A dog’s ears are one of his or her most expressive parts. They’re an important part of canine physiology and one that requires a little bit of extra attention. It makes sense, then, that dog owners would need to spend time cleaning their dogs’ ears. The good news, though, is that you don’t necessarily need a special product to clean your dog’s ears – you just need a simple solution that you can make from items that you likely already have at home.
Learning how to clean your dog’s ears is a simple process that can make a huge difference in his or her life. Read on to learn more about how to make your own ear cleaner and how to use it to keep your dog’s ears clean.
Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
Cleaning your dog’s ears is as vital as making sure that your dog has the right diet. It’s an incredibly important part of taking care of specific breeds, for example, and a great way to make sure that your dog doesn’t wind up with an ear infection.
While it’s important to remember that there are a handful of breeds that definitely need extra ear care, cleaning your dog’s ears might still be a priority even if your dog doesn’t have big ears. In fact, this is a great thing to learn how to do if your dog tends to have allergies. At the very least, learning about it gives you a new way to learn how to take care of your dog.
Don’t underestimate the importance of helping your dog avoid ear infections. Human ear infections are a nuisance, but they are a big deal for dogs. In fact, a dog who gets an ear infection could even end up with permanent hearing damage – something that any good dog owner will want to avoid.
Making Your Own Dog Ear Cleaner
The good news is that you don’t need much to make your own dog ear cleaner. In fact, you probably already have everything that you need. What’s important, though, is that you stick to the ingredient list here – going with the items that you assume would be good for your dog might not be so easy on his or her ears.
So, what do you need? Just a solution of one part distilled white vinegar to two parts room temperature distilled water. There are plenty of people who will say that you can use tap water, but you’re really better off using something that’s distilled or at least boiled.
All you’ll need to do to make your ear cleaner is to mix the two liquids together and to pour them into a bottle. You’ll keep the bottle in someplace that’s cool and dark between uses, but you should expect to get a fair bit of mileage out of this mixture.
A Note on Health and DIY Cleaners
This kind of DIY ear cleaner is simple, safe, and effective. You should, however, only use it if you already know that your dog has healthy ears. This definitely means taking some time to consult with your vet before you start using the cleaner on your dog.
What happens if your dog already has an ear infection? Simply put, you’re going to need to talk to your vet. Your vet probably has a cleaner that he or she would like you to use, to say nothing of the medication that your dog needs. Unfortunately, your cleaner just isn’t going to be as effective as you like here.
While it might be expensive to go to the vet without pet insurance, try to remember that your dog really does need antibiotics if he or she has an ear infection. There’s nothing that you can do at home for your dog in this situation, even if you buy a cleaner from the store. In fact, any attempt to care for the infection yourself could end up making things much worse.
Always check with your vet to make sure that it’s safe to use your ear cleaner with your dog. It’s going to be a safe bet ninety-nine percent of the time, but that one percent chance of causing your dog harm is more than enough to make talking to the vet a necessity. Luckily, most vets are going to be more than happy to give you the go-ahead to use your DIY cleaner on your dog.
The Cleaning Process
Now that you know when it’s okay to use your cleaner on your dog, you can get to work on those ears.
Your first step is always going to be to gather up your gear. Not only do you need your bottle of solution, but you’re going to need some rags or towels available to clean up. This is probably going to get messy, so plan accordingly.
Start by aiming the top of your bottle at the dog’s ear. Give it a quick squeeze, depositing the fluid directly into the ear canal, ensuring that nothing but the solution makes its way inside your dog’s ear. Once you have a squeeze of solution in place, you can start to rub the area around your dog’s ear to help break up anything that’s managed to build up inside your dog’s ear canal as well as ensuring that some of the solutions make it all the way down to your dog’s inner ear.
Yes, your dog is going to shake his or her head. As much as you might not like how messy this gets, it’s actually a very important part of the ear cleaning process. Not only will your dog get rid of any extra solution, but he or she will help to further loosen up any built-up ear wax. Now that your dog has done the rest of the work, you can wipe the gunk off the outside of his or her ear with a cloth or rag.
Once you’re done, make sure to clean off the nozzle of your bottle so that it isn’t able to become home to any dangerous bacteria. Make sure that your separate bottles for each dog that gets his or her ear cleaned and that you pay attention to any health problems that might occur after cleaning.
As a note, you might get tempted to use a Q-tip to clean out your dog’s ears, especially since it will make the process go faster. Avoid this urge, though, as you should absolutely never stick anything small in your dog’s ears. Doing so will make you run the risk of penetrating your dog’s eardrum, which will not only be incredibly painful for your dog but also runs the risk of causing permanent hearing damage.
Don’t clean your dog’s ears if he or she yelps in pain or seems to be hurt. Likewise, be prepared to call your vet if your dog starts to lean into your hand or seems to have a palpable sense of relief – all of these responses are signs that your dog might have an ear infection.
Finally, make sure that you’re gentle with your dog so that he or she doesn’t get scared by the procedure. If your dog is amenable to CBD oils, this might be a good time to give them some. Take things slowly, don’t yell, and make sure that your dog feels good afterward. Yes, this means that you’re going to want to keep some treats on hand to give your dog both during and after the procedure and that you’re going to want to cuddle with him or her after you are done.
Determining How Often to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
As you might imagine, there are a lot of variables at play when it comes to cleaning your dog’s ears. You’ll probably want to talk to your vet to get a precise cleaning schedule, but there are a few things to keep in mind while you are cleaning.
Remember that everything from the amount that your dog plays outside to his or her ear shape is going to play a role in how often you should clean. Cleaning too often can actually cause ear infections, but waiting too long can cause many of the same problems.
Most experts say that you should only clean your dog’s ears once a month. If you stick to this schedule and notice that it’s not doing much for your dog, though, you might want to drop down to once every two months. As ever, the schedule really depends on the individual dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I clean my dog’s ears out with?
It’s definitely best to use something simple and gentle to clean out your dog’s ears. The best way to get through this process is probably to use one part of distilled white vinegar to two parts distilled water. You’ll definitely want to avoid anything like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as those substances can hurt your dog’s ears.
2. How do you make homemade ear cleaner?
Start by gathering up some distilled white vinegar or some distilled or boiled water. Pour two parts water to one part vinegar in a bottle that has a squeeze top. These are the only two ingredients you need, so make sure to avoid anything else that could potentially cause your dog discomfort or pain when cleaning his or her ears.