3 July 2023
With summer in full swing, swimming season has arrived! When getting your dog ready for swimming, it’s essential to consider various factors. Making sure your dog is water safe and ensuring his vaccines are up to date, just to name a few. However, one aspect that often goes unnoticed is the protection and care of your dog’s ears when they go swimming often.
Many dog owners neglect the protection of their dog’s ears during swimming, unaware of the potential consequences. The primary reason for safeguarding your dog’s ears is to prevent ear infections. Like human ears, dogs also have a natural layer of yeast and bacteria that protect their ears. However, unlike humans, dogs have “L” shaped ear canals, making it harder for foreign substances to reach the inner ear.
When water enters the lower part of a dog’s ear canal, it becomes difficult to drain out, creating a moist environment. This moisture provides an ideal breeding ground for yeast and bacteria, leading to infections. These infections, known as otitis externa, occur when the skin inside the ear canal becomes inflamed. They can be caused by yeast, bacteria, or allergic reactions and may result in inner ear infections and hearing loss. Treating chronic ear infections in dogs can be expensive and burdensome. Therefore, exploring ways to protect your dog’s ears from infections is crucial.
Ear infections can be sneaky, sometimes displaying obvious symptoms while other times manifesting with milder signs. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your dog has an ear infection. Some common symptoms include:
• Dark discharge
• Redness and swelling of the ear canal
• Scratching the affected ear
• Crusting or scabs on the ear
You might wonder, “How can I protect my dog’s ears while swimming?” As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
To prevent water from entering your dog’s ears while swimming, ensure you thoroughly dry your dog’s ears after every water activity. Use a towel to gently pat their ears, removing excess water from the outer part. This prevents the water from draining into the ear canal.
When cleaning a dog’s ears, using a Q-tip is not recommended. Instead, opt for a cotton ball for a safe and effective cleaning process. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:
• Use a cotton ball, preferably a larger one for bigger breeds.
• Moisten the cotton ball with a cleanser approved by your veterinarian.
• Wrap the cotton ball around your finger, gently scoop it into the dog’s ear, and back out.
• Remember to clean all surfaces, including the inner flap, where buildup can accumulate.
For dogs who love the water, caring for their ears is essential. Proper ear care can help prevent infections and maintain their health and well-being. By prioritizing their ear health, we can ensure our water-loving canine companions can enjoy their favorite aquatic activities without discomfort or complications. So let’s dive into the summer adventures with our furry friends, knowing we’ve taken the necessary steps to protect their precious ears.