There are countless reasons why your dog might need to see a vet. Every dog, regardless of age or health, should visit their regular vet for an annual check up. But for this scenario, we’re talking about all the life experiences you don’t see coming. Like when you buy a new dog food and your pup breaks out in itchy hives. Or when your dog cracks a tooth chewing on the same cow hoof they’ve had forever. These kinds of vet visits are never planned, and they’re never easy on your bank account. There are some situations you simply can’t predict, but according to Nationwide Pet Insurance, the number two reason for unplanned vet visits for dogs is something that’s completely preventable. Every year, thousands of dogs go to the vet because of chronic ear infections.
Chronic ear infections are painful, long-lasting, and they can cause serious side effects–and sometimes even deafness. You want to do everything you can to help your dog avoid an ear infection, and cleaning their ears on a regular basis is the best way to do that. But how often should you break out the ear wipes? The answer to that question depends on your dog. There are certain dog breeds that are more prone to ear infections than others.
If your dog’s breed is on this list, you’re probably not cleaning their ears as often as they need it.
Dog Breeds Most Prone to Chronic Ear Infections
- Golden Retriever
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Basset Hound
- Afghan Hound
- Springer Spaniel
- Cocker Spaniel
- Shih Tzu
- Saint Bernard
- Great Dane
- Mixes with any of the breeds above
Looking at this list, do you notice any similarities between breeds? Your dog’s risk of getting an ear infection doesn’t have anything to do with their size, fur color, or even their age. The only characteristic that matters is the shape of their ears.
All of the dogs on this list have floppy ears. In other words, their ears fold down and cover the ear canal. And while this floppy-eared look is always adorable, it causes problems when it comes to ear health. The issue is that moisture gets trapped under those floppy skin folds. This allows yeast and bacteria to build up to the point that an infection develops.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Floppy Ears?
While neglecting to clean your dog’s ears can lead to chronic ear infections, you also don’t want to clean them too often. Ear wax is important for ear health, and cleaning too much can dry out the ears and cause a different set of problems. If your dog’s breed is on this list, a good starting point is to clean their ears once a week. On the days you don’t clean, pay attention to how much dirt and gunk collects in the ear canal. Dogs that like to swim or roll around in the dirt might need even more frequent cleanings.
Make Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears Easier
Cleaning your dog’s ears every week sounds like a chore, but there are ways to make it quick and easy. Pet MD Advanced Ear Wipes are the convenient solution to regular canine ear care. The pre-soaked wipes are antimicrobial to fight chronic ear infections, and all you have to do is wipe out your dog’s ears, and you’re done. There’s no fight or mess involved.
If you know your dog is prone to ear infections, it’s also recommended to find an ear cleaning product that is scientifically formulated to stop the buildup of wax, dirt, and debris. Pet MD Otic-Clean is gentle on skin, but it’s a powerful ear cleaner. It helps dogs that are prone to ear infections stay happy and healthy.
Knowing your dog’s risk of ear infection and cleaning their ears regularly is one of the best thing you can do for your pup’s health. It’ll help you avoid those unplanned vet visits, and it’ll also give your bank account a break. Those emergency vet visits aren’t cheap. However, if you think your dog is already suffering from chronic ear infections, you need to talk to a vet. Don’t try to “clean” the infection away or hope it disappears on its own. Your dog’s health and your own peace of mind will be worth the vet visit.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.