How to Put Ear Drops in an Uncooperative Dog: 4 Easy Steps

While it’s certainly fun having a goofy dog to give your kids company, it’s quite a different story when it comes to doing your responsibility as a dog parent. As you know, dogs are prone to ear infections, and they need vet-recommended ear drops right away.

Though it’s simple to drop the medicine to the ears, the whole process can be overwhelming if your dog fails to stay still. It’s a struggle for a lot of dog owners, perhaps, including you. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through the same difficult process as we’re here to spill the secret on how to successfully do it. 

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?

Ear infections in dogs are usually caused by bacteria, yeast, or ear mites in puppies. The structure of their ear canal makes them even more susceptible to developing ear issues as it’s more vertical, therefore, making it hold the fluid that gets inside it. 

According to the AKC, at least 20% of dogs suffer from a sort of an ear disease that can affect either one or both ears. Fortunately, there are over-the-counter medications that can shorten the length of the ear infection episode as well as keep it from becoming severe.

How would you know if your dog has an ear infection? They usually exhibit these symptoms:

  • Pain.
  • Smell.
  • Itchiness.
  • Head-shaking. 
  • Redness on the ear canal. 
  • Scabs or crusts in the ear.
  • Scratching the affected ear.

Those with floppy ears like your Pocket Beagle are more inclined to develop ear infections, so watch out.

You may want to learn more about the Pocket Beagle: Pocket Beagle 101: The Essential Guide

Why Do Dogs Dislike Being Touched On Their Ears?

Your dog’s ears are different from yours as they’re more sensitive. Since they’re cleaned only when the ear issues arise, dogs may not be comfortable getting touched on the affected area. The condition may be severe and too sore that your dog chooses for their ears not to be bothered.

To add, dogs have no idea that what you’re trying to do is to help alleviate the pain in their ears. All they want is to not let their ears be touched. And so, when you try to keep them from moving while positioning the ear drops, your dog squirms and tries to get away from the grip.

This is where the struggle begins.

4 Easy Steps to Give Ear Drops to Your Dog

There would be less squirming and less resistance from your dog if they were already used to getting their ears touched since puppyhood. The earlier they understand that once their ears get sore, the next thing to expect is their owners to help them heal right away, then the better. 

But, if it’s your dog’s first time having an ear infection, then receiving their ear drops can be a make-or-break experience. To avoid them from having such an awful moment, follow these 4 easy steps for guaranteed success in treating their infected ears.

1. Provide a Positive Environment

First, you have to ensure that the environment they’re in is calm, peaceful, and relaxing. There shouldn’t be a lot of people around, especially strangers, as this can make your dog feel anxious or threatened. 

Show them lots of love and help them realize that they’re safe with you. You can praise them for behaving well or show them affection to generally ease them despite the discomfort they may feel in their ear.

Also, bear in mind these two things:

  • Avoid administering the ear drop medication in your dog’s favorite spot, so it won’t be associated with negative experiences.
  • Go look for your pooch when it’s time to treat their ears instead of calling for their name. This prevents them from getting scared the next time you call them.

2. Be Gentle throughout the Process

Use a grooming table and place your pooch on it. This gives them a limited space making them incapable of running away and making you chase them all over the house. You can also put them on the leash, but be sure to place it on their collar properly.

If there’s a second person that can help, go for it. They can hold the dog and distract them with treats or praises so you can focus on your task, which is to let the medicine get through your little buddy’s ear canal.

Do take note of these things as well:

  • Muzzle your dog if they’re trying to snap at you. But, if you can’t make them wear a muzzle, it’s best to stop the entire procedure and let the vet do it. 
  • Never use force or physical punishments if they’re being highly uncooperative.

3. Give the Medication

Have everything set, and if you can, the treats should be ready on your other hand so that things go smoothly. Once you’re prepared to start it off, be gentle in prepping your dog’s ears. Don’t ever pull their ear flap or poke their ear canal with the tip of the medication.

Use the desired amount on the affected ear and ensure that the whole area is covered by the medicine. Do the treatment very quickly.

4. Reward the Behavior

Lastly, give your dog a treat so they would associate this experience with something that would make them earn a delicious snack. You can also shower them with more praises and love for their good behavior. In the future, in case they experience another ear problem, your dog will remember how positive this moment is and maintain the same demeanor.

Read more: Dog Treats That Are Bad For Dogs and 8 Natural Healthy Treats You Can Give Them

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Ears after Receiving Ear Drops?

The feeling of having the medicine slide to their ear canal is unnatural for your dog. They would normally shake their ears to try to get rid of this sensation. It’s alright if they do this. As long as the area on the ear has been properly coated, then the ear infection will be healed in no time. 

You can put a cone around their head so they can’t scratch their ears during the healing period.

Reading tip: 5 Dog Cone Alternatives That Makes Your Dog Comfortable

4 Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Having an Ear Infection

The first thing you can do is to consult your veterinarian if you find it hard to clean your dog’s ears. There could be some debris that needs to be flushed out, and that can only be performed by a professional.

Other than that, if dealing with your dog’s ears is not a problem, you should consider following these 4 ways to keep your pooch away from ear infections:

1. Commit to cleaning your dog’s ears once a month. If they’re prone to ear infections, then do it more often.

2. Meticulously check if your dog’s ears have any dirt, parasites, or discharge. Also, there should be no smell coming out of their ears.

3. Moisten your dog’s external ears using mineral oil. 

4. Always keep your dog’s ears clean and dry to avoid attracting bacteria inside.