Looking at your adorable dog, with his cute little ears and wagging tail, it’s hard to imagine that those sweet little ears could ever be stinky. But the truth is, even the cleanest and most well-cared-for dogs can occasionally have smelly ears.
So how do you keep your pup’s ears smelling fresh and clean? Read about dog ear cleaning and the best ways to keep your pup’s ears smelling great.
What Causes Stinky Ears? 6 Causes of Dog’s Ear Odors?
It’s common to encounter dogs with stinky ears, but why is that? Dog ears are prone to smelly infections due to the shape of their ear canal. However, some breeds are more prone than others. For example, floppy-eared breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, are at a higher risk of infection.
Other breeds at greater risk are dogs with narrow ear canals, such as English Bulldogs, and dogs with very hairy ears, such as Poodles. These characteristics all result in features that create an environment within the ear where bacteria and yeast are much more likely to survive.
The anatomy of a dog can cause ear problems. Dog ears have canals in the form of J or L, which make it challenging to get rid of the accumulated toxins in the passageway. Let us look at six common causes of irritation in your dog’s ears.
1) Skin Allergies Or Food Allergies
One of the most common causes of stinky dog ears is allergies. Allergies can cause a dog’s ears to produce excess wax, leading to an infection and a smelly ear odor. Allergies can also cause inflammation in the ear, leading to bacteria and yeast build-up.
2) Ear Mites In Dog Ears
Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in dogs’ ears’ canals and feed on wax and oil. Ear mites can cause a dog’s ears to become inflamed and irritated, which can lead to an infection.
3) Ear Wax Build-Up Can Also Lead to Stinky Dog Ears
Earwax is a normal part of the ear and helps to protect it from dirt and debris. However, too much wax can lead to a build-up that can trap bacteria and yeast, leading to an infection.
Additionally, the wax build-up can block the ear canal and make it difficult for air to circulate, leading to an infection.
4) Bacterial Ear Infections
Bacterial ear infections is another common cause of stinky dog ears. Bacteria can build up in a dog’s ear due to excess wax, moisture, or debris. Bacteria can also enter the ear through cuts or scratches resulting in a bacterial ear infection that makes dog’s ears stink. Jeffery (Levy, DVM, a veterinarian in New York City) says, “Smelly dog ears are caused by bacteria and yeast that has fermented inside the canal”.
5) Yeast Ear Infection
Yeast is also called fungus that can also cause stinky dog ears. Yeast thrives in warm, moist environments, making a dog’s ears an ideal breeding ground. An overgrowth of bacteria often causes yeast infections in the ear.
If your pup is having chronic ear infections be sure to take them to the vet to get a proper diagnosis.
6) Foreign Objects
Foreign objects such as grass seeds, dirt, or hair can cause stinky dog ears. These objects can block the ear canal and trap bacteria and yeast, leading to an infection.
How to Check Dogs Ears for Signs of Infection?
When it comes to dogs’ ears, prevention is key! Checking your dog’s ears weekly for any signs of infection can be a great way to spot ear problems early and prevent them from becoming more serious.
If they’re tender from a bacterial infection or injury, your dog will probably pull away from you, unwilling to have them touched.
So just gently massaging your dog’s ears is a significant first step toward checking their condition. If you notice that he’s sensitive about having them touched, it’s time to take a closer sniff. Healthy ears don’t have an odor.
To check for an ear infection, start smelling your dog’s ear – a strong odor could indicate an infection.
Next, look in the dog’s ear for any redness or swelling, as this could signal an infection. Finally, take note of any wax or discharge in the dog’s ear canal – this could also mean your dog has an ear infection.
Additionally, if you notice your dog shaking his head more than usual, this could indicate an issue. Head shaking and rubbing ears are a sign If you suspect an ear infection, don’t wait to act; consult your veterinarian, who can offer further guidance on addressing the problem and providing treatment.
What Does a Dog Ear Infection Look Like?
Dog ear infections can be a concerning health issue; however, it is common and can be treated. Common signs of an ear infection include smelly ears, which may indicate bacterial infections. It’s important to know what the infection looks like in the early stages to seek treatment from a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Swelling or redness around or inside the ear flap may occur, along with flaky skin and visible dirt or debris inside the ears. In severe cases, pus could drain from the ears’ inner parts.
More obvious signs of an ear infection include reddened skin around the ear flap or the inner part of the ear becoming darker in colour and very dirty.
Dark brown or black earwax is often associated with yeast or bacterial infections. It is advised to consult with the veterinarian when ears are in such an unusual colour. Brown – light brown earwax is normal. When an infection occurs, the wax may have a toxic smell.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
Caring for your dog’s ears is essential to their hygiene routine, especially if they have floppy ears. Keeping the inside and outside of the ear clean can help prevent infection and keep odors at bay.
A healthy dog’s ears should give off no odor, so breaking out the grooming supplies is essential when you first notice a strange smell.
Dog Ear Cleanings
Your dog may only sometimes enjoy having his ears touched. You can get him used to having his ears handled and cleaned by offering him treats while you pet and run your fingers over them. If he is distracted, he is less likely to have much of an issue with it.
Cleaning your dog’s ears isn’t difficult; you only need an excellent ear-cleaning solution and some cotton swabs or gauze pads.
Start by inserting a few drops of the solution into your pet’s ear and gently massage the base to loosen any wax build-up. That softens any gunk inside. Now step back and let your dog shake. (You should hold a towel up between you so you don’t get splattered.)
Then take one of your swabs and lightly dab it into the opening of the dog’s ear before slowly inserting it in until you feel resistance—this will ensure no damage is done to the inner ear canal.
Finally, use a cloth or paper towel to gently remove any remaining wax or fluid around your pet’s ear canal and clean off their outer ear flap. If your vet has prescribed any ear drops, use them after the ear cleaning.
Natural Remedies for Clearing Up Ear Infections in Dogs
Treating ear infections in dogs may seem daunting, but pet owners can find relief with the proper natural remedies. The key is to keep a dog’s ear wax clean and to tackle any existing ear infections as soon as possible.
Below is a list of some helpful natural remedies that can be useful to keep your dog’s ears healthy and keep those dirty ears at bay!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic that can help to clear up ear infections in dogs. The vinegar helps break down the ear wax buildup and has antifungal properties that can help kill the bacteria that cause the infection. Mix apple cider vinegar and water and apply to the affected ear with a cotton ball.
Coconut oil is another natural remedy used to treat ear infections in dogs. The oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help to kill the bacteria that cause the infection.
Additionally, coconut oil can help to soothe the itchiness and pain associated with ear infections. Apply some drops of coconut oil to the affected ear and massage gently.
Goldenseal is a herb that contains berberine, an antimicrobial compound that can help to clear up ear infections in dogs. Goldenseal also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling and pain in the affected ear.
Mix one teaspoon of goldenseal powder with one cup of distilled water and apply to the affected ear with a cotton ball.
Mullein oil is a herbal oil containing compounds with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can help to clear up ear infections in dogs by reducing swelling and killing the bacteria that cause the infection. Apply two or three drops of mullein oil to the affected ear and massage gently.
Dog Hygiene Habits: Ear Cleaning And Washing
A hygiene issue may cause your dog’s ears to smell if they are dirty. This problem can be resolved quickly by bathing and cleaning the ear. Occasionally in winter, bathing is needed. Contact your veterinarian for a detailed list of how to keep a healthy dog throughout winter.
Some dog hair can grow inside the ears. When it’s the case for your pet, sniping the skin may be necessary. It helps your dog stay more comfortable and reduces ear infection risk.
Why Do Your Dog’s Ears Smell?
Overall, several different natural remedies can be used to treat ear infections in dogs. These remedies can help address the underlying causes of the infection, reduce inflammation, and manage pain.
It is essential to maintain good hygiene habits and regularly check your dog’s ears for signs of infection to keep your dog’s ears healthy.
If your dog’s ears smell this indicates that your dog may have developed a problem. Whether short, pointy, big, or floppy, check your pup’s ears often and be aware of any unusual dog behaviour. If you notice any signs of an ear infection, be sure to consult your veterinarian for advice and treatment options.