple cider vinegar than white vinegar.
Another interesting alternative recipe for dog ear washes that some dog owners swear by is the following: 2 ounces of vinegar, a few drops of alcohol and half a teaspoon of boric acid. Some go a step further by adding iodine to really sterilise the area, but other aren’t so keen because of the smell and the potential of staining the fur. In short, there are lots of opinions and lots of variations.
Other natural ingredients that dog owners recommend when making a home remedy for cleaning dogs ears.
Many dog owners swear by apple cider vinegar, but this is not the only ingredient that you can use for a diy dog ear cleaning solution.
Tea tree oil is found in many soothing, healing products for both humans and dogs and some owners swear by this for their pets. Others like to take the gentle approach of using a soothing Calendula Lotion as a topical ointment, although this may be better as an occasional treatment during infection rather than a reliable, any-time wash.
Can you use olive oil as a homemade dog ear cleaner?
There are different opinions about using olive oil when trying to treat a dog’s ears. Some sites advocate strict, veterinarian-approved solutions only and it is here that you will find warnings about using this oil. There are, however, a number of sites where dog owners talk positively about this option. Olive oil is one of those tried and tested tricks for human ear issues. A few drops in the ear canal, gently massaged in, can really help to break up stubborn blockages.
Many OTC products even use this as a natural ingredient. Olive oil can therefore have the same impact on a dog’s ears, as long as you are careful with it. If you are not keen on using olive oil, other dog owners have been known to use almond oil and mineral oil with a similar effect.
Ultimately, you need to find a dog ear wash recipe that you are comfortable with. It may take a little trial and error with some of these ingredients, but you can eventually be sure that you have a recipe that you can use with confidence whenever you need to clean your pet’s ears. This issue of a reliable, pet-friendly solution brings up another important question over the frequency of use.
How often should you use your new natural ear cleaner for dogs?
Beware of over-saturation here. The ear needs time to fight off the infection all by itself and the immune system needs time to kick in. This ear cleaner for dogs is not a cure for an ailment, it is a way of helping to protect the ear and remove problems causing the ailment. Use it too much and you could have problems. With bad cases and severe infections, you will want to do this twice a day. With time, this can be scaled back to a daily treatment. After a month or so, you should be able to stop, although you may want to use the solution monthly as a precaution. Patience and perseverance are important when cleaning an ear to treat an infection and it does pay to perform regular check ups. Be reasonable, however.
Occasional maintenance is all you need, such as a little dirt clearance or towel drying. This helps to maintain the right pH balance in the ear and hold further problems at bay. Be sure to clean dirt from around the lobe, clean between the cartilage of the ear to prevent bacteria and any build up and try and keep your dogs ears dry after being in the water or having a bath.
Never forget the importance of drying the ear properly after use.
On that note, finding the right homemade dog ear wash recipe is important if you want to provide the utmost care for your pet, but there is more to the treatment than applying the solution and cleaning it out. It is important to keep the ear dry as much as possible during everyday activity and after using any of these cleaning solutions because you don’t to create an inviting breeding ground for any lingering bugs are bacteria that were left behind. Ear drying power, a little like talcum powder can help you to provide that final barrier against further infection and allow the ear to heal.
Other tips and tricks that you need to consider when using these home remedies for cleaning dogs’ ears.
Try and keep everything in reach when cleaning your dogs ears so that the process is as quick and hassle free as possible – it should be smooth, fast and effortless. You don’t want to have to get up and leave the dog alone during this stressful period to get more cotton balls or if you don’t quite have enough of your natural dog ear wash at hand.
Be careful with the application and the use of cotton. Don’t use swabs or Q-tips that might cause damage or discomfort if your pet were to jump in distress.
Make sure to wear gloves or at least wash your hands well when administering this solution to reduce the risk of further dirt or bacteria from entering the ear.
Which is the best solution for your needs?
The first question to ask yourself is clearly whether you are happy to use an OTC dog ear wash or would prefer to make a homemade dog ear wash. Both options have there clear pros and cons and it is ultimately up to you which route you take, as long it is safe and won’t cause your pet any further harm. Take you time to look at the different ingredient that are found in topical products as well as the different natural solutions that dog owners have successfully used in their own home. If there is something that you are not comfortable using on your dog, don’t use it. If you try a solution and there are unseen issues – perhaps it isn’t as strong as you’d like or your pet dislikes the smell – then forget it and try something new. Once you find a recipe that you and you pet can both appreciate, you know that you have something to turn to each month when you want to perform your routine checks.
Summary: what have we learned about using an ear solution for dogs?
There is a lot to think about when it comes to using an ear wash for dogs. You need to choose the right product, follow the right procedure and put your pet’s welfare first at all times.
It all starts with reassurance when checking the ears and getting the pup used to being handled. It ends with the commitment to reapplication, checks and keeping the ear dry. With patience, research and an understanding of your pet, you can find the best dog ear cleaner for you and your pup and increase your confidence to check for problems and clean the ears yourself.
Dog cleaning solutions are not a cure for illness and other disorders. This is simply a great way of cleaning the ear and giving the dog’s immune system a helping hand. Find the best approach, work safety and appreciate the cooperation of your pet.