Labradors, with long floppy ears, have lots of room for gunk to grow and might have dirty ears from rolling outside. According to Black Labradors, a site where owners share experiences, many owners find their dog's ears are often dirty. Dirt might come from fleas or ear mites as well, which cause a waxy buildup in the ear. Cleaning your Labrador's ears with a homemade ear cleaning solution prevents dirty buildup and hearing problems. It can also prevent ear mites from developing in a healthy and clean dog.
Salt Based Saline
Create a homemade saline flush for your dog's ears. Labradors react well to being touched and handled, so you can use homemade saline to flush your dog's ears once a month. Make a saline solution that is one part salt to 10 parts distilled water. Mix the solution in a bowl or cup that has a lid, and then put the lid in place so that you can shake the solution. Shake the solution well directly before it is used.
Using Homemade Solution
Hold your Labrador by the collar or have someone else hold the dog securely. Hold your dog's head at an angle, so that the cup of the ear is facing a downward angle. Do not pour the solution into your dog's ear if the cup of the ear is facing up; this will cause the solution to go directly into your dog's ear canal. With your dog's ear facing down, flush it with the solution. Let the solution run out of your dog's ear and then pat it dry with a towel.
Ask your vet about a prescription for an ear cleaning solution if you feel that your dog has inner ear problems—inner ear cleaning solutions need to be prescribed and administered by a vet. Saline solution will not rid your dog of any ear mites that are causing a buildup, even if it cleans the buildup. Your dog will need a prescription medication to get rid of the ear mites that have caused the buildup. Your vet can give you one of those as well. Do not rub the solution into your dog's ears, as this could cause irritation. Although Labradors are usually good about having people touch their ears, if your dog is not, practice holding and wiping several times without the solution so he gets used to what you will be doing before the solution is used.