Beagles have been one of the most popular dog breeds for a long time, thanks to their friendly temperament, intelligence, and their generally robust nature. They’re also pretty cute and distinctive-looking dogs, and one of the beagle’s most recognizable features is its large, floppy ears.
It’s important for you to clean your beagle’s ears on a regular basis as you can leave them more susceptible to severe infection if you don’t. To properly clean your beagle’s ears, you should use a specialized ear cleaning solution for dogs.
In this article, we’ll be giving you a comprehensive guide on how to clean your beagle’s ears, and we’ll also share with you some other pertinent information about your beagle’s ear health that might be helpful for you to know.
How to Clean Your Beagle’s Ears?
Cleaning your beagle’s ears shouldn’t present you with too much of a challenge, especially if your beagle is well-mannered and isn’t prone to fussing when they’re being cleaned. It’s important that you know what the correct steps are to do this, however, since you obviously want to make sure your beagle is in good health.
Here’s the step-by-step process for properly cleaning your beagle’s ears:
1. Check for Infections
Before you actually start cleaning your beagle’s ears, it’s worth it to look for any signs of an ear infection. If your beagle’s ears have gotten dirty to the point where they become infected, then you’ll have to take your beagle to the vet as cleaning the ears alone won’t solve this issue.
Fortunately, it’s usually pretty easy to tell if your beagle has an ear infection. Your beagle will likely make their discomfort pretty obvious by shaking their head and scratching at the infected ear, and an ear infection will likely result in a bad smell and a nasty-looking discharge coming from the ear.
Other common symptoms of an ear infection in beagles include an ear canal that looks red and swollen, or crusty/scabby skin on the inside of your beagle’s ears.
2. Gather the Requisite Supplies
If your beagle’s ears are ready to be cleaned, you’ll have to gather a few supplies if you don’t already have them on hand. These include a clean cotton ball or gauze, and a bottle of canine ear cleaning solution and some warm water.
Premade canine ear cleaning solutions are pretty cheap and are readily available from sources like Amazon and Walmart, but if you want to save a few bucks you can actually make your own canine ear cleaner by mixing together equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol.
If you do make some homemade ear cleaner, adding it to a squeeze bottle will make it a lot easier to apply.
3. Add the Ear Cleaner
Lift up your beagle’s ear, and squirt a few drops of the ear cleaning solution onto the inside of the ear near the ear opening. Then, gently squirt a small amount of the solution directly into your beagle’s ear.
If you want to make this part easier for yourself, it might be a good idea to clean your beagle’s ears towards the end of the day when their energy levels are a bit lower, since they might be a little bit hesitant to let you mess around with their ears otherwise.
4. Massage Your Beagle’s Ear
Immediately after squirting the solution inside the ear, you should massage the base of your beagle’s ear. If you’re not too sure what counts as the “base” of the ear, this refers to the bottom of your beagle’s ear-opening, right around the jaw. You should be able to feel the soft cartilage underneath if you’re massaging the right spot.
The purpose of this massage is to get the ear cleaner deep into your beagle’s ear canal where it can really loosen up all the wax and other gunk that might be trapped inside. When you’re done with the massage, you can let your beagle shake its head to get rid of the solution inside (although be prepared for this to make a bit of a mess).
5. Wipe Away Any Remaining Cleaner/Wax
Once your beagle is done shaking, it’s time to wipe out anything else that might still be in its ears. To that end, grab your cotton pad or your gauze, lightly moisten them, and wipe out as much leftover stuff from your beagle’s ears as you can.
Don’t be afraid of a little deep cleaning; you can safely put your fingers with the cotton ball or gauze a way into your beagle’s ear canal, but you shouldn’t go so far that it feels like you’re forcing your fingers in. If your beagle seems particularly uncomfortable or in pain when you do this, immediately stop.
When you’ve finished cleaning both of your beagle’s ears, make sure you give them a treat and lots of praise to reward them for making it through.
What Can I Use to Clean My Dog’s Ears at Home?
We’ve already talked about how to clean your dog’s ears at home, so we won’t spend too much time here repeating ourselves. In short, you can use either a premade ear cleaning solution or a mix of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol to loosen up the wax and other gunk inside, and you can use a cotton swab or a bit of gauze to wipe everything up.
One thing to note, however, is that you should never use a Q-tip or anything similar to clean your dog’s ears. Q-tips can actually end up shoving wax and debris deeper into your dog’s ears, and they can even injure your dog’s inner ear if you’re really not careful.
As we’ve mentioned, cleaning your dog’s ears is totally something you can do at home on your own, but if your dog’s ears are infected you will need to take them to the vet. Ear infections usually require some kind of antibiotics to treat them, and pet antibiotics are often only available with a prescription.
How Do Beagles Get Ear Infections?
Dogs, in general, are naturally more predisposed to some form of ear infections than humans, thanks in part to the shape of a dog’s entire ear canal. Dogs have vaguely L-shaped ear canals, and because of their more vertical shape, they tend to trap more fluid and debris in their ears.
Ear infections can occur in beagles and other dogs if their ears get really dirty or waxy and bacteria start to develop. The same can also happen if enough moisture gets trapped inside your beagle’s ears, as bacteria love to breed in warm, moist environments.
Painful Ear infections can also sometimes happen if your beagle has a pre-existing medical disorder. Autoimmune disorders and endocrine disorders are occasional causes of ear infections in dogs.
It’s important to clean your beagle’s ears to prevent bacterial infection, but cleaning too often can actually increase the risk of an ear infection. In general, you should clean your beagle’s ears once every 2-3 weeks, but if your beagle has particularly waxy ears then cleaning them once a week will probably be enough.
Why Do My Beagle’s Ears Smell?
Smelly ears are never a good sign in beagles or any other breed of floppy-eared dog. If your beagle’s ears have an unpleasant odor, it’s a sign that there’s likely an infection as well, or at least a large amount of bacteria or yeast trapped inside (could lead to yeast infection). In any case, a bad odor means that there’s something in your beagle’s ears that shouldn’t be there.
Normally, the inside of your beagle’s ears should have very little to no unpleasant smell at all. It’s a good practice to regularly sniff inside your beagle’s ears; this may seem weird at first, but it’ll help you determine what your beagle’s ears should normally smell like when they’re healthy, and make it easier for you to figure out in the future if something is not quite right.
Why Are My Beagle’s Ears Red Inside?
If you notice that the inside of your beagle’s ears looks a lot redder than normal, it’s a sure-fire sign that they’re infected. If you see this, you should take your beagle to the vet right away and have them diagnose the source of the infection.
However, there are other things aside from bacterial infections that can cause your beagle’s ears to become inflamed. Some dogs suffer from seasonal allergies, which can manifest as red, inflamed inner ears. Parasitic infections can also cause this; puppies in particular are susceptible to ear mites, which can easily cause chronic ear infections. It also could be a foreign object that got stuck in your dog’s ear. Contact the vet asap!