How to Care for Your Dog’s Ears
By Heather Russell-Revesz
Dog ears come in a variety of shapes and styles. Some of the most common include:
- Drop ear: Ear that hangs down over the side of the head, like in the Basset Hound
- Prick ear: Pointed ear that stands erect, like in the German Shepherd Dog
- Rose ear: Ear that folds backward, like in the Bulldog
- Semi-prick ear: Pointed ear that folds over slightly on the top, like in the Collie
- V-shaped ear: Long ear that ends in a V-shape, like in the Vizla
While all dogs’ ears need care, dogs with drop ears or folds require additional attention because the shape of the ear causes more moisture to become trapped. Check the ears daily for problems.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
So what can go wrong with your dog’s ears? Allergies, ear mites, infections, trauma, and excess moisture can all upset the natural pH balance. Check your dog’s ears weekly for issues. If you notice a strong odor, discharge, redness, or swelling, he may have a problem. You should also be aware of your dog’s behavior—constant scratching or rubbing of the ears can indicate a problem. See your veterinarian right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
CLEANING YOUR DOG’S EARS
Keeping your dog’s ears in shape is one of the easier grooming tasks. All you need is a gentle ear wash, like Four Paws® Ear Wash
. It helps relieve itching and gets rid of waxy buildup. Just place a few drops in your dog’s ear or put some of the liquid on a cotton ball and swab gently around visible inner area of the ear, taking care not to push the cotton ball into the ear canal.
Four Paws® Ear Wipes
are another simple ear-cleaning option. They come pre-moistened and easily remove earwax. Just pull one out of the package and gently wipe around the ear canal. This alcohol-free wipe is formulated to be gentle and soothing for dogs.