Dogs have big ears. Not only are they big, but they have deep ear canals with lots of twists and turns. The anatomy of your dog's ear is why he can hear noises that you cannot. However, such anatomy does require extra care and grooming to keep healthy.

Regular Cleaning

Debris, parasites and bacteria can easily get trapped in your dog's ear canals. Dogs with allergies or floppy ears are especially susceptible. Make a habit of checking your dog's ears once every day or so – it can be a simple matter of looking in his ears while you're petting him. If you see dirt or debris, dampen a cotton ball with mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide, and gently swab the area. Don't push hard, and never insert anything into the canal itself.

Ear Hair Grooming

If your dog has long fur, it's necessary to brush the outer ear hair while grooming him. Be gentle as the ear anatomy is delicate. If your dog has floppy ears, rest the flap in your palm and gently stroke the brush over the fur.

Some dogs sprout hair from their ear canals. This is just a normal adaptation of the breed, but sometimes these hairs can get matted or tangled. 

Dog Ears and Bathing

Because bacteria love wet, warm places such as your dog's ear canals, wet ears can be a problem for your dog. Whether you bathe your dog regularly, or he likes going for a dip, it's important to keep his ears dry.

Pet MD suggests placing cotton inside your dog's ears when bathing him. If the ear canal becomes wet from swimming, use a soft, dry cloth to dry the opening without digging into the canal itself. If your dog is prone to ear infections, talk to your vet about ear drops that contain a drying solution.

Ear Infection Signs

Despite all your care, your dog may still develop an ear infection or other ear-related issue. While a little brown wax built up in the ear is normal, excess wax is a sign of a problem. If the wax is dark or resembles coffee grounds, it's a sign of ear mites. Other signs to look out for include the following:

  • Discharge
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Foul odor
  • Crusty skin
  • Hair loss

If you see any of those signs, it's time for a trip to the vet.

Dogs have such amazing hearing. With a little care and grooming, your dog's ears will remain perfect houses for that great hearing. To learn more about dog grooming and care, contact South Tampa Puppy Palace