Proper Ear Cleaning
No matter if you own a dog or cat, your pet’s routine care and grooming should also include proper ear cleaning to keep his/her ears healthy. Without regular and proper cleaning, your pet’s ears can become a breeding ground for a wide range of parasites, bacteria and fungi. These can cause an infection which in turn can lead to a major discomfort, intense itching or/and severe pain. And if left untreated, ear infections can seriously jeopardize your pet’s health and well-being.
Dog Ear Care and Cleaning
To keep your dog’s ears healthy, it is crucial to regularly inspect his ears for dirt, debris and earwax buildup. There is no need to clean your dog’s ears too frequently. On the contrary, it can leave his ears too dry which in turn can cause irritation and other ear problems. Remember that it is perfectly normal to see some wax. But if your pet’s ears appear dirty, they probably are.
To clean your dog’s ears, gently wipe his ears with a gauze or cotton ball that was previously damped with an ear cleaning solution for dogs that can be found at pet supply stores. But if you don’t have the cleaning solution, you can also use mineral oil. Be sure not to clean too deep into the ear canal to avoid damaging the ear drum.
To prevent ear irritation and infections, you are also advised to protect your dog’s ears during baths and water activities, especially if he has a history of ear infections. Put cotton in his ears and dry them carefully after bathing/water activities. You can also buy an ear drying solution to evaporate any water that remains in your dog’s ears.
If you have any questions about proper ear cleaning or aren’t sure whether you are doing it right, ask your vet to show you how to clean your dog’s ears. You are also advised to ask your vet if you should remove hair from your pet’s ear canal, how to do this and how often.
Cat Ear Care and Cleaning
Proper ear cleaning is vital for cat ear health as well. No special cleaning products or techniques are required other than perhaps an ear cleaning solution to safely and effortlessly remove excess wax, dirt and debris. Clean your cat’s ears when they appear dirty but clean only the outer ear. Resist the temptation to “go deeper” because you can cause more harm than good.
Watch for Signs of Ear Infections and Other Problems
If your pet’s ears appear very dirty, for example if you can see dark brown or black debris resembling ground coffee, your dog or cat probably has an ear infection. The mentioned symptoms usually signal mite infection but it is necessary for your pet to be examined by a vet. You are also recommended to take your dog or cat to your vet if you notice ear discharge, swelling, odor/unpleasant smell, redness, bleeding, crusts, hair loss, constant scratching or/and head shaking. Ear infections in dogs and cats usually aren’t serious but it is important for them to receive proper and prompt treatment.