A dog groomer’s guide to giving ear cleaning advice
Dog groomers know all the ins and outs of keeping dogs’ ears clean. Why not share some of these insider tips with your clients so they can help to maintain their dog’s ears at home?
Ear cleaning is a tender task and nervous dog owners often prefer to leave it to the groomer. You can help your customers to maintain the health of their dog’s ears in between visits by sharing best practice advice and tips.
Removing dirt regularly can make a big difference not only to the dog’s ear health, but also to the dog’s confidence in having their ears handled, making it much easier for you to do your job.
Types of dog ears
Owners aren’t necessarily aware that the type of ears their dog has may mean they require more care or maintenance. You can help by explaining the differences:
There are pros and cons to having a dog with adorable floppy ears. The ear canal of a floppy eared dog is more protected from foreign objects such as grass seeds. However, moisture can get trapped in the ears due to lack of airflow and lead to infections and smelly ears.
It is much easier for a dog owner to clean ears that stand up as there is usually less skin and fur in the way. Grass seeds and other foreign objects can find their way in more easily though. Perhaps your clients have already had to pay a hefty vet bill for a rogue grass seed?
Whether they have a dog with pointy or floppy ears, checking them regularly after walks will make sure that they don’t miss any potential problems, and get their dog used to the ears being handled.
How to clean a dog’s ears at home- important things your clients need to know:
- Never insert anything down the ear canal. It’s important to let your clients know this is dangerous and that they could cause serious damage.
- Encourage them not to use soaps and other unapproved products in their dog’s ears. They can’t go wrong with plain lukewarm water and soft cotton balls to wipe away any visible wax or dirt around the ear canal.
- Encourage dog owners to learn about the structure of their dog’s ears. Perhaps you can offer some insight. But as a general guide, let them know they should only focus on wiping the visible parts of the ear.
How to Wow Grooming's ear cleaning solution
If a dog’s ears need deeper cleaning, or they have an ear infection a vet or groomer may recommend using an ear cleaning solution. This can be intimidating to some dog owners.
Our ear cleaning solution is a naturally derived formula which gently cleans dirt, ear wax and debris from dogs' ears. It softens and dislodges excess wax, dirt and oil, to prevent head shaking. It's fast acting and provides relief from irritation and reduces bacteria.
Apply to a cotton pad and wipe around the ear or directly to ear canal until liquid is visible and massage to ear base. Your dog may shake their head to dislodge wax and dirt. Use a cotton pad to clear away excess dirt.
What about plucking hair from a dog’s ears?
This is a controversial subject as hair in the ear canal plays an important natural role in keeping them clean and free from dirt and debris. This should never be done by the owners - only trained professionals should attempt.
When to see a vet
If you or the owner notices any of the following symptoms in the dog, it’s a good idea to refer them to their vet for a health check:
- The dog’s ears are particularly smelly
- They are red and inflamed
- You’ve noticed swelling around the ear canal or flap
- There is sign of injury or infection, like blood or puss
- The dog doesn’t want to be petted like usual
- The dog is scratching at or shaking his head
Always remind owners to be careful with a dog that has an injury as they may be in severe pain and could react unexpectedly if they touch them where it hurts.
If your clients want to maintain their dog’s ears at home, here are some products that they may find useful. They are also great to have in your salon.
Dog Ear Wash Cleaner - Naturally derived Topical Botanical Wash
This naturally derived topical pH balanced Ear wash formula gently cleans dirt, ear wax and debris from the dogs' ears. It will soften and dislodge excess wax, dirt and oil, to prevent head shaking. It will also provide fast acting relief from irritation and help to reduce bacteria.
Pet Dog Wow Grooming Triangular Slicker Face Brush
Use this triangle-shaped slicker brush, which is specially designed for hard to reach places like the dog’s face and ears. It will help to keep the dog’s fur free from tangles and matting, whilst removing dirt and debris that could otherwise find its way into the dog’s ears.
Pet Eye & Wrinkle Wipes - Gentle Sensitive Cleansing Wipes for Dogs
These gentle cleansing wipes are ideal to use all around the dog’s face to keep them fresh, clean and healthy. Don’t forget to never try and insert anything into the dog’s ear canal. Use these wipes to clear around all the visible areas of the dog’s face and ears.
What other advice do you give your clients about keeping their dog's ears clean?