Dog parents, lend us your ears… Your dog’s ears, that is! Ear disease is a very common reason for consultation, so we’d love to pass on a few dog ear health maintenance tips.
General ear care
If your dog has upright ears, they are less likely to develop ear infections unless they have an underlying allergy trigger. Dogs with droopy or hairy ears however, may require more ear maintenance.
In terms of ear care, we generally advise only cleaning your dog’s ears if they are actually waxy. Unnecessary cleaning can make your pet’s ear canals too wet, causing irritation.
If your dog regularly gets waxy ears, ask us for a recommendation on the best gentle ear cleaner for them. There are plenty of YouTube demonstration videos on how to clean your pet’s ears (try searching for “Cleaning A Dog’s Ears – Veterinary Training”), but ask our friendly team if you have any questions!
If your dog has hairy ears, we recommend only plucking the hairs if they are trapping ear wax or if your pet is prone to ear infections. Otherwise, leave the hair alone and just monitor your pet’s ears for any signs of problems. It is OK, however, to have a groomer clip the fur from around the ear canal opening to allow for better aeration.
Lastly, if your dog is prone to ear infections, take care to avoid their ears getting wet, whether by bathing or swimming. Having wet ear canals can increase the chances of their ears becoming irritated.
It’s a great idea to check your pet’s ears a couple of times a week – both the outer ear and the canal itself. This way you should be able to promptly spot any forming hair tangles, lumps, swellings or ear infections early on.