How to Give Ear Drops to Dogs

How to Give Ear Drops to Dogs

March 2021 Dogs, Health

Picture this. It's Sunday morning, the sun is peeking through your curtains and your alarm is supposed to go off, isn't that the best feeling? I love it when that happens, its like your body knows! WRONG! You only woke up because you heard the uncontrollable head shaking of your service dog. His metal name tag is hitting the buckle clasp on his collar and driving you absolutely NUTS! This has been going on for days with your emotional support dog and its getting to the point where you think something may be wrong.

At first you figured your service dog may just have an itch, but now he seems quite frustrated and it appears to be more than just an itch. UGH poor guy! Time to get up! You finish your cup of coffee, its Sunday after all, and you drive your emotional support dog to the vet.

Because its Sunday and you didn't have time to make an appointment, you wait about 45 minutes with your service dog. You finally see the vet and she proceeds to tell you that your emotional support dog has an ear infection. WHAT? How did this happen? He literally does NOTHING all day long and doesn't even like going outside because its so hot right now. Is this like a human ear infection you think to yourself. Is this my fault? Does he have something stuck in there?

Okay Web MD, so you've accepted the fact that FIDO has an ear infection, now for the even worse news. The veterinarian tells you that YOU have to administer the ear drops at home. You think to yourself "I cant even put eye drops in my own eyes, I don't want my service dog to hate me! He seems to be in serious pain though and helps me every day, its time I return the favor!" But how are you going to get those drops in? The vet made it look so easy when she showed me back at the clinic!

Take Care of Your Service Dogs Ears

Well, I've got news for you, it's not as hard as you think to put drops in your emotional support dogs earlobes!…yeah, right - you're probably thinking…

Honestly! There's a few ways to go about this, but in my experience, the best way to do this is by distracting your service dog.

Simply put, when your service dog is focused on something else, he is less likely to notice the ear drops (liquid) running down his face.

Distracting your service dog will be different for everyone of course, as all service dogs are distracted by different things. For example, I use a Kong to distract my service dog. If you're unfamiliar with Kongs, I would HIGHLY suggest buying one for your service dog. They are essentially an indestructible toy that you can fill with food and treats, you can even freeze them! I fill my emotional support dog's toy up with peanut butter and freeze it overnight, it takes him a good 15 minutes to destroy one, but luckily for you, you only need about 2 minutes to administer the drops to your service dogs' ears!

Another advantage of giving a Kong to your emotional support dog, is that he is eating! So naturally his head will be down and the drops with drip down his ear canal to where they need to go.

Keep in mind, if this is not something you think will work for your service dog, you can always try the following as well:

  • Praise your emotional service dog with a treat before and after you administer the drops. We do this so that he associates the drops with something positive.
  • Take your service dog to a small area in your house so that he can't run away from you. If he tries to run away from you, the use of a leash is more than okay
  • If your emotional support dog is small, you can place them on a table or raised surface
  • Try putting your emotional support dog in a corner facing out to keep him from backing away from you
  • Get help from a friend! Sometimes having a second person available to help you hold your emotional support dog is all you need! This way you can have both hands free to handle administering the drops Once you have determined the best way for you and your service dog to endure this CRAZY process, his head should be pointed down (especially if he is eating) and you're reading to follow these steps!
  • Gently rub your service dogs head, making your way down to his ears
  • Next, you want to hold the tip of his ear (if your dog has floppy ears, youll need to open his ear while holding the tip in an upward position, and hold it open)
  • Once the ear is held open, quickly squeeze the drops in. Try to make this part as gentle as possible to avoid poking thee ear canal with the applicator tip
  • While continuing to hold the ear flap up and open. Rub the base of the service dogs ear against the head in a circular motion

CONGRATUALTIONS! You did it! I knew you could…

Your Service Dog Has Clean Ears

PSA #1: Always make sure you are using the medication your veterinarian prescribed to your service dog. Avoid using any OTC cleaners as these contain alcohol which can cause significant discomfort to an infected ear.

PSA #2: Your service dog will more than like shake his head and you make fee like all the hard work was for nothing! Not to worry, even when he does this, most of the medication will have already gone where it needed to.

PSA #3: Be sure to complete the full course of medication and make be sure to follow up with your veterinarian if the infection does not resolve. Now you can get back to your relaxing Sunday afternoon, Enjoy.

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