Why Does My Dog Have Stinky Ears?

Why Does My Dog Have Stinky Ears?
Photo by kyle smith

This may sound weird, but have you smelled your dog's ears lately?

Did it smell bad?

Of course, dogs have their own natural smell, but having stinky ears is not normal, and could indicate a potential infection. This article will talk about the basics of caring for your pet's ear health.

Do I need to clean my dogs ears?

You might not like this answer, but the truth is that it depends.

Veterinary dermatologists often argue that pets with normal healthy ears do not need help with cleaning or flushing their ears. However, pets that have a history of ear infections may need regular ear cleanings to maintain ear health (and reduce risk of ear infections).

How do I clean my pet's ears?

Some people prefer to just take their pet to the vet to have that done. If you prefer to learn how to do it yourself, the video below will walk you through some of the basics.

Ear Health and Allergies

When considering the overall ear health of dogs and cats, it's important to understand that regular monitoring and maintenance can prevent many common issues.

One of the most common underlying causes of ear problems in dogs is allergies.

Allergies can lead to ongoing irritation, resulting in pain and swelling and an increased risk of infections.

Pollen, mold, dust mites, and even certain foods can trigger allergies that affect the ears. Pets with allergies often show signs such as scratching at their ears, head shaking, and having brown or yellow ear discharge.

This is a severe ongoing ear infection. You do not want your dog's ears to look like this! Photo Credit Hobi et al

To manage and maintain healthy ears, especially for pets with allergies, regular veterinary check-ups are important.

During these visits, a veterinarian can assess the ears for any signs of inflammation or infection and recommend appropriate treatment or preventive measures.

This may include:

  • dietary adjustments
  • allergy testing
  • medication to control allergic responses

Keeping the ears clean and dry is also vital, particularly for breeds prone to ear issues (or dogs that love to go swimming).

Some breeders may recommend plucking the hair off the inside of dog ears in order to decrease the risks of infection.

This can help sometimes, BUT can actually lead to pain and infection because of the bleeding it causes.

I repeat, ear-plucking in dogs can lead to ear infections.

That is why as a veterinarian, I usually do not recommend ear plucking. I've never had my ears plucked and it seems incredibly painful!

Anyways, I hope this article helped with understanding caring for your pet's ears. Ear cleaning can be an important part of pet care, but also not every pet needs it, so each pet needs an individual plan for optimum health.

Still need help cleaning your pet's ears?

If you've watched the video above and you still have trouble cleaning your pet's ears, it might be time to visit the vet.