Many dogs get a lot of hair growth inside their ears. Removing hair in dogs’ ears is not always problematic, but it very much depends on how much there is. Dog breeds such as a Bichon Frise or Shih Tzus, often have issues because of too much dog ear hair. Here we take a detailed look at what to do if your dog’s ears have too much hair, why it matters, and what you can do to resolve it.
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Why It’s Important to Remove Hair in Dog’s Ears
Let us first begin by talking about why it is so important that you remove hair from your dog’s ears. It is easy to assume that because hair growth is natural, we should accept it and allow it to continue growing.
Unfortunately, a dog’s nature may not have quite caught up with the modern world. What we mean by this, is that those hairs may have helped our pooch once upon a time, but they have now become problematic.
Now, you shouldn’t take a carte blanche approach here and remove all dog hair from your pet’s lugs or ear canal. But you should know why is important not to let it go too far.
There are two main issues to be concerned with here, the first is the potential for bacterial buildup in the ear canal, and the second is your dog’s ability to hear. Your dog’s ears can easily get blocked by too much hair or excess ear wax.
If bacteria are allowed to build up in dog ears they can easily cause ear infections. Most dogs have a tough time with ear infections, which can attack the outer ears or the ear canals. The result is discomfort and pain for your dog.
How To Remove Dog’s Ear Hair
If you feel that your dog has got too much inner ear hair, and you plan to remove it, there are several options that you could consider. These are the most common approaches to dog ear hair removal.
Seek Professional Help
The most logical first step to take here is to get a professional to remove the hair for you. Taking your dog to the vet is a great option as they can advise you on whether or not the hair has become problematic.
Vets are not the only option here, however, as dog groomers also have the skills and know-how to support you in trimming your dog’s ear hair. If you are confident that there is an issue, the groomers will take care of your pooch for you.
Dog owners who have breeds that are prone to an abundance of ear hair, soon get used to knowing when to trim their dog, and by how much. Several techniques can be used to safely and hygienically remove dog hair from inside their ears.
All of the following tips work well, but there are some factors that you should keep in mind. Firstly, it is likely that your dog won’t be enamored with you removing hair from their ears, so they may wriggle a bit. This could be dangerous if you are using sharp objects.
If you do have a fidgety dog, ask someone to help, so they can keep the dog still as you remove the hairs from its ear canal. If there is nobody to help, it will be best to take your pooch to the pros.
Electric clippers are a great option here, and no doubt the quickest way for you to get rid of all of those hairs that have built up in your dog’s ears. Most electric clippers come with several attachments, aimed at getting rid of hard-to-reach hair.
These attachments are ideal for your getting right into your dog’s ear canal too. This is one of the safest options too because the clippers have a guard in place to prevent the sharp edges from cutting your pooch and causing ear issues.
You must add lubricant to the clippers with a soft cloth before you use them. This ensures that they function smoothly and that they cut the ear hair instead of pulling at it.
You can also go old-school when you snip your dog’s ear hair, using scissors for a precise and effective cut. As aforementioned, there is always a danger when using sharp objects, especially if your dog won’t sit still.
The risk of injury is more than just potentially giving your dog a cut, as ears aren’t something you want to mess with. The point here is, to be extra careful when you are using scissors on any area of your dog, especially its ears.
If you do plan to use scissors, take it slowly and be sure that you have a sharp pair of specialist hair stylist scissors. A dog’s ear canal is incredibly sensitive, and why you should remove ear hair in that area with caution.
Ear Plucking Dogs
Ear plucking is something of a divisive subject when it comes to a dog’s ears, with experts taking opposite sides. This involves taking one or two hairs out at a time, using a pair of human tweezers. Here is a little more info on this particular approach to removing ear hair.
Pros and Cons
Many experts suggest that you shouldn’t pluck your dog’s ear hair. To make an informed decision, first, take a look at the pros and cons.
The reason why owners think it makes sense to get their dog’s ears plucked, is that it takes the ear hair out from the root. This means it will take much longer to grow back. In terms of causing injury, this is also a safer method than cutting with scissors.
There are some cons to consider, however. For example, many suggest that plucking hair tears small pieces of tissue from the ear canal. Some also say that it is too extreme and will leave fewer hairs in the dog’s ear, which are needed for its health. It is always best to speak with a vet before you get to plucking.
What Tools You Will Need
Should you decide to pluck your dog’s ears, you will need some ear powder, which makes the hair that little bit easier to pluck. Be sure that this powder is only used in the dog’s ears as the ingredients will cause issues if they get in the dog’s eyes or mouth.
For plucking, you could use tweezers, although there is a natural risk here with their sharp edges. Hemostats are a better option here, as they are flat-edged scissors that will grip onto the hair ensuring a smooth pull.
Plucking Dog Ear Hair Removal Steps
- Before you pluck the hair, apply ear powder to one of your dog’s ears, giving you a good grip
- Use a tool to pluck the hair and not just your fingers. A hemostat or tweezers can be used to grab the root of the hair inside the ear canal
- In a quick and gentle motion, pull away at the hair inside the ears to remove it, the faster you do it, the less it will hurt
- Don’t pluck the hair entirely, aim to remove 50% of all ear hair you can see. Your dog needs ear hairs for multiple reasons related to its health. This is why you shouldn’t overdo it
- Finally, add a few drops of ear cleaner solution and rub it inside and around your dog’s ear with a cotton ball. This will prevent any risk of ear infection and encourage the healing process, any good pet store will sell this
- Last but not least, give your dog a treat and let them know what a good boy/girl they have been. It’s a dog’s life!
Why You Should Check Dog’s Ears Regularly
Every aspect of your dog’s health is important, and that includes its ears. When checking your dog’s ears you should be looking for any kind of symptoms of ear problems like skin irritation, color changes, or injury.
Skin irritation around the ears can be something as simple as a healing injury, and as severe as an infection. There are other instances, however, when your dog may have an ear infection that you need to treat.
Take your dog to the vet if you notice any strong odor caused by ear wax buildup or any discoloration or discharge from the ear opening or around the ear. Chances are it will be nothing, but it is always safer to check.