Dog Ear Scratching

Dog ear grooming should be an important part of the routine care of your pet. If this is done regularly, you will notice any changes to the ear and this will help prevent hard to detect ear infections. Your pet’s ears should be clean, odorless and with no sign of irritation. Ear problems can cause your pet a lot of pain and discomfort and one of the symptoms of most ear problems is scratching of the ear.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Bleeding from the ear
  • Inflammation
  • Ear discharge 
  • Pet shakes head or feels dizzy

Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Their Ears

Dogs usually scratch their ears when they have some problem with their ears that is causing them irritation and discomfort. Your pet might scratch his ear constantly if there is a buildup of wax in the ear canal. Since some breeds of dogs have too much hair in the ears, it prevents air from entering the ear canal. This is especially true in dogs with droopy ears. Moisture gets trapped inside the canal and becomes a breeding ground for bacterial and yeast infections. Other dogs are allergic to certain substances and this allergy manifests itself in scratchy and irritable ears. Fleas are a very common reason for dogs with scratchy ears. However, the most common reason for discomfort in the ears is ear mites.

Ear Mites

Ear mites can cause your dog to scratch the ears so vigorously that the area starts bleeding. If you look down your pet’s ear and see black dirt inside, then he probably has ear mites. Sometimes a foreign body may also get lodged inside the dog’s ear. It’s thus important that you confirm the absence of a foreign body in the ear before you cleanse it. Ear infections caused by bacteria or yeast are another reason for your dog scratching his ears. If your pet is suffering from a ear infection, the ear scratching will be accompanied by a foul odor as well. Ear infections should be detected early as they can lead to a lot of complications such as permanent loss of hearing and even renal and nervous disorders.


If excess ear wax is the reason for the discomfort, you can solve the problem by cleaning the ears with medication. You should try to trim the hair inside the ears in order to allow air to pass through so that moisture in the ear canal can dry out. If your dog is allergic, then a special diet might remove the allergen from his food and solve the problem.

Flea collars are another popular remedy for fleas. Apart from these remedies, ear mite medication will help relieve your pet’s discomfort if ear mites are the reason why he is constantly scratching his ears. However if a foreign body is the cause of itching, it will have to be removed by the vet and not by the pet owner. Remember, veterinarian help should be sought at the earliest if your dog has an infected ear.

Whatever the reason for your pet’s discomfort, it’s important that it be correctly identified because there will be no improvement in his condition if the cause of the problem is not addressed. Hence, it’s imperative that you consult a veterinarian to determine the reason for your dog’s scratchy ear and obtain the appropriate treatment. Regular grooming and a nutritional diet are also essential to your pet’s well-being.