The 3 Most Common Causes For Ear Infections In Dogs

Have you ever wondered why some dogs seem to be prone to ear infections? To understand why, