One way to keep your Shiba Inu happy is through grooming. This includes nail trimming, teeth cleaning, trimming their fur, a nice bath, and of course, cleaning their ears. When you clean your Shiba Inu’s ears, you keep them healthy and prevent infections.
Why should you clean your Shiba Inu’s ears?
Sometimes, ear cleaning is overlooked, while it’s not an enjoyable experience for other owners and dogs.
But cleaning your dog’s ears is very important for the following reasons:
Prevent infections. A dog’s ears can build up dirt and wax, which provide food for disease-causing bacteria. Also, Excess wax makes it difficult for any medication to get into the ear.
Removes moisture. When you clean your Shiba Inu’s ears, you also remove any excess water or moisture that might have entered while swimming or taking a bath.
Remove weed. There might be weed and other organic matter that might have gotten stuck in your dog’s ears while they were playing. Make sure to examine the ears weekly and pull them out.
For your dog’s comfort. Clean ears mean keeping your Shiba Inu healthy, fresh, and comfortable.
Some breeds have naturally healthy and clean ears, but they still need to be checked in case of dirt buildup. Dog breeds with long hanging ears, like the Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, are at the highest risk of ear infections. All dogs can still develop ear diseases, regardless of the breed.
Checking your dog’s ear needs to be done regularly. If your dog enjoys having its ears rubbed, it might be no problem, but if it pulls away, the ears might be sore or painful. You can examine and check its condition by gently massaging its ears.
Is it safe?
Generally, it is safe to clean your Shiba Inu’s ears at home. However, owners must still be careful of the following:
Don’t clean excessively. Don’t clean your Shiba Inu’s ears more than once a week unless your veterinarian tells you. Excessive cleaning removes the healthy bacteria that your Shiba needs in its ears. However, owners are usually directed to clean and medicate daily for dogs with ear infections until the infection has been rechecked and healed.
Use prescribed cleaners. Only use ear cleaners prescribed by your veterinarian.
Here are also the signs that a veterinarian should check your Shiba Inu’s ears:
- Scratching of the ears
- Excessive head shaking
- Whining or pulling away when you touch their ears
- Discharge from the ears
- Foul odor from the ears
How to Clean your Shiba Inu’s Ears
First, check with your veterinarian on how often you should clean your dog’s ears. The frequency of ear cleaning depends on your dog’s age, breed, coat, and activities.
The general rule of thumb is to clean your Shiba Inu’s ears at least once a month. Based on its activities, especially swimming, it is always best to check and clean more frequently.
Also, make sure only to use veterinarian-prescribed ear cleanser. There are a lot of homemade ear-cleaning solutions for dogs. However, these may contain harmful ingredients or are not as effective.
Tools to clean your Shiba Inu’s ears
- Cotton balls or gauze
- Dog ear cleaning solution
Steps in cleaning your dog’s ears
Some dogs are uncomfortable with having their ears cleaned, so ensure you perform this when your pet is calm or use treats as a bribe.
- Groom first. If your dog has hairy ears, it needs a haircut before cleaning. You must also remove matted hair around the ear canal and ear flap.
- Apply dog ear cleaning solution. Fill your dog’s inner ear with an ear cleaning solution and massage gently at the base for 30 seconds. Do not insert the tip of the bottle directly into the ear, as this can cause bacteria.
- Wipe the debris. After the massage, use a cotton ball or gauze pad to wipe away debris from inside the flap and upper canal of the ear.
- Let your dog shake its head. If your dog wants to shake its head, let him. This helps remove leftover ear cleaning solution and debris from the ear. You can use a cotton ball or ear gauze pad again to clean. Never go deeper than what your finger can reach.
Stop and consult your veterinarian if your Shiba Inu appears to be in pain during the ear cleaning process.