Ear plucking. It’s one of those things that nobody can seem to agree on. If you have a dog breed with hair that grows inside its ear canal, you may be wondering whether or not you should be plucking that ear hair. Maybe you’ve received conflicting advice. A quick Google search for “Should I pluck my dog’s ear hair” pulls up results ranging from always to never. What’s a new dog owner supposed to do?
It used to be thought that plucking the hair from the ear canal helped increase air circulation, which would decrease moisture getting stuck inside the ear canal and becoming infected. This thinking leads to all dogs getting their ear hair plucked.
More recent thinking says that plucking the ear hair can irritate the skin of the ear canal, which weakens its immunity and increases the odds of becoming infected. This thinking leads to groomers and vets who refuse to pluck any ear hair.
So, which thinking is correct?
Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS says on Petful that if your dog is NOT prone to ear infections, you should NOT pluck the hair from inside their ears. If your dog IS prone to ear infections, then you’re risking nothing by plucking the ear hair and increasing air circulation. If you think plucking your dog’s ears is best, have a groomer or veterinarian show you how to do it so that you don’t accidentally hurt your dog.
Many groomers will at least trim the hair inside the ears. If it grows too long, it can become matted, and then the only humane solution is to pull the whole mat out of the ear canal.
In either case, cleaning your dog’s ears once or twice a month with a dog-specific ear cleaner can help prevent infections, which leads to happier, healthier pups!