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Keeping your dog’s ears cleaned and maintaining regular dog ear plucking will help keep your pet from getting troublesome ear infections.
When you remove the hair from inside your dogs’ ears through plucking, you remove hair that has died, so it is no longer rooted in your pet’s ears.
Removing the hair will help keep your dog’s ear cleaner, as the hair can trap dirt, debris, and wax.
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Dog’s Ear Can Be Susceptible To Ear Infections
Your dog’s ears can be prone to infection. Dogs that have floppy ears, such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, are especially susceptible. The inside of the ear does not get much ventilation, and if the dog also has thick hair in their ear canal, it can add to the difficulty.
The reason for that is the hair traps debris, moisture, and earwax. That combination makes for an environment in which bacterial and fungal infections can flourish.
Dogs are also more prone to ear infections because of the way their ear canals are shaped. By keeping your dog’s ears cleaned and by plucking the hair in their ears, you can help to avoid a painful infection for your pet.
What to look for: Signs of an ear infection.
- A foul odor coming from the dog’s inner ear
- Discharge inside or coming from the dog’s ear
- Your dog consistently scratches or rubs its rear or side of its head
- The ear is painful or tender to the touch
- Your dog’s ear canal is red or swollen
If you see any of these signs in your dog, or if for other reasons you suspect your pet has an ear infection, make sure that you seek veterinary treatment. An ear infection will not get better on its own.
To prevent ear infections, it is a good idea to clean your dog’s ears regularly. Once you start checking your dog’s ears, you will get a feel for how often they will need cleaning.
Some dogs might need it once a week, and others might need to have their ears cleaned once a month.
Dogs who love to run in fields or roll in the dirt will need to have their ears cleaned more than those who tend to be couch potatoes.
As a pet owner, you should be taking a peak in your dog’s ears once a week. It will only take a few seconds while petting your pooch to give a quick look inside each ear.
You will be able to see any redness, swelling, or dirt with just a glance. A look will also be your gauge as to when your pet needs to have its ears cleaned.
There are a variety of products that will help with cleaning your dog’s ears, and we recommend the five best ear cleaners for dogs to keep your pet’s ears clean.
Your dog is probably not going to be fond of having their ears plucked; not many do. It is, however, a necessary part of keeping your dog healthy.
If done correctly, there is minimal discomfort for your pet. Make it a regular part of their routine, and make sure that you reward your pet at the end of the cleaning.
Using A Hemostat To Pluck Your Dog’s Ear Hair
Step One: Get the space ready.
Depending on your dog’s size, your dog either lies or sits where it will be the most comfortable. If you have a larger dog, it might be better to have your dog lay on the couch or to lay on the floor.
If your dog is small, it might do well laying on your lap. Whatever is the most comfortable for your pet, laying down or sitting up, that is the position for your pet to be in.
Step Two: Have your tools ready.
Get the hemostat, or tweezers, ready. It is better to have everything prepared before you summon your pet. Have a clean cloth ready and have some of your pet’s favorite treats designed to reward after this task.
Step Three: Use the hemostat to pluck your dog’s hair.
Using the hemostat, grab a small amount of hair, just five or so strands of hair at a time. The hair should release quickly and easily. If the hair does not pull away easily, take fewer strands of hair and try again. Repeat this process for both ears.
Step Four: Wipe the inside or your dog’s ear.
Once you have plucked the hairs from your dog’s ears, use a clean cloth to wipe the inside of your pet’s ear to get extra loose hair. This will keep it from getting into the ear canal.
Step Five: Reward your patient pooch!
While the process may not hurt your pet, there are very few dogs who would willingly submit to the procedure. Rewarding your pet will make it less of an ordeal for both of you.
Here is a video that shows how the process of dog ear plucking is done: Dog Ears – The Best Way to Clean and Remove Hair
Learning how to do dog-ear plucking of hair can help to keep your pet’s ears cleaner inside and help to ward off infections.
This process, if done correctly, should not hurt your dog. As always, when done, reward your pet so that they don’t mind the next session of cleaning.
How often should dogs get their ears cleaned?
You should be checking your dog’s ears once every week. Look for any sign of infection. At the same time, check to see how clean or dirty your dog’s ears are to determine when they need cleaning next.
Should I pluck my dog’s hair?
Some recommend plucking the dog’s hair from the inner ear when you are cleaning, and those who say it is not necessary. It is best to consult with your veterinarian to see if your breed of dog would benefit from plucking the dog’s hair.
How often should I pluck my dog’s ears?
Any dog with a significant amount of hair in its ears should have the hair plucked about every six weeks.
Besides preventing ear infections, are there any other reasons to pluck my dog’s ears?
Yes, there is an important reason to have the excess hair removed from your dog’s ears. Besides collecting dirt, debris, and earwax, having excess hair inhibits your vet from getting a good look at the ear canal.
If they have to take the extra steps to clean out the ear before examining your pet, it is more stressful for all concerned. Also, the ear will have a bit of redness after plucking, and that will make it more difficult for your vet to tell if the plucking causes the redness or if there is another problem.
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)