Has your Golden Retriever been shaking its head more frequently than usual? Maybe your dog is rubbing its head and ears on the ground playfully, or just scratching its ears.
Whenever your Golden Retriever acts like this, the first thing you should do is check the ears to look for redness or warning signs of an infection developing. You should then consider cleaning your Retriever’s ears.
When cleaning the inner ear of your Retriever, you should use a damp cotton ball with canine ear solution. Always start from the inside of the ear and work your way slowly to the outside, removing the debris along the way.
After that, you should squirt some solution into the ear and massage the ear canal gently. Once that is done, you should let your dog shake out the solution from its ears.
It’s imperative that you take excellent care of your Golden Retriever’s ears since they are susceptible to ear infections. You can’t even comprehend hearing loss for your dog, and if they fall prey to it, they will become unpredictable. To ensure that your dog’s hearing is excellent, you will need to take excellent care of its ears, so that they can hear you properly.
The unfortunate part is that most pet owners overlook ear care when they are grooming their Golden Retriever. Even the ones the most caring owners forget about cleaning the ears sometimes. This is an important aspect of grooming your Golden Retriever, and we are going to discuss how you should never neglect it.
Tips for Golden Retriever Puppies
To ensure that your Golden Retriever puppy becomes comfortable with having their ears cleaned when they grow older, there are some things you can do.
One of the most important things you can do for your Retriever puppy is socializing them when they are young. This includes making them comfortable around loud noises, other dogs, and especially around children.
Getting Your Puppy Used to Touch
However, the most important thing you should get your Golden Retriever used to is being touched by their owner anywhere on their body. It’s important that your puppy is comfortable when you handle them and the best way to do this is by spending some time touching your puppy’s ears, feet, and mouth daily.
You can start by holding its paws in your hands and then gently running your fingers between its toes. He will probably resist by trying to take its foot out of your hand, but you shouldn’t let go. Squeeze it gently and only let it go when it stops fighting with you.
Next, you should move towards the mouth, by lifting its lips gently to look at its teeth closely. If he tries to pull away again, you should give it another gentle squeeze and hold it tightly, until he stops resisting you.
You should then move to the ears by lifting and rubbing them gently with your fingers. You should touch the outer part and underside of the ears so that your puppy gets comfortable about its ears being examined.
Increase the time you spend holding on to its ears, paws, and mouth gradually so that when you need to clean its ears later, you won’t have any problems holding it down.
By investing time early on, you won’t need to struggle when you’re cleaning your Golden Retriever’s ears.
How Do Golden Retriever Ears Get Dirty?
Golden Retrievers are full of energy and extremely active. You will often find them rolling around in the dirt and digging every chance they get.
Therefore, it is understandable that their ears do get dirt in them occasionally. Although the outside of their ears keeps the dirt out of the ear canal, it can also hide ear infections as well.
Retrievers can also get floating debris or water into their ears when they have been swimming. Debris can also get inside their ear when they have been running through bushes and playing or rolling around in mud or dirt.
How Dirty Ears Affect Your Golden Retriever
Dirty ears often have bacteria inside, which can cause an ear infection that may seriously inconvenience your retriever. Another major problem with dirty ears is the fear of injury since debris that gets inside the ear of your dog can damage the ear if it isn’t removed.
A buildup of dirt in your dog’s ear can also impede its hearing, which is important for its safety.
You should make cleaning the ears of your dog a regular part of their grooming. Start by making it into a routine, so you won’t need to worry about serious ear problems or infections caused by dirty ears.
Signs You Need to Clean Your Retriever’s Ears
There are some obvious signs that your Golden Retriever has dirty ears and you should clean them.
If you notice that your dog is shaking its head repeatedly and in an uncomfortable manner, it is a sign that something is wrong with it. Some other signs that indicate you should check the ears of your Golden Retriever include the following:
- Scratching the ears
- A nasty smell coming from the ears
- Growths or swelling inside or around the ear
- Redness inside the ear
- Discharge coming from the ear
Infection is a big concern for Golden Retrievers since they love swimming in the water. Therefore, it is important that you check the ears of your Retriever on a regular basis if you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above.
Cleaning your Retriever’s ears regularly will prevent infection and ensure that your dog doesn’t have to deal with unnecessary discomfort.
This is the reason why you shouldn’t wait for your dog to show signs of discomfort before cleaning its ears. It’s a good practice to check your Golden Retriever’s ears every week.
How to Check Your Retriever’s Ears?
