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Prevention Is Key

Maggie Marton//November 1, 2014//

Prevention Is Key

Maggie Marton //November 1, 2014//

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Ear products meet a variety of year round needs for every type of dog.

Dogs with floppy ears, dogs who swim, dogs at risk for parasites, dogs with allergies, dogs who get a waxy buildup—just about every dog requires an ear product at some point during the year.

Ear infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the ear. But the ears contain a certain amount of bacteria and yeast at all times; the proliferation causes the infection. With routine maintenance, the right ear products can help prevent problems from developing.

In both the grooming salon and the retail shop, ear products serve as problem-solvers for customers. Chuck Eissler, Lambert Kay’s product manager said their brand offers ear solution products under the brand Ear-Rite.

“With formulas for dogs and cats, Ear-Rite Insecticidal Ear Wash for Dogs and Ear-Rite Miticide Ear Wash for Cats & Kittens both kill ear mites and ear ticks and aids in the removal of waxy debris in the ear canal,” he said.

This is important because it can be difficult for owners to keep their pets’ ears clean.

“When pets are itching and scratching in discomfort, pet parents need a quick remedy,” he said. “Ear-Rite brand formulas are ready to use when consumers purchase the product. With regular use, Ear-Rite is a quick over-the-counter solution for pet parents looking to help their pets suffering from parasites or waxy buildup.”

Oftentimes, pet owners report an odor from their dog’s ears but healthy ears do not have an odor.

Ark Naturals produces an ear product called Ears All Right designed for both dogs and cats. It’s an ear cleaning lotion formulated by an herbal scientist using only premium botanicals. Ears All Right is an all-natural botanical formula that works to break down and remove wax, dirt and foreign debris to reduce inflammation, irritation and treat mite infestation. Plus, it relieves issues associated with yeast infections, excessive wax build up, ear odor and allergies.

Wayne Whitney, national sales manager at Pet King Brands, Inc., said their ZYMOX brand includes two ear products: ZYMOX Ear Cleanser, designed for smelly or dirty ears and ZYMOX Ear Solution for infected or inflamed ears.

“All the ZYMOX products utilize the patented LP3 Enzyme System, which is a combination of natural bio-active enzymes with proven antibacterial, antifungal and anti-yeast properties,” he said.

Between the two products, “The bestselling product of all the ZYMOX products is the Ear Solution. It has shown to be a good alternative to antibiotics. It’s very easy to use. Pet owners do not have to do anything but squirt into the ear and gently massage for a second or two. There is no pre-cleaning. No removing any wax or debris. No unnecessary restraining of a pet with a painful ear.”

Infections are often caused because of bacterial proliferation in the warm, moist ear. One targeted option is Burt’s Bees’ Ear Cleaner with Peppermint and Witch Hazel, which contains witch hazel to cleanse the ear and remove excess moisture and peppermint oil to soothe the affected area.

Wipe Away the Problem

In addition to liquid products, ear cleaners are often available in a convenient, disposable wipe. For example, Pro-Sense’s Ear Cleanse Moist Pads work to keep pets’ ears clean and healthy by cleansing the year and dissolving waxy build-up without irritating the sensitive area.

Many pet owners shy away from at-home treatment of ear problems because their dogs or cats are uncomfortable with the process or because they struggle to find a product that solves the variety of ear problems pets face. Whitney pointed out that groomers have an opportunity to offer ear solutions for sale to their customers.

“Ear infections are so common and are often chronic and top the charts as a reason for a visit to the veterinarian,” he said.  “A groomer is in a position to help solve problems, which many pet owners have managing a pet’s problematic ears. Due to the chronic nature of many ear infections, it can mean repeat business with sales of products pet owners have good success with.”

Whitney pointed out that owners are seeking relief for their pet, so groomers can leverage that by sharing their observations of the pet’s ears and suggestions for solutions.

However, if retailers have a client in their salon or shop whose dog or cat suffers from chronic ear infections, before recommending any ear solution, suggest a visit to the vet. Chronic ear infections can cause additional health problems and potentially lead to hearing loss.