How to Keep a Dog From Scratching Its Ears

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Keep a Dog From Scratching Its Ears
Keep a Dog From Scratching Its Ears (Image: www.freedigitalphotos.net)

Ear scratching can be a chronic problem in many dogs. Dogs' ears need to be cleaned and check regularly for signs of parasites and infections, and with just a few simple supplies, you can make sure your canine companion never suffers from dreaded itchy ears.

Things You'll Need

  • Small pair of scissors
  • 50/50 solution warm water and vinegar
  • Cotton balls
  • Small towel
  • Plain mineral oil

Lift the ear and visually inspect it for injury, parasites or obstructions. Once the ear is clear, take the small scissors and gently trim the excess long hairs from the ear canal, making sure not to let the hair fall into the ear. Be careful not to cut or injure the dog while trimming.

Soak a cotton ball with the water/vinegar solution, and swab the entire inner ear surface. Make sure to get down inside the folds and creases, removing all the dirt and debris.

Wipe the ear surface with the towel to remove any remaining matter from the ear. Do not force the towel or cotton ball into the ear canal, which could result in serious damage.

Once the ear is dry, lightly moisten a cotton ball with the mineral oil, and coat the ear with the oil. The mineral oil will help to avoid dry skin on the inside of the ear, and will help keep some of the grime and gunk from accumulating in the ear canal.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you notice any bad odors or an excessive amount of dark or black discharge from the ear, this is an indication of an ear infection or parasite infestation. These types of issues are best treated with prompt vet care, so if you notice any of this, stop cleaning them and call your vet immediately.
  • Weekly cleaning of the ears is frequent enough for most breeds. The best way to know how often to clean them is just to monitor how dirty they get on a weekly basis. If you notice they are very dirty at the end of the week, try twice weekly cleaning.
  • Dogs with long, hanging ears such as Basset Hounds and Beagles are more prone to dirty, itchy ears than dogs with shorter ears, and may require more frequent cleaning.
  • Never insert anything inside the ear canal. A dog, just like a human, has very sensitive ears, and they are very easily damaged.
  • If you notice any injury, foreign objects, extreme swelling or discharge, call your vet immediately.
  • Recurring itchiness and scratching can be signs of a chronic problem and is an issue best discussed with your vet.

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