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As many of you know, I have two dogs and a cat, all three of them the most adorable rescue pets one could ever want. But, because they are special needs babies with allergies and other little problems, I emphasize on natural pet care for them, to not aggravate their sensitivities.
This is no difference for ear care. One of our dogs, Athena, who loves to snuggle with Charlie, the cat, is prone to chronic ear problems. Because of that, taking care of her ears is a necessary, and carefully scheduled routine.
The first thing you need to consider when taking care of your dog’s ears is the season. During late Fall, throughout Winter, and early Spring, dogs (and some cats), tend to have more ear problems, then during the warmer months, so keep that in mind when scheduling your pet care. Also, increase your ear care routine, if you live in a wetter climate, may it be in tropical regions with a lot of rainfall and humidity, or if you are in a snow prone area. If you are traveling to another climate, with your pets, keep also an extra eye on any symptoms that might occur, such as excessive head shaking, sensitivity to touch of the ear, or scratching at the ear. These can be signs of an ear infection, and should be checked out by a doctor. A combination of medicinal ear wash and antibiotics might be in order.
Related Post: Health Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs
Prepping the ear:
If you have a long-hair dog, you might have to trim some of the ear hairs before being able to properly clean the
dog’s ears. Keeping your do’gs ear hairs short is also a good way to prevent from dirt getting stuck so close to
such a sensitive part of your pet. Short ear hairs are not just good signs of pet grooming, but also a vital health
Creating Your Ear Wash
Add 1/3 of organic (preferably raw, and unfiltered) apple cider vinegar to 2/3 cup of lukewarm (never hot!)
water, mix well.
Some “recipes” call for Witch Hazel, or a different ratio of 50/50, but I have found both are too strong for a dog with sensitive ears, while being effective enough to keep ear infections and itchiness at bay.
Using The Ear Wash
Use a cosmetic wedge (not a fuzzy cotton ball!), dipping it into the warm mixture, and gently wipe out the ear, careful not to get too close to the inner ear, and make sure you can compensate for sudden movements. Not all dogs are willing to sit still voluntarily through this treatment. Keep on wiping until you have cleaned the ear thoroughly, using a new wedge whenever needed.
About the cotton balls: I do not like using cotton balls for this because it can leave pieces behind, which then can cause ear infections, similar to what a cotton swap can do for a human ear, when not used properly. Wedges, on the
other hand, are soft, yet solid, have usually a more narrow, and a wider edge, which gives you some flexibility
in cleaning the ear.