Dog Stories

Dog Ear Hygiene—The Importance of Maintaining High Standards

Dog ear hygiene is extremely important. Your dog’s ears are a perfect breeding ground for all types of nasty parasites, bacteria and dirt. This is due to the structure of your dog’s ears. The ear canals of dogs are very long, usually from 5 to 10 cm in length. The ear canals are also dark, twisty and moist. As a result, it is easy for dirt to get into your dog’s ears.

Getting foreign materials out of your dog’s ears is very difficult. Proper dog ear hygiene can prevent a lot of pain and discomfort for your dog. This is why veterinarians recommend that you should make cleaning your dog’s ears an important part of your regular pet grooming routine. Why should we consider maintaining high standards of dog ear hygiene as something vital?

Dog ear hygiene is necessary for preventing ear infection

Your dog’s ears are one of the most delicate and important organs in its body. When dirt and excess wax build-up in the ears over a period of time, it creates a very conducive environment for bacteria and yeast to develop. The buildup of bacteria and yeast will also lead to serious ear infections, which are very painful.

To protect your dog from developing ear infections, it is important that you clean his ears regularly. Once ear infections set in, it is difficult for ear infection treatments to reach the affected areas of the inner ear.

By regularly cleaning your dog’s ears, you will prevent the build-up of wax and dirt from blocking the ear canal and causing major problems. But don’t forget that certain dog breeds have just as much to do with ear problems.

What dog breeds are susceptible to ear infections?

Although any dog can suffer from an ear infection, there are certain dog breeds that are more prone to developing ear infections than others. Two of the dog breeds are Cocker Spaniels and the Cockapoos. These two dog breeds have a lot of similarities. They are medium-sized dogs with droopy ears.

The main reason why these two dog breeds are more prone to ear infections is because of the shape of their ears. Oh, yeah. And their dragging ears are always in a water dish somewhere or in a mud puddle. They have long and droopy ears. Although the shape of their ears is one of their most endearing physical attributes, it is also one of their main undoing as far as ear infections are concerned.

Ears of Cockers and Cockapoos fit close to their heads, covering the entrance of their ear canals. This leads to a lack of air circulation in their ears. This is not good when the Cockers and Cockapoos have a lot of hair growing inside their ears. There are special tools that remove this from the ears. However, veterinarians or dog groomers  dog groomers can clean the ears a lot easier, safer, and faster.

Ear canals are damp and warm most of the time. If you doubt that, hold the palm of your hand up close to the inside of the dog’s inner ear. The heat you are feeling is a perfect environment for bacteria and other parasites to thrive. We need to consider the importance of maintaining higher standards of dog ear hygiene. Not only in Cocker  Spaniels and Cockapoos, but in other dog breeds— Poodles, Dachshunds, and King Charles Cavaliers.


ears on a cocker for dog ear hygiene
Figure 1 – Microsoft Office/Pexels


  • Getting Rid of Ear Mites

One of the most annoying parasites that like to turn dogs’ ears into their homes is mites. These parasites are usually highly contagious. Mites feed on ear wax and oils. Therefore, if your dog’s ears are not regularly cleaned, the wax and oil will build up and this will favor the growth of mites.

What makes dealing with ear mites very difficult is the fact that they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. The only way you can see the ear mites is by taking small samples of wax from your dog’s ears and spreading it on a white piece of paper.

If your dog has mites in his ears, you will see them on the ear wax as small white specs. Cleaning your dog’s ears with antibacterial ear cleaners can get rid of these unfriendly visitors in your dog’s ears.

  • Removing Organic Matter and Weeds

Dogs are usually very playful. From rolling in the grass while playing outside to running in the woods, your dog is likely to have weeds, sand and organic matter in his ears. Regular ear cleaning will, therefore, ensure that these foreign objects do not work their way down in your dog’s ear canal.

Step-by Step Process of Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears is something that you should regularly do. Dog ear hygiene is one of the least popular forms of dog grooming, but the most vital. It is usually a messy job since your dog is less likely to allow you to clean his ears without offering some resistance. With the right tips however, you can safely and smoothly clean your dog’s ears.

Here is how you can clean your dog’s ears.

  1. First of all, you should ensure that you get your dog to relax. You can do this by giving him a good belly rub and saying some soothing words to him.
  2. Ensure that you gently hold your dog’s ear flap upright. Gently pour the ear cleaner in his ear canal until it is full.
  3. By still holding his ears gently, gently massage the base of his ear with your other hand. This will ensure that the ear cleaner gets into all areas of the ear canal.
  4. After massaging your dog’s ears for 20 seconds, you can now let go of his ears.

Once your dog has vigorously shaken his head to remove the ear cleaner solution, you can grab some cotton wool and wipe out the opening of his ear canal. The cotton wool will remove dirt from the folds at the opening of your dog’s ear canal. You can then give your dog a treat and repeat the same process for the other ear.


Long-haired shepherd dogs

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Although dogs’ ears come in several shapes and sizes, one thing is certain. Dogs’ ears are clearly different from our own ears. Therefore, when cleaning your dog’s ears, you will need to be gentle and careful enough so that you don’t cause him any harm. Here are mistakes that you should not make when cleaning your dog’s ears.

Using the Wrong Solution

Did you know that your dog’s ear canal is L-shaped? Therefore, you should choose an ear cleaning solution that will effectively clean your dog’s ear, including the hard to reach parts. The ear cleaning solution should have the right ingredients that will break down the wax in your dog’s ears. To get the best ear cleaning solution for your dog, you can ask your vet to give you the best recommendations.

Applying dog ear hygiene on your new couch

It’s a messy business to clean your dog’s ears. Your dog is likely to spray you with the ear cleaning solution as he will be shaking his head to resist having his ears cleaned. If you do this on your couch, it’s going to be a mess.

The best place to clean your dog’s ears is in your bathroom or outdoors.  If you insist on doing it on your couch, then you can use a towel to cover your dog’s head. This will prevent the ear solution from splashing all over your couch when your dog shakes his head.

  • Disciplining Your Dog While You Are Cleaning His Ears

You may wish for your dog just to lie down still and wait for you to clean his ears. Well, that is less likely to happen. If your dog is not giving you an easy time as you try to clean his ears, you should never try to punish him. This is because he will end up hating the ear cleaning process. Instead, you can give him treats while you are cleaning his ears.

If he is still stressed and is not willing to let you clean his ears, you can take a break and come back to clean his ears later, maybe after a few minutes or hours.

The Bottom Line of Dog Ear Hygiene

Your dog’s ears are one of the areas in his body that should be regularly cleaned. If the ears are not cleaned regularly, dirt and wax can build up in the ears. This will prepare the mood for the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause an ear infection. You should, therefore, take your time to clean your dog’s ears regularly.

Cocker Spaniels and Cockapoos are the most popular dogs to have around as pets. This is because they are very loyal, charming and have long droopy ears that are very cute. However, their cute long droopy ears are usually a recipe for disaster when it comes to ear infections. Good news is that, with good ear hygiene, you can reduce the risk of your charming Cockapoo or Cocker Spaniel developing an ear infection.

If your pooch already has an ear infection, then you should first take him for treatment from your vet. After that, you can continue cleaning his ears to prevent the ear infection from recurring. I hope that this article has equipped you with some useful information on the importance of maintaining high standards of dog ear hygiene.


Author Bio

Joy Henderson

Hello everyone!

I’m Joy Henderson from MyPupMyHero.

I love my dogs so much, and that is why I have decided to share my experience and knowledge about dogs with people like you. Please feel free to share your story with me, you’re welcome!



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