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How to Clean a Newfoundland’s Ears

Written by: Arlene D.
Arlene A. Divina, a resident of the Philippines, is a devoted fur mom to two adorable dogs: a Shih Tzu and a Beagle. With a passion for animals and storytelling, Arlene has channeled her love for dogs into her career as a content writer at iHeartDogs. Her writing captures the essence of the bond between humans and their furry companions, offering insights, tips, and heartfelt stories to a wide audience of dog enthusiasts. Read more
| Published on January 17, 2024

Newfoundland, known for their gentle nature and impressive size, is a breed that requires specific care in grooming, particularly when it comes to their ears. These affectionate dogs have large, droopy ears that are prone to accumulating wax, moisture, and debris. Such an environment can easily foster bacterial and yeast infections if not properly maintained. Regular ear cleaning is, therefore, a crucial aspect of caring for a Newfoundland, ensuring not just cleanliness, but also their overall health and comfort. Understanding how to clean your Newfoundland’s ears effectively is important, as it helps prevent infections, aids in early detection of potential issues, and contributes to the overall well-being of these gentle giants.

How to Clean a Newfoundland’s Ears: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Gather Necessary Supplies: Before you start, ensure you have a dog-specific ear cleaning solution, cotton balls or gauze, and treats for rewarding your dog.
  2. Create a Calm Environment: Keep your Newfoundland relaxed by choosing a quiet and comfortable spot for cleaning.
  3. Inspect the Ears First: Gently examine the ears for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or an unpleasant odor. If these are present, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.
  4. Apply the Cleaning Solution: Lift the ear flap and gently fill the ear canal with the cleaning solution. Avoid inserting the bottle tip directly into the ear.
  5. Massage the Base of the Ear: Softly massage the base of the ear to help loosen wax and debris.
  6. Allow Your Dog to Shake Its Head: Give your Newfoundland a moment to shake its head, which helps in loosening and expelling the debris from the ear canal.
  7. Wipe the Ear: Using cotton balls or gauze, gently wipe out the ear, focusing on the visible parts of the ear canal and the ear flap. Avoid probing too deep into the ear canal.
  8. Reward Your Dog: Offer a treat after cleaning each ear. This can help create a positive experience for your Newfoundland.
  9. Repeat for the Other Ear: Make sure both ears are cleaned thoroughly.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Newfoundland’s Ears

  • Preventing Infections: Regular ear cleaning removes buildup and decreases the risk of infections caused by bacteria and yeast.
  • Early Detection of Problems: Cleaning sessions allow you to notice any early signs of ear issues, ensuring timely intervention.
  • Odor Reduction: Clean ears are less likely to develop the foul odors that are often associated with ear infections.
  • Comfort: Keeping the ears clean prevents irritation and discomfort, making your Newfoundland more comfortable.

Ear cleaning is an essential aspect of caring for your Newfoundland. It not only maintains ear hygiene but also plays a crucial role in preventing health issues. While the process requires patience and care, it is a simple and effective way to contribute to your Newfoundland’s health and comfort. Always be attentive to any signs of ear problems and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns or doubts about ear care. Regular ear cleaning, combined with routine veterinary check-ups, will ensure that your Newfoundland remains a happy and healthy companion.


Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning A Newfoundland’s Ears

1. How often should I clean my Newfoundland’s ears?

Cleaning your Newfoundland’s ears should ideally be done every 1-2 weeks. This frequency can vary depending on your dog’s lifestyle, activities, and natural ear wax production. Newfoundland have large, floppy ears that are more prone to wax build-up and infections, making regular cleaning essential. Monitor the condition of your dog’s ears; if you notice a lot of wax, dirt, or a bad odor, increase the cleaning frequency. However, avoid over-cleaning as it can lead to irritation. If you are unsure about the cleaning frequency or if your Newfoundland has a history of ear problems, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.

2. What type of ear cleaner should I use for my Newfoundland?

For cleaning a Newfoundland’s ears, it’s important to use a dog-specific ear cleaning solution that is gentle and designed for removing wax and debris effectively. Avoid using products with harsh chemicals or alcohol, as they can irritate the sensitive skin inside the ear. If your Newfoundland has sensitive ears or a history of ear infections, consult your veterinarian for a recommendation on a suitable ear cleaner. Using the right product is crucial for safe and effective cleaning and maintaining your Newfoundland’s ear health.

3. Can I use cotton swabs to clean my Newfoundland’s ears?

It is not recommended to use cotton swabs or Q-tips deep inside your Newfoundland’s ears. These tools can push wax and debris further into the ear canal and potentially cause damage to the ear drum. Instead, use a cotton ball or soft gauze to gently wipe the visible part of the inner ear and the ear flap. Focus on cleaning the areas you can see and avoid inserting anything deep into the ear canal to prevent injury.

