Your dachshund’s soft, long, floppy ears are one of their most adorable features. Those ears, though, also leave doxies more susceptible to ear infections and other ear-related problems because of their shape and size. There’s less opportunity for air to circulate since their ears flop over, which means that moisture can more easily get trapped in your pup’s ears. And since dachshunds and their ears are also incredibly low to the ground, it’s easy for ticks or fleas to find their way onto a doxie’s ears, especially after playing or walking in long grass.
All that said, as long as you pay regular attention to your dachshund’s ears and ensure you’re keeping them clean, you’ll be just fine. Here’s how to take care of your precious pup’s ears.
Check in regularly
Take time to check your dachshund’s ears at least once a week. If you regularly go for long walks in wooded areas or where there’s tall grass, you’ll want to carve out time to check for ticks after each walk, too. While your pup is relaxed and sitting nearby, flip over their ear and look inside. A healthy ear is soft and pink, and doesn’t have a distinct odor. When you’re starting to see some dark-colored wax or crusty-looking build up, it’s probably time to give their ears a cleaning.
If you see little pests like ticks, fleas, or mites, schedule time with your vet to ensure you’re fully getting rid of them. Other signs of pests are distinct red bites in your dachshund’s ears, or small black flecks scattered around their ears — these could be insect feces. A strong odor or visible discharge are also signs that your pup might have an infection in their ears, and are also reasons to reach out to your vet to address the issue. Your pup may also be regularly shaking their head or skittish to human touch around their ears if there’s something more serious going on.
Time for a bath
You should clean your dachshund’s ears at least once a month, or every other week if they’re looking dirty and you’re starting to see wax build up. Start by washing the outside of their ears with a warm, soapy washcloth, and rinse of the soap with your hands or a clean washcloth. For the insides of their ears, use a damp washcloth or a moist cotton ball to wipe the insides of their ears. This is when you’ll want to wipe out any build up of ear wax! The washcloth or cotton ball should be damp, not wet, so your dachshund’s ears should be fairly dry, but to prevent risk of infection, it’s worth drying the insides of their ears with a clean cloth. Using q-tips is a no-go, as they can push dirt further into your pup’s ears and cause damage to the ear canal.
Squeaky clean ear canals
It’s a good idea to use an ear cleaning solution to keep the insides of their ear canals clean about once a month, too. Your vet can help recommend a product they like, if you’re looking for a trusted recommendation. Cleaning your pup’s ears is easiest when they’re relaxed, so you may want to give them some extra love and attention before pouring the cleaning solution in their ear. Fill their ear canal with the cleaner, and gently massage the base of their ear for about 30 seconds so that the solution has time to break down any dirt or wax. After 30 seconds has passed, it’s perfectly fine for your pup to shake their head if they want to. Then, use a dry cloth or cotton ball to wipe out their ear canal and the insides of their ear — cleaning out any of the debris that the solution has loosened, and cleaning out any excess liquid. Clean both ears, and make sure the insides of their ears are fully dry before you call it a day. Leaving their ears damp can lead to infection, which you want to avoid!
The cleaning process won’t cause your pup any pain, but they most definitely have earned a treat (or two!) once their ears are sparkling clean again. The more excited they are to have their ears cleaned next time, the better!