How to Groom a Small Dog's Ears

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
2 Weeks

Introduction

Whether your small dog has large upright ears with very little fur or long fluffy ears that he could trip on while walking, his ears still need to be groomed. In order to groom your dog's ears, you're going to need to clean them inside and out, including all of the cute little folds around and in the ears. You will need to do a quick check for anything that looks dark and dirty that could potentially be ear mites. If your dog has long fur, you may need to wash and brush it and potentially trim it, so it is no longer than the edge of your dog’s ear. Taking care of your small dog's ears is not difficult, but it does require some time and dedication and can easily be done during bath time or brushing sessions.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog has mites, an ear infection, or any yeast in his ears, he may be a bit apprehensive about you touching his ears. Offer your little dog some treats during your grooming session and be sure to reward him with a nice tasty treat when you're done. Grooming your small dog’s ears should not take a whole lot of time unless there are problems to be dealt with. 

The Brush and Trim Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Tools
Be prepared with a small towel or wet wipes and scissors before you start to trim your small dog’s ears. You’ll also need a brush, comb, and some tasty treats. Being prepared will make grooming your little guy’s ears easy to do without having to stop to gather the right tools.
Step
2
Position
Sit in front of your dog and give him a treat to start. You can also place your small dog on a counter or table in front of you if this is more comfortable for you both.
Step
3
Brush
With a pin or bristle brush, brush your dog’s ears from the tops to the bottoms. If your little guy needs a treat to stay still, be sure to have some handy to offer to him. He’s likely to sit still if he thinks a yummy treat is coming.
Step
4
Trim
Hold your small dog’s ear out away from his face keeping it supported with one hand. With short scissors, cut the ear fur to the length you are happy with. Be sure to find the tip of your small dog’s ear with your fingers to avoid cutting his skin.
Step
5
Inner ear
Lift the ear up and trim the hair on the underside of your small dog’s ear. For little dogs with shorter ears, you may need to keep his head still while you point the scissors inward to clip the excess fur. This inner hair can also be plucked with tweezers. Be careful not to point sharp scissors into your dog’s ear if he cannot sit still. Brace his head before clipping if need be.
Step
6
Ear edge
Once you have trimmed the fur on the outside of your small dog’s ear as well as the inside of the ear, you can shape the fur along the edge of the ear. Just be careful of the tip of the ear as you are shaping with scissors; you don’t want to cut the tip of your dog’s ear.
Step
7
Clean ears
Once your small dog’s ears are brushed and trimmed, wipe the ear with a wet wipe or damp hand towel. This will remove any dirt, debris, and loose hair from the inner ear.
Step
8
Reward
Be sure to give your little guy a nice tasty reward once you are done with his beautiful ears.
Recommend grooming method?

The Detailed Method

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Scissors
Hemostat
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Wipe down
Use a wet wipe or warm wet towel to wipe out the inside of your small dog’s ear. Clean along the folds and flaps to get any dirt and gunk out of these areas. Wipe well inside and outside the ears to get them both nice and clean. If your small dog has long ears, pay attention to the ends as he may have food stuck in his fur.
Step
2
Tufts and hair
Pluck the tufts of hair just inside the ears with tweezers. These can also be cut with scissors, but plucking will give a cleaner finished look once grooming is over. A gentle pluck will not hurt your little guy. Gather a few hairs in the tweezers and pluck. Too much hair might hurt while too little hair might take too long for your small dog to sit still.
Step
3
Deep wash
If your small dog has dirt, debris, wax, or black stuff inside his ears, you can use an ear cleaner solution from your veterinarian or pet store to give his ears a deep cleansing. Squirt the ear cleaner into the ear and massage your little guy’s ears a bit. The solution will drain back out, taking the dirt with it. Give your pup a chance to shake his head to help move the liquid back out of his ears. You can hold a towel up over his head to catch any mess.
Step
4
Scissors
Using scissors, cut the fur on the outside of your small dog’s ears until they appear nice and tidy. Watch the skin and do not clip the tip of his ears.
Step
5
Comb
Use a comb to smooth out the fur once it has been trimmed. This is where the primping starts. The comb will help to show if you need to trim more or if trimming is complete.
Step
6
Treat
Always give your pup a reward for allowing you to groom him.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If you see your little guy shaking his head a lot, he might have a yeast or bacterial infection in his ear.
  • If anything is tender, sore, swollen, or hurting in your small dog’s ears he may not want you near his ears.
  • If you suspect any issues in your little guy’s ears, be sure to see your veterinarian for an ear check to make sure there's nothing going on inside that you cannot see.
  • Be careful not to poke or dig inside the ear canal as this may cause problems or injury.
  • Small dogs with long fur tend to have knots or mats develop behind the ears. You may need to use scissors to remove large mats behind the ears.
  • Be mindful of the tip of your dog’s ear while trimming his fur so you do not cut his skin.
  • If your small dog has long ears, you may need to clean dog food and debris from the bottom of his ears before brushing or trimming.
  • Placing cotton balls inside your small dog’s ears during a bath will help keep water out of his ears.

Conclusion

If your small dog has ears hanging low or going to and fro, they need to be kept clean and tidy to ensure your dog is super cute at all times. Grooming your little guy's ears will only be difficult if you wait too long and don't hear his needs.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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