Before you take your dog out to the lake to go swimming, it is important to understand how water affects your dog's ears and what you can do about water getting into your dog's ears.

#1 Water Doesn't Mix With Your Dog's Ears

The first thing you need to realize is that water doesn't mix well with your dog's ears. When water is present in your dog's ears, it sets up the perfect stage for bacteria and fungus to make a new home. If you are taking your dog swimming in a lake, river or pond, there may already be bacteria, fungus and other elements present in the water that you don't want in your dog's ears.

If water stays in your dog's ears for an extended period of time, they could easily develop either a bacterial or fungal ear infection.

#2 Encourage Your Dog To Shake It Out

When your dog gets out of the water, encourage them to shake their body. This shaking process helps get excess water that can weigh down their fur off of them. It can also help them shake away any water that gets into the canals of their ears.

Do not yell at your dog when they get out of a body of water and shake their body. Do not push them away or discourage them from shaking; doing this will teach your dog to not engage in this type of behavior, which is actually healthy for them and exactly what you do want them to do.

#3 Cover Your Dog's Ears

Another way to protect your dog's ears is by covering them up. When they go swimming, you can purchase dog ear plugs to put in your dog's ears. This will help keep the water out of them. Just remember to remove the plugs when your dog gets out of the water so they can hear correctly.

When your dog takes a bath, you can put cotton balls at the entrance to their ears to keep the water out of them. Once again, you just need to remember to remove them once your dog's bath is over.

#4 Dry Your Dog's Ears

When your dog gets out of the water, after they have shaken themselves off, you need to dry their ears. One of the best ways to dry their ears is by using some cotton balls or a soft cloth to dry your dog's external ear canals. This will help water out of their inner ear. Don't use a cloth that is too abrasive. You should never put a Q-tip into your dog's ear canal; it could damage their canal.

You can also use a drying ear cleaner; you can usually purchase this at the pet store, but you should check with your vet to determine what type of drying ear cleaners will work best on your dog. Contact a company like Gulfport Veterinarian to learn more.