How to Groom Inside a Dog's Ear

Medium
10 - 15 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

Grooming inside of a dog's ear can be tedious and challenging if you and your dog are not used to doing this kind of grooming together. Keeping your dog's ears clean is imperative for maintaining a healthy dog. Some dogs and some environments are prone to harboring yeast or even mites. You want to keep the inside of your dog's ears well-groomed, cleaned, and plucked to ensure your dog is not harboring anything such as yeast or bacteria that may cause ear infections. Grooming the inside of your dog's ears consists of plucking the inner fur, cutting the fur along the outside of the ear flap, as well as cleaning inside your dog's ear and wiping the skin that you can see when the ear is lifted up.

Dog's Perspective

Your dog's ears may be sensitive. He may not like you touching his outer ear or being inside of his ear. When you first start doing this activity on your own, have some patience with your dog as he may be a little tender and sensitive. It may help to have a partner nearby to talk with your dog and pet his belly or his favorite spot to ease any tension or anxiety.

The Plucking Method

Effective
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Scissors
Hemostat
Step
1
Tools
There are several tools you can use to pluck your dog's ear hair, from tweezers to short ear forceps or long ear forceps. You are going to need the right tool for your dog's ears. You may also want to look into ear plucking powder. This powder adds a grip to the fur you are plucking, so it's easier to grasp. Some dogs have long fur in their ears that can be plucked with fingers.
Step
2
Position
Position yourself and your dog so you are both calm and comfortable. If you need a partner to help hold your dog or to harness your dog, have all that set up before you begin plucking.
Step
3
Sprinkle powder
Tip your dog's head to one side and sprinkle a small amount of powder into the ear hole over his ear hair. Don't dump the powder into his ear canal, use a small amount. You only want the powder to stick to the hair that you are plucking.
Step
4
Pluck
Using your fingers or your tool of choice, grab a small amount of hair at a time and pull the hair out of the ear. The hair should come out easily and typically does not hurt your dog. Be sure you are removing small amounts at a time and not large clumps.
Step
5
Other ear
Repeat this process for the other ear, tipping your dog's head and applying the powder where necessary. Then proceed with plucking all the internal hairs in small groups at a time.
Step
6
Wipe
If you are using forceps or tweezers, place a wet cotton ball in between the forceps and wipe just inside the ear to clean the skin where the fur was just plucked.
Step
7
Treat
Always be sure to give your dog a treat for a job well done.
Recommend grooming method?

The Clean Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Hemostat
Step
1
Wipe
Use a wet wipe or a warm, wet paper towel to clean the skin just inside your dog’s ear. You can also use forceps or tweezers to hold a cotton ball and wipe the inside of your dog’s ear. Do not push the cotton ball or forceps into the ear canal. This may cause injury to your dog.
Step
2
Tuft trim
Ears tufts, or soft, long patches of fur, can be clipped with a small pair of scissors. Be careful to keep the scissors parallel to the ear and not pointed into the ear canal. Trimming this long hair will keep the ear tidy and clean.
Step
3
Pluck
Use tweezers or forceps to pluck small amounts of ear hair just inside the ear. Do not pluck more than a few at a time. This should not be painful for your dog. The inside of your dog’s ear should be smooth and clean once you have finished.
Step
4
Cleaner
Use ear cleaning solution from your veterinarian or a pet store to cleanse the inner ear. If your dog’s ears have a stench, you may need to clean more often or even have his ears checked by your veterinarian. Squeeze the ear solution into your dog’s ear and let it sit for a few minutes.
Step
5
Massage
Massage the ear for a few moments with your hand, moving the liquid into the ear. Your dog will likely shake his head to drain the liquid once you remove your hand.
Step
6
Wipe again
Once the hair is plucked and the ear has been cleansed, wipe the inner and outer ear thoroughly to clean off any left over debris or hair.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Plucking the hair from the inside of your dog's ear shouldn't be difficult, and it should be fairly painless to your dog.
  • If you are causing your dog pain when you're plucking the hair inside the ear, take fewer hairs in the groups you are plucking and be sure you are plucking in the right area.
  • Plucking hairs from the outer ear flap might become painful but the hair is growing just inside the ear should not cause pain.
  • If you need ear cleaning solution, talk to your vet for a recommendation. These ear cleaning solutions can often be purchased at your veterinarian's office as well as in pet stores.
  • Be sure you are using the proper tools for your dog's ears. If your dog has long ears there are long forceps available, and if your dog has shorter ears you can procure short ear forceps.
  • You can also purchase a powder for dog's ear hair plucking. This powder is not necessary for plucking your dog's ear hair. However, it is something that sticks to the hair, making plucking easier. Without a powder, your tweezers or forceps may slip on the hair causing you to have to pull multiple times.
  • When you look inside your dog's ear, if you see a lot of hair clumps together just inside the ear it may have been a while since your dog's ears were groomed. Once you work on the inner part of the ear where you can see visible wrinkles, it should be clean of all fur.
  • Plucking your dog's ear hair will help to keep debris out of your dog's ear and make wiping your dog's ears on a regular basis easier.
  • If, while cleaning your dog's ears, you see any black gunk or smell anything out of the ordinary you may want to clean your dog's ears with apple cider vinegar and call your veterinarian just in case there is a yeast infection or an ear infection. 

Conclusion

If your dog acts as if you're barking up the wrong tree when you go to groom his ears, he may be tender and sore. You may need to see your veterinarian in that case. If your dog is excited to have his ears done and you are a Top Dog in his world, it's because he understands the importance of having clean, well-groomed ears. This should not be a ruff task. Just make your dog’s ears healthy and fur-tastic.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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