When talking about dog and cat hygiene, we tend to focus on bathing, haircuts and even hooves, but, like humans, eyes and ears also need to be watched.
In eyes and ears, dirt is more dangerous because it can lead to infections that, over time, can be dangerous.
The first thing to look at is your pet’s eyes, they should be bright and clear. The eye lint should be clear. If they are green or any other colour, it is best to have them checked by a vet. If your dog has droopy ears like a Dalmatian, it is more common for us not to pay the same attention to them, but they are precisely the ears that get the dirtiest. Both dogs and cats should be accustomed to this type of hygiene from an early age. Especially with cats, who tend to be more complicated when it comes to treating these areas of their body.
We should clean both areas at least once or twice a week although, if they are prone to having a lot of dirt, we should shorten the periods, as they can scratch themselves with their paws and hurt themselves. Wax in some dogs, such as the Maltese or the poodle, tends to yellow or redden the hair around the eyes. In the case of dogs, when there is an infection, they tend to shake their heads and ears.
To clean both areas, take a clean, slightly damp gauze pad. It is often recommended to use saline solution, but veterinarians advise against this, as it can remain at the bottom of the ear and cause disease. Use clean water.
In the eye, pass it gently from the inside to the outside of the eye, that is to say, from the nose to the ear. Always be very careful.
In the ear, cover your finger with the gauze and insert it very gently into the cavity, making sure it does not touch the bottom and carefully clean the walls. The inner ear canals of a dog or cat are an intricate maze of twisting canals, so be careful. Ear cleaners are available in specialised shops which are inexpensive and do a good job, especially in cases of heavy soiling.
After each cleaning, the best thing to do is to give him a treat, so that he will associate that the cleaning is good. This is a good way to use positive reinforcement.
A tip for cleaning cats: If the cat is a bit annoying when it comes to picking him up, using a towel will help you in the process.
If in doubt, always ask your vet.