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How to Care for Your Puppy's Eyes & Ears

Learn how to take care of your puppy's eyes and ears from dog trainer Robert Haussmann of Dogboy, Inc. in this Howcast video.


So when taking care of your puppy's eyes and ears, it's very important that you get the dog comfortable with that kind of handling. So dogs ears and eyes are sensitive areas, so if you're poking around near their eyes, you need to make sure that it's something that they're going to find comforting. So if you are putting eye drops in, or the vet is doing any sort of procedure on the dog that is a little intrusive, it's better that he has a little bit of an expectation for it.

So I'm just going to rub here and then reward. And you see he's kind of moving away a little bit. This is not something he's very comfortable with, so we want to try and make it a pleasant experience. Now he's still food, which is a good sign. It means it's not freaking him out all that much. When dogs are really fearful, they won't take food. Atta-boy. So I'm kind of just rubbing the area and then rewarding him for it. Very nice, buddy. And especially when you have these little guys, they sometimes get a lot of eye discharge and proteins that come from the eye and kind of create a little gooey trail next to them. People really try and wipe that, and if the dog is not comfortable with it, they can bite at your hands. They can really try and pull away, hurt themselves, fall off the table at the grooming salon or at the vet's office, things like that.

So the more they just think this is just part of the routine, the better. So we're rewarding. You can also shine lights in his eyes, anything else. But even if you're just kind of in this sensitive area and he's saying, "Well, being in this sensitive area, I'm just chewing on cookies." And you can see just in the time we've been doing it, he's already improving his comfort level with it. All right. I'm going to do the same thing for his ears. I'm going to pull up on his ears, do a little massage. I'll put my finger in, not too deep. All right. Deep enough, though. I want to be able to, as though I'm actually cleaning them. Okay. So right inside that hole, not so deep that I'm going to hurt the ear, but just around the outside of the ear canal there. And then make sure that it equals a positive experience. Okay. We'll do the same thing on the other side. All right. He's going to be just as happy as can be.

So if you do this sort of thing on a regular basis, you end up with a dog who is not really thinking twice about this kind of handling or this kind of examination or treatment. At some point, you're going to have to put drops in your dog's eyes. If it lives a nice long life, you'll probably have to put drops on his eyes. If he lives a nice long life, he'll probably get an ear infection during that time period. You don't want the first time you're touching your dog's ears or eyes to be when it's uncomfortable already with the ear infection or an eye infection that's going to require drops that's a little uncomfortable. Then the dog will develop a negative association with it. So this is something that's just something the dog does, and they don't think twice about it. And that is how you would care for your dog's eyes and ears.

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