The simplest way to check your Retriever’s ears is to look into the ear opening by lifting the ear flap. You may find waxy buildup, red and irritated skin, excess hair, or fluid discharge in its ears. A healthy ear will be pink and in good condition.
There are times when the skin inside your dog’s ear will be healthy but may have dirt attached to it. All you need to do then is follow the steps outlined below with a medicated solution or saline solution to keep its ears healthy.
Removing Excess Hair
If you’re regularly checking the ears of your dog, you will notice that he may start growing extra hair in and around the ear. Removing excess hair from the ear of your retriever is simple. All you need is a pair of trimmers that can be easily purchased from any local store. Trimmers are better and safer to use than scissors which can hurt your dog if he squirms away.
You should consult with your vet when it comes to removing deep ear hair since you shouldn’t pluck out the deeper hairs. These deep hairs self-clean, and you should let them be, and if you’re in doubt, just ask your vet.
Instructions for Cleaning Retriever Ears
So, now let’s get to the important part with clear instructions about cleaning your retriever’s ears. Here is how you should go about it:
- It’s best to have your Golden Retriever lying down next to you, while you’re sitting on the floor to clean and check its
- When the dog is lying down beside you, check for excess hair, grime, and other debris.
- Dampen a cotton ball and start removing debris that may hurt your dog by massing its ear canal.
- Use a new cotton ball every time you wipe the ear of your retriever. If there are bacteria in the ear, you don’t want to use an infected cotton ball and reintroduce it into the ear.
- Next, you should generously apply cleaner into your dog’s dirty ear canal.
- You will need to hold your dog’s ear above the canal and massage the cleaner gently into the ear.
- Use a medicated or saline solution if you notice an infection.
- Use paper towels to wipe off any excess cleaning solution leaking out of the canal.
If you’re using a medicated treatment, vets recommend that you flush the ear with standard cleaning saline when finishing the treatment.
Signs that Indicate Your Retriever Has an Ear Infection
Ear infections are horrible to deal with and frustratingly difficult to spot. They are extremely painful for your Golden Retriever, which is why you should look for signs that indicate he has an ear infection. These signs include the following:
- If your dog is constantly scratching at its ears and not letting up, it’s a sign that there could be an ear infection.
- Another sign that your retriever has an ear infection is loss of balance. If your retriever is wobbling and stumbling around the house, you should check out its ears.
- If you notice soreness or redness inside the ear opening when you massage its ears, it’s another sign of an infection.
After you’ve treated them with the methods mentioned above, if it doesn’t get better, you should head over to your vet. It could be possible that your dog is suffering from a serious infection or something more severe.
Things You Should Avoid When Cleaning Your Retriever’s Ears
We have already shared tips on how you should clean your Golden Retriever’s ears, but it’s also important that you learn what to avoid when you are cleaning your Retriever’s ears.
- Never use vinegar to clean your dog’s ears. Some people will suggest there is nothing wrong with using vinegar to clean an ear infection, but you shouldn’t use it for your dog because it’s acidic and will cause irritation in the inner ear.
- You shouldn’t use water as well since it allows bacteria to grow and cause the infection to spread.
How to Make Your Golden Retriever Comfortable with Ear Cleaning
If your Golden Retriever is older, and you haven’t regularly checked or cleaned its ears, when it was a puppy, it isn’t going to be comfortable with ear cleaning the first time.
Fortunately for you, it is easy to get into a routine and ensure your Golden Retriever is comfortable with ear cleaning. Here is what you need to do:
- Make sure that your dog understands the command “SIT”. Get your dog to SIT by calling out the command and then get down and place your hands over your dog.
- Some dogs may think that you want to play with them when you do this. If your dog starts reaching for your hands or gets up, you should hide your hands and stand up. Then, command your dog to SIT again.
- Give your dog a treat when it lets you sit next to it and place your hands on it without reaching around for your hand or getting up.
- Give your dog a treat every time it is obedient and relaxed when you place your hands close to her ears and head.
- You should repeat this process with cotton balls in your hand so that your dog gets used to the new feels and smells.
- If you want to make your dog used to hair removal, you can introduce a trimmer. Start by keeping the trimmers off and then turn them on slowly while you move towards the head of your dog. If it starts getting nervous, you stand away from your dog and then come closer to it
- Don’t forget to give it treats whenever it remains calm and still.
- The next step is adding a cleaning solution and cleaning the ears. You may have to give a lot of treats to your dog for it to obey your commands for the first two or three times, as ear cleaning can be a very unnerving experience for it.
If you follow this routine every time you clean your Golden Retriever’s ears, you will notice that your dog will eventually get used to it and will let you clean its ears without causing any problem.