Why Your Dog is Scratching Its Ears and What You Can Do About It Addressing Ear Scratching in Canines

Why Your Dog is Scratching Its Ears and What You Can Do About It

Dogs scratch their ears to relieve any itching, discomfort, or pain they may be feeling. This article will help dog owners understand why dogs scratch their ears and how it can be relieved.

Dog ear scratching is the act of a dog frequently clawing or rubbing its ears with its paws or nails. The dog keeps shaking her head and scratching its ear or frequently flaps its ears. It is typical behavior in dogs and might indicate a variety of underlying disorders or discomfort. This article will discuss why your dog is scratching its ears and how it can be addressed.


Below are some of the reasons for your dog scratting its ears:

  • Ear infections: Infections are dogs' most prevalent cause of ear itching. If your dog's ears get red, bloated, or exude a foul odor, this might be an indication of an infection that requires the attention of a vet.

  • Ear mites: These are little parasites that can infest a dog's ears, causing itching and discomfort. Your dog's ears may have a black, crumbly discharge. 

  • Allergies: Dogs can acquire allergies to specific foods, environmental variables (such as pollen or dust mites), or even objects like plastic food bowls. Allergies can cause severe itchiness, including itching in the ears and dog twitching its ear

  • Foreign Objects: Your dog may have a foreign item stuck in its ear, such as a little plant material or an insect. If you feel this is the case, see a vet promptly. Do not attempt to remove it yourself since you may do more harm. 

  • Dry Skin or Dermatitis: Itching and pain can be caused by dry skin or dermatitis, even in the ears. Make sure your dog is eating a nutritious diet and staying hydrated. 

  • Anxiety or Boredom: Your dog tilting its head and scratching its ear may be because they are anxious, stressed, or bored.

How to stop a dog from flapping his ears

If you detect frequent ear scratching or worrying ear flapping, you should visit your veterinarian for a thorough assessment and specific treatment, which is dependent on the underlying cause. Here are some broad techniques for reducing ear scratching in dogs:

  • Consult a Veterinarian: If your dog is flapping or scratching his or her ears excessively or if there are any symptoms of infection, inflammation, pain, or the presence of foreign objects, it is critical to see a veterinarian. They may inspect your dog's ears, determine the source of the scratching, and recommend appropriate treatment.

  • Medication: Your veterinarian may recommend drugs to address the problem depending on the underlying reason. If you have an ear infection, they may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal drugs. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, or allergy shots may be administered if allergies are suspected. Follow the veterinarian's instructions on medicine dose and duration.

  • Ear Cleaning: Ear cleaning routinely can assist in removing debris and avoid the development of wax or germs, which can cause itching and irritation. Always use a dog-specific ear-cleaning solution that your veterinarian has prescribed. Avoid introducing cotton swabs or anything deep into the ear canal because they might cause harm.

  • Food allergies or sensitivities might lead to ear irritation in some circumstances. To discover if a food allergy is the culprit, your veterinarian may propose a hypoallergenic or novel protein diet

  • Environmental Management: If your dog suffers from allergies caused by environmental causes such as pollen or dust mites, limiting his or her exposure to these allergens can help manage ear scratching. Maintain a clean environment for your dog, use air purifiers if required, and avoid outside activities during high allergy hours.

  • Address Boredom and anxiety: If you feel this is the problem, consider offering mental and physical stimulation to your dog through interactive toys, frequent exercise, and spending quality time with your furry friend.

It's crucial to note that these are only guidelines; the exact therapy or management method will be determined by a veterinarian based on the underlying reason and the dog's condition.  

Prevention Tips

  • Ear Cleaning: Clean your dog's ears regularly to eliminate dirt, debris, and extra wax. Use a dog-specific ear cleaning solution that your doctor has advised. Regular cleaning can help avoid irritant accumulation and lower the risk of illness and scratching.

  • Dry Ears Fully: After your dog swims or gets a bath, ensure you dry their ears properly. Moisture trapped in the ear can promote bacterial or fungal development, resulting in irritation and infections.

  • Avoid Irritants: Some dogs may be allergic to particular items or objects that come into touch with their ears. Keep harsh chemicals, scents, and cleaning agents away from your dog's ears. Also, try utilizing stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead of using plastic food and water bowls. Plastic bowls can store germs that can lead to ear infections.

  • Allergens Management: If your dog suffers from allergies, consult with your veterinarian to identify and manage the individual allergens. This might include avoiding particular foods, avoiding environmental triggers, or using drugs like antihistamines or immunotherapy. 

  • Schedule frequent veterinary check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's ear health. They may check the ears, detect any early warning indications of abnormalities, and give necessary preventative care or therapy.

  • Avoid Excessive Cleaning: While frequent ear cleaning is necessary, excessive washing can upset the natural balance of the ear and cause discomfort. 

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet: Proper nutrition is important for general health, including the skin and ears. Feed your dog a well-balanced, high-quality meal that your veterinarian has advised.

Remember that each dog is unique, and preventive actions may differ based on breed, age, and pre-existing health concerns.

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