There’s a reason ear cleaning is always included in our spa services and I try to encourage people who are doing self-service baths to clean out their dog’s ears when they are finished. This prevents infection that could be caused by any moisture that gets in a dog's ears during a bath. Dogs with drop ears (ears that hang down to cover the ear canal as opposed to ears that stand up and expose the ear) are especially prone to bacterial or yeast infections because air does not circulate to dry the ears naturally. Regular cleaning is a great way to prevent this.
Ear cleaning is pretty simple and like any grooming routine your dog will be a willing partner if you use positive reinforcement and repetition so your dog is used to having his or her ears handled. First wet a cotton ball with ear cleaner. Hold your dog’s ear and push the cotton ball into his ear while maintaining a hold of your dog’s ear and the cotton ball. Pull the cotton outward, taking dirt, debris and buildup out of his ear. Alternately, you can squirt ear cleaner into your dog's ear, massage into the ear and ear canal and use a cotton ball to remove excess cleaner and loosened dirt and debris. Repeat with a fresh cotton ball until the ear is clean, then do the other ear. Be careful not to put your finger or the cotton ball into your dog’s ear canal. Allowing your dog to shake after a bath will also help remove any water or ear cleaner left in his ear. Always clean your dog’s ears after a bath, swimming or getting wet. For dogs with infection prone ears, you can clean them once a week or as often as twice a day as a preventative measure.
We have a variety of products for ear care at home. Cain & Able and AromaPaws both make a great natural ear cleanser. HappyTails makes Ear Clear, a serum to ease itchy, smelly or exceptionally dirty ears. It uses arnica, a widely used analgesic and anti-inflammatory herb and is naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. If you have any questions or need a demonstration on how to clean your dog’s ears, please let us know!