Cleaning your cavapoo’s ears should be a regular part of its grooming routine. All dogs need to have their ears cleaned on a regular basis. Cavapoo can have long, floppy ears which makes them more prone to infections and parasites due to the build-up of wax, other ear secretions and dirt.
This is why you should clean your cavapoo ears once or twice a week. While cleaning, not only can you help your cavapoo get rid of extra debri and secretions that have built-up in their ears – you can also regularly inspect their ears and notice any changes/issues early enough to be able to quickly help your cavapoo.
Such issues may include redness, inflammation of the ear, or an unpleasant odour, which may mean that your dog already has an ear infection and needs professional help of a vet. Most often though you will just find some wax build-up and will be able to deal with it yourself.
The younger your cavapoo is, the less build-up you will see in their ears. However, it is still important to do regular ear inspections in your cavapoo from the time they are very young, simply to get them used to the sensation of their ears being handled. As they get older, you will have to start to actually clean their ears after inspecting them.
Don’t overdo it
However, you shouldn’t clean your cavapoo’s ears too often either. Build-up of wax is natural for the dog’s ears, and serves its own functions. If you see a moderate amount of dark brown build-up in your dog’s ears – it’s normally not dirt but earwax which actually helps to protect your dog’s ears from dirt and microbes.
You don’t have to get rid of it if there isn’t too much of it. If you inspect your dog’s ears and notice red or inflamed surface and bad odour, don’t attempt to clean ears in such condition either. Your dog likely has an ear infection and needs to be treated by the vet.
Prior to cleaning your cavapoo’s ears, gently swab the inner surface of the ear with a cotton ball. If it leaves a yellow trace on the ball, you can leave your cavapoo alone for a while – their ears don’t necessarily need cleaning just yet. If you see a lot of earwax on the cotton ball, then gentle cleaning might be a good idea.
One thing that complicates ear cleaning in cavapoo is that dogs normally don’t like the procedure very much. An ear is a very sensitive organ, and if your cavapoo isn’t used to having their ears cleaned, they will not cooperate. This is why it is important to train them to let you clean their ears from the time they are still young.
If your cavapoo is still a puppy, you might have an easier time getting them used to grooming their ears. The important thing is to make them feel comfortable and get them to associate the procedure with something nice. How do you do that? You use treats, of course. Treats are the best way to get the animal to relax and accept what is being done to them, and even enjoy it.
Have all your supplies nearby. You will need something to clean your cavapoo ears with such as a soft tissue or cotton ball, or gauze (but choose the type that doesn’t leave threads). Do not use cotton swabs or anything hard. It is very easy to damage the dog’s ear using any hard objects while cleaning. Be very careful! You really don’t need anything hard, as wax or other secretions in the dog’s ear can be removed just using soft material like gauze.
You will also need to use a special rinse or a lotion that you can purchase in any pet store or at your vet. Don’t use soap in your dog’s ears! Do not use vinegar either, it can irritate your dog’s ears.
The procedure itself
To clean your cavapoo’s ears safely, first stabilise the dog to make sure it won’t bolt away from you or make any abrupt movements. A good time to clean your dog’s ears is right after a warm shower, when they are still relaxed. If the dog is visibly disturbed and anxious, you might want to pick another time for the procedure.
It is important that your dog is relaxed and calm. You don’t want to traumatise them, either emotionally or physically. Pet them and offer them treats while touching and playing with their ears to let them get used to the sensation of their ears being touched. You can also offer them a chew toy or a kong filled with treats for the time of the procedure. Use anything that will get them happy and occupied for a few minutes.
While getting ready for the procedure, make sure you have all the tools and supplies ready and close to you. You don’t want to have to go fetch a pack of cotton balls or lotion and risk your dog getting too excited or anxious again.
When your dog is ready for the procedure, inspect your cavapoo’s ears. See if there are any signs of infection or inflammation. Use a cotton ball or gauze with lotion to carefully clean the inner surface of the dog’s ear. Try not to get too close to the ear drum. All you are doing is removing the surface dirt and build-up. Do not let water get in the dog’s ear canal. You only need a slightly wet tissue/cotton ball to get most of the dirt and wax out.
To help get rid of the wax, you can gently massage your dogs ears, which helps the build-up to soften and separate from the surface of the ear. A massage will also help further relax your cavapoo.
When you are done with cleaning your cavapoo’s ears, praise them once again, offer a treat, and let them shake – which they will! Dogs like their ears nice and dry and will try to get rid of any wetness/moisture in them.
If you are intimidated by the procedure, worried about hurting your cavapoo’s ears or if you have a cavapoo that is particularly stubborn and won’t let you clean their ears, you can always take them to the groomer and ask to include ear cleaning in the scope of the grooming procedures. Professional groomers know how to approach a dog and how to clean their ears safely and with minimum discomfort.
If your dog’s ears get excessively dirty, have too much build-up or unpleasant odour, that might mean some ear issues such as infection or parasites, which is always best to discuss with your veterinarian. Don’t let your cavapoo’s ear issues go unattended. Ears can be extremely sensitive, and, in some dogs, really prone to infections and other issues. It is best to pay attention to this area of your cavapoo grooming to avoid potential complications.