How to Trim Around a Dog's Ears

Medium
5 - 10 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Most people know that their dog's sense of smell is much better than a human's, but so is your dog's sense of hearing. Dogs can distinguish between footsteps and vehicle sounds, hear thunderstorms hours before they arrive, or pick up on a baby mouse in a far part of the house. So it is important that your dog's ears stay in tip-top shape. That includes grooming, cleaning and removing excess hair.  

Hair inside your dog's ear should be trimmed to prevent the buildup of wax, debris, and moisture that can contribute to ear infections. The edges of your dog's ears are often trimmed to keep your dog looking neat and clean and prevent tangles and knots. But, because ears are delicate structures you will need to be careful when working with scissors or trimmers around your dog's ears.

Dog's Perspective

A dog’s ears can be sensitive, and your dog may not appreciate you working around their ears to remove excess hair. If your dog is already experiencing a yeast or bacterial infection in his or her ears, he may be extra sensitive. Although removing excess hair will help in the treatment of the infection, sore inflamed skin in the area may cause your dog to be reluctant to have you handle his ears and trim hair. Using patience and being very careful to ensure that your dog does not become injured and that you do not irritate sensitive areas while trimming hair will reduce your dog's discomfort with the procedure.

The Scissor Trimming Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Use correct scissors
Use a pair of sharp, blunt nosed scissors designed for cutting hair.
Step
2
Wet down hair
Spray hair that needs to be removed with water or detangler to make it easier to cut.
Step
3
Protect the ear canal
Hold your dog's ear out and to the side so that hair you cut does not fall down the ear canal. Or, put cotton balls in your dog's ear canals to protect them.
Step
4
Trim with scissors
Holding the scissors parallel to the skin, carefully trim hair around the entrance to the ear canal. Trim hair on the ear flap and on the head around the underside of the ear. If long enough, use a comb or your fingers between the dog’s skin and the scissors.
Step
5
Trim edges
Trim hair on the edges of the ear to the desired length (optional). Always hold scissors parallel to the skin-- never point them at the skin or perpendicular to your dog.
Recommend grooming method?

The Clipper Trimming Method

Effective
0 Votes
Clipper
Step
1
Use small clippers
Use a pair of small-headed trimmers designed to cut dog hair. Personal trimmers for humans can be used, but may not be up to the job if your dog has a lot of hair in and around his ears.
Step
2
Protect the ear canal
Put cotton balls into your dog’s ears to prevent hair from falling into the ear canal during clipping.
Step
3
Hold the ear out
Hold the ear up and out from your dog's head to access the underside of your dog's ears.
Step
4
Trim with clippers
Gently use small trimmers to clip excess hair from around the underside of the ear and the ear canal. Trim edges of ears with trimmers if required.
Step
5
Clean off hair
Brush off tiny clipped hairs from the underside of your dog's ears prior to removing cotton balls.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be cautious using cutting implements around delicate ear structures.
  • Scissors should be held parallel to skin, not pointed at your dog's ear canal or ear skin.
  • Protect your dog's ears from debris and hair trimmed by holding the ear out from the ear canal or putting cotton balls in the ear canals.
  • Check for signs of infection when trimming your dog's ears and address with medication if required.
  • Check trimmers to ensure they don't overheat during use.

Conclusion

Whether your dog's ears hang low or stick up, whether you like them clipped short or left long, trimming your dog's ears should be done with care and consideration to ensure your dog does not become injured or experience discomfort. Using good tools, blunt-tipped, sharp hair scissors or dog grooming trimmers, that are able to handle the job will make the process easier on your dog. Trimming ear hair removes hair that can trap moisture and debris that contributes to bacterial and yeast infections in your dog’s ears and is necessary to maintain good ear health and hearing in your dog.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!