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PETsMART

Grooming Dogs

How To Groom Your Dog's Ears

 

Whether your dog's ears are long and droopy, or short and catlike, they require attention to make sure that they stay clean and free of problems. Ears produce wax, trap dirt, grow hair, retain moisture, and can easily develop infections when they are neglected. Check your dog's ears every day. lf your dog is used to you handling his ears then he will be more comfortable with it when a professional groomer or vet has to examine them. In addition, spend more time making sure the ears are clean during grooming sessions.

Below are eight suggestions that you can apply to make sure that your dog's ears are in good condition:

1. First, examine your dog's ears. Check the outside for tangles and parasites, which often gravitate toward the ears. Check the insides for dirt and excessive wax buildup. Your dog's ears should be clean. A little ear wax is normal, but large amounts of ear wax that looks reddish brown or streaky or smells funny should be consulted with the vet.

2. Next, check for hair inside the ear. Ear tiny hair can trap dirt, bacteria, and moisture inside the ear canal, causing infection. If you like, you may trim the hair inside the ears for a neater appearance.

3. To trim ear hair, pull the ear back over the dog's head, laying it flat against the skull. This will shut off the delicate parts of the ear canal.

4. For dog ears that contain long ear hair, pluck out each hairs with your fingers. If you find this difficult, dip your fingers in a little ear powder to make it easier to grasp the hairs. Don't pluck out more than two hairs at one time because this could be painful for your dog. You may use ear hair forceps, which are small tweezers made for plucking ear hair but again, only pluck one or two hairs at a time.

5. If the hair is short and hard to pluck, or if you prefer to cut rather than pluck, you can clip each hair with a small, blunt-tipped scissors.

6. Dust the ears with medicated ear powder if they are prone to infection. Most powders sold in pet stores will do just fine and will not cause any adverse reactions.

7. If the ears are very dirty, gently pull the ear out away from the skull to open up the ear canal and place a few drops of ear wash or mineral oil inside. Massage the base of the ear to work the cleanser down the canal. Hold the ear down for a minute to let the fluid enter the ear canal, then release your dog and let him shake his head a few times to loosen the ear wax. Check ears again and clear out loosened wax with a cotton ball or cotton swab dipped in ear wash or mineral oil.

8. For dogs with droopy ears, remember to keep all hair under the ear opening and on the inside flap of the ear trimmed short. This will increase air flow to the ear and reduce the chance of infections.

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