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Does Your Dog Love the Water? Beware Of This Hidden Danger!

The ocean. A swimming pool. The hose. A cup of water. If it’s wet, my dogs are in it! When I was a boy, I remember our neighbor’s Irish Setter, Angus, diving under the water to retrieve a ball. I thought it was the coolest. From that day on, I was determined to have dogs that loved water. What’s the saying…be careful what you ask for?

Now, I’ve got dogs. And they L-O-V-E water. When it’s hot. When it’s cold. Even at 9PM when it’s time to go to bed. <SPLASH!> Oy! But secretly, the little boy inside still laughs and loves it when they shake water all over the house.

The first dogs I rescued were Golden Retrievers. Water dogs and then some. I read books, talked to folks at the shelter and our vet. I thought I was fully prepared. But you all know how that goes. You can never be fully prepared. So after just a couple of months of pool play, I started to notice a smell coming from one of the dogs. And I’m not talking about the pleasant scent of roses or freshly-baked bread. This odor was foul. Turns out, water + floppy ears = problems! Fortunately, it wasn’t an infection, but after a costly vet visit, I was equipped to deal with the problem.

Listen Up! Keep the Ears Clean!

Water is one of the biggest hazards when it comes to canine ear health. Without proper treatment, small issues can turn into major problems, such as an ear infection. Aside from the pain and discomfort your pup goes through, getting an ear infection treated at your vet can range from $250 – $3,500! I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend that money on dog treats, toys or any number of other things.

Ear issues are common, especially for dogs with floppy ears or dogs that enjoy “aquatic activities.” Some of the more common breeds are:

  • Basset Hound
  • Bloodhound
  • Springer Spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Daschund
  • Shih Tzu
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Beagles
  • Saint Bernard
  • Great Dane
  • Weimaraners
  • Labs/Retrievers
  • Poodles
  • Miniature Poodles
  • Schnauzers

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  -Benjamin Franklin

The good news is a little bit of care can help prevent future issues. Follow these three easy steps to keep your canine companion’s ears squeaky clean:

Minimize moisture

Apply a gentle cleaning and drying agent. There are numerous brands on the market, and you can even make your own. I use Project Paws Ear Cleaner because I love the way the Cucumber Melon smells (also available in Sweet Pea & Vanilla). Each purchase also provides 7 meals to shelter dogs.

Clean ears regularly

Regularly using a gentle cleaning product is a great way to prevent infections or irritation. You can use a cotton ball or a gauze, and gently wipe the outer portion of the ear. I found Ear Wipes with aloe vera and eucalyptus. They smell great and have soothing, healing qualities. 

Take a look (and a smell!)

Visualize the ear canal. If there is something abnormal, catch is before it becomes a major problem. This is especially true if you have a breed that is susceptible to ear problems/infections.

Every day or so, you should be checking your dogs ears, and a gentle cleaner, like Project Paws Ear Wipes is perfect for this. Check out the whole line of Project Paws ear cleaning products and find what works best for you. If you observe (or smell!) any changes, always consult your vet. But if you take the time to keep your pup’s ears healthy with regular cleaning and care, you’ll be hearing the bounding happiness of your canine companion waiting for you to throw the ball. Or, in my case, the sound of the splashing in the pool. It makes me smile just writing it. I love my mutts!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. 

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