Bacteria and yeast love the dark, damp environment of a dog's ear canal. Any time a dog has water in his ears, whether it be from swimming or being bathed, he is prone to develop an ear infection. For this reason, it is crucial to remove water and dry a dog's ears as thoroughly as possible anytime they get wet.
Ear Cleaning and Drying Solutions
Commercially available ear cleaning solutions contain drying agents such as witch hazel. These solutions help to evaporate trapped water and prevent infection.
Another option is to use a home remedy. Dr. Karen Becker of Natural Pet Animal Hospital and Apawthecary in Bourbonnais, Illinois recommends using hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel or apple cider vinegar mixed with equal parts purified water. She does not recommend alcohol because it can cause burning and irritation.
How to Remove Water and Dry Ears
- Dry your dog's ears as gently as possible with a soft towel. If your dog's ears are floppy, lift the ear and gently dry the underside of the flap.
- Place a few drops of the ear solution in the first ear canal. If you are using a home remedy, place the drops in the ear with a small, clean medicine dropper. Do not force the tip of the bottle or dropper into the ear canal.
- Massage the base of your dog's ear for a minute or two to distribute the solution throughout the ear canal.
- Let your dog shake his head. The force of the shaking will dislodge any debris that may have entered his ear.
- Using a cotton ball, wipe the inner side of the ear flap to draw out and remove any additional liquid, discharge and debris. You may need to use several cotton balls.
- Repeat the process with the second ear.