4. How can I tell if my Newfoundland has an ear infection?

Signs of an ear infection in Newfoundland include redness and swelling in the ear, a strong, unpleasant odor, discharge that may be yellowish or brown, and signs of discomfort like scratching the ear or shaking the head. In severe cases, your dog might exhibit changes in balance or hearing. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment. Regular ear inspections during cleaning can help in early detection of potential problems.

5. What is the best way to hold my Newfoundland during ear cleaning?

When cleaning your Newfoundland’s ears, ensure both you and your dog are comfortable. Have your Newfoundland sit or stand in a calm area. Gently hold the dog’s head still with one hand, and use the other hand to perform the cleaning. Speak in a soothing voice to keep your dog calm. If your Newfoundland is resistant, try doing the process in stages, gradually getting them accustomed to ear cleaning.

6. How deep into the ear canal should I clean?

When cleaning your Newfoundland’s ears, clean only the parts you can easily see. Do not insert anything deep into the ear canal, as this could cause injury. Use a cotton ball or gauze pad soaked in ear cleaning solution to gently wipe the inside of the ear flap and the entrance to the ear canal. The goal is to clean the ear effectively without risking harm to your dog.

7. Can ear cleaning prevent hearing loss in my Newfoundland?

Regular ear cleaning can help prevent conditions that could lead to hearing loss in Newfoundland, such as chronic infections or blockages in the ear canal. However, it’s important to note that ear cleaning alone cannot prevent all causes of hearing loss, such as genetic factors or age-related changes. Consistent ear care, combined with regular veterinary check-ups, is important in maintaining your dog’s ear health and hearing.

8. How should I dry my Newfoundland’s ears after cleaning?

After cleaning your Newfoundland’s ears, they should be dried gently to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to infections. Use a soft, dry cloth or cotton ball to gently pat the inside of the ear flap and the outer ear canal. Ensure the ears are completely dry, especially if your Newfoundland has had a bath or been swimming, to maintain optimal ear health.

9. Can diet affect my Newfoundland’s ear health?

Yes, diet can impact your Newfoundland’s ear health. A balanced diet supporting overall health can help prevent ear problems. Some Newfoundland may be prone to allergies, which can manifest as ear infections. In such cases, feeding a hypoallergenic diet or a diet formulated for sensitive skin can be beneficial. Consult with your veterinarian for dietary recommendations tailored to your Newfoundland’s specific health needs.

10. How can I tell if my Newfoundland dislikes ear cleaning?

If your Newfoundland dislikes ear cleaning, they might show signs of discomfort or stress, such as whining, trying to move away, or pawing at their ears. It’s important to approach ear cleaning gently and make it a positive experience. Use treats and praise to create a calm environment. If your dog consistently shows discomfort, consider consulting a professional trainer for advice on making the experience more comfortable.

11. Are Newfoundland more prone to ear problems than other breeds?

Newfoundland, with their large, floppy ears, can be more prone to ear problems than breeds with erect ears. The shape of their ears can trap moisture and reduce air circulation, creating an environment conducive to infections. Regular ear cleaning and monitoring are essential in preventing these issues and maintaining overall ear health.

12. What is the best ear cleaning solution for Newfoundland with sensitive ears?

For Newfoundland with sensitive ears, use a gentle, hypoallergenic ear cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. These solutions are specifically formulated for dogs with sensitive skin and are less likely to cause irritation. They often contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile. Avoid products with harsh chemicals or fragrances, which can aggravate sensitive ears.

13. Can regular ear cleaning prevent balance problems in my Newfoundland?

Regular ear cleaning can help prevent conditions that could affect your Newfoundland’s balance, such as inner ear infections. By keeping the ears clean and free of excessive wax and debris, you reduce the risk of infections and blockages that can impair balance. However, if you notice any balance issues, it’s important to consult your veterinarian promptly, as these could be signs of a more serious condition.

14. Can a poor grooming routine lead to chronic ear problems in Newfoundland?

A poor grooming routine, including infrequent or improper ear cleaning, can lead to chronic ear problems in Newfoundland. Neglecting ear care can result in the buildup of wax and debris, leading to infections and other complications. Consistent and proper ear cleaning is vital to prevent such issues and maintain your Newfoundland’s ear health.

15. Should I clean my Newfoundland’s ears after swimming or bathing?

Yes, it’s advisable to clean your Newfoundland’s ears after swimming or bathing. Water can enter the ear canal during these activities, creating a moist environment that can promote bacterial growth and lead to infections. After swimming or bathing, gently dry your dog’s ears with a soft towel and use a vet-recommended ear cleaner to remove any excess moisture or debris. This helps keep your dog’s ears healthy and prevents potential problems.

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