Cleaning your puppy’s ears is an important step of grooming. Anytime your puppy gets wet from bathing or swimming, their ears should be cleaned afterwards to prevent infection as yeast and bacteria thrive in dark, moist environments. Any over the counter, alcohol-based cleaner from the pet store will do, and we carry Epi-Otic ear cleaner that can be purchased over-the-counter at any time. The alcohol base will help get rid of any residual moisture. A medicated cleaner from the veterinarian may be necessary in some cases of infection or recurrent infections. Feel free to ask our veterinarians for a recommendation at any time.
The best time to start acclimating your puppy to having its ears cleaned are while they are young. Start by simply handling their ears by petting them, lifting the ear flap, and gently sticking your finger in the canal entrance. Once your puppy becomes comfortable with having its ears handled, you can start cleaning them by pouring the ear cleaner on a cotton ball and wiping the ear canal as far down as you can comfortably reach. Continue to wipe out the ear with additional cotton balls until little to no debris is seen. Q-tips are only recommended to clean out the small crevices at the top of the canal where you can visually see- do not stick q-tips down your dog’s ear canal.
It is important to provide positive reinforcement such as high reward treats during and after these sessions to encourage your puppy to view ear cleanings as a positive experience.
Please watch our Facebbook video on ear cleanings for a full demonstration, or ask our technicians to demonstrate on your pet anytime!