Making sure your cat or dog has clean ears is essential to their overall health, as they can easily develop an infection that can cause serious issues later on. If you’re a new pet owner, here’s everything you need to know about cleaning and caring for your pet’s ears.

Signs of a Dirty Ear

Your pet will show certain indicators that something’s wrong with their ears. Whether they’re infected or simply dirty, you need to check them out regardless. These signs include shaking their head, redness or swelling in the ear, dark discharge, crust in or around their ears, scratches around the area, weird smells and a consistent head tilting.

Cleaning Their Ears Yourself?

Is it best to clean your pet’s ears yourself, or should you consult a veterinarian first? Cleaning their ears over and over again isn’t going to do much if they have an infection, so it’s best to visit your vet to seek the proper treatment options. They’ll be able to properly examine any of the signs mentioned above with a close eye to determine the nature and severity of the issue. If your pet does have an ear infection, then they’ll be treated with through the necessary means. However, if your pet’s ears are just filthy, then you have nothing to worry about.

When to Clean their Ears

You should be cleaning your pet’s ears once a month to keep them healthy. Consult a vet if their ears stink, if they have dark brown earwax or if you see a black substance within. Clean in their ears to frequently can actually irritate them and cause an infection. However, if they have an active infection, they’re ears need to be cleaned daily or several times a week.

What You Shouldn’t Use

Your veterinarian can recommend products to use to effectively clean your pet’s ears, such as the all-natural Avena Sativa or TrizEDTA. Natural products are great, but they need to be pet safe. That’s why you should avoid using tea tree oil, over the counter antibiotics and steroid drops. Tea tree oil, as well as coconut and olive oil, are toxic and can encourage infection growth. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide too, as it’s too harsh for your pet’s ears.

Easy Steps to Cleaner Ears

Pour your desired ear cleaning into your cat or dog’s ear until it begins dripping out. Next, massage their ears, enough so that you can hear the cleaner swishing around. Take a tissue or gauze and fold it multiple times before wiping the inside of the ear. Refolding the tissue or gauze, wipe away more moisture and dirt until the material is clean. If your pet as an infection, wait 15 to 20 minutes after cleaning before applying the necessary medicine.

At Eglinton Hwy 10 Animal Hospital, our licensed Mississauga veterinarians are highly trained and dedicated to taking care of your pets. We’re a full-service animal hospital that provides assistance in relation to emergency medical, dental and surgical issues, pet wellness, spay and neuter surgery, vaccinations and more. With 24-hour emergency care, be sure to call us to book an appointment.