Taking care of your dog’s ears is one of the most important aspects of dog grooming. Keeping their ears healthy, clean and knot free will allow your dog to feel happier and healthier.
If you’re unsure how to groom your dog’s ears or you’re uncertain whether you’re doing it correctly, we’re here to help you figure it out.
Knowing how to groom your dog’s ears correctly will make grooming a whole lot easier for you and your dog, which is why today we’re going to show you the importance of grooming your dog’s ears and how to go about cleaning and plucking them.
Take a look at our dog grooming tips on caring for your dog’s ears and why it’s important to groom them regularly.
Why should you groom your dog’s ears?
If you don’t regularly groom your dog’s ears, they can develop knots in their fur, get matted ears, and they can also develop ear infections and other ear problems.
Many dogs’ ears are prone to infection because the ear hangs down over the ear canal. This blocks ventilation and causes infections to form.
Ear problems are also commonly seen in breeds with thick hair in their ear canal. This long hair traps any debris, moisture and earwax that bacterial and fungal infections love to get into!
If you want to keep your dog’s ears free from infection, then make sure you’re grooming them regularly to ensure nothing terrible gets into their ear canal and causes havoc.
What are the signs of ear infections in dogs?
There are several signs of ear infection in dogs, and these include:
How do you prevent ear infections in dogs?
There are two main ways to prevent ear infections in dogs and these are regular ear cleaning and ear plucking.
These are two dog grooming techniques that you can use to ensure your dog doesn’t get an ear infection and continues to live happily in your home with you and your family.
1. Ear cleaning
Learning how to clean your dog’s ears safely and efficiently will allow your pooch to have fresh ears at all times. It’s recommended that ear cleaning is done weekly or whenever you think it’s needed.
There are a lot of excellent products on the market right now that help dog owners clean their dog’s ears effectively, but here at The Paw Pad Dog Grooming School, we like to use good old-fashioned fragrance-free baby wipes.
Baby wipes are inexpensive and easy to use. All you do is gently clean your dog’s ears with the wipe, and boom, you’re finished, and your dog is happy.
Note: When buying baby wipes, be sure not to purchase the fragranced ones – get the regular, fragrance-free ones!
How to clean your dog's ears
When cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure you never clean too deeply into the ear as this can be painful for the dog.
Never poke cotton buds down the ear canal! Only use a soft baby wipe; don’t stick your fingers in your dog’s ear either – it’ll only hurt them.
Wipe away excess wax or dirt from the inner ear using gentle strokes of the baby wipe until it’s clean. You’ll need to use a few baby wipes if the ear is quite dirty, so be sure to stock up when they’re on sale!
If the wax is very dark – almost like dried blood – the dog may have an infection called Canker Ear which will require veterinary attention.
Check your dog’s ears weekly for signs of infection and to clear away any wax or dirt. If you notice an infection or even suspect your dog might have an ear problem, bring them straight to your veterinarian.
2. Ear Plucking
Oo, it sounds horribly painful, doesn’t it? However, if you’re plucking the right hair from the ear canal, it won’t be painful for the dog at all. It’ll actually feel quite satisfying. Plucking any annoying and unwanted hair from your dog’s ear will free up their ear canal and help prevent infections.
Remember to never pluck a dog’s ears if they have an infection. This will cause the dog immense pain and may even exacerbate the infection, which is not what you or your dog wants. Take your dog straight to your vet if you think they have an ear infection!
The ear of a dog is full of hair. But when grooming them, the only hair you should be interested in is the strands that are coming from inside the ear canal itself. These will often be darker or covered in wax, so they’re pretty easy to spot!
Not all breeds need their ears plucking. In fact, it’s mostly just dogs with longer coats or more wiry dog hair. Smooth-coated dogs rarely need their ears plucked at all!
What can you use to pluck your dog's ears?
There are a lot of different products out there to help with ear plucking, but here at The Paw Pad Dog Grooming School, we love to use Thornit’s plucking powder.
This powder helps us grip the hairs easily so there are no failed attempts and the powder is also slightly medicated to soothe the inner ear. The ear plucking procedure tends to inflame the hair follicles, so this extra soother will help your dog relax so you can pluck their overgrown ear hair without any issues.
Ear plucking is a delicate procedure, and unlike ear cleaning, it should only be done by an experienced groomer or a vet. If you’re interested in learning how to pluck your dog’s ears properly, safely and effectively, then our team is here to help.
We offer dog grooming courses to anybody eager to learn how to groom a canine companion properly. Ear plucking, and ear cleaning, are covered in our grooming courses which are full of all the dog grooming information you could ever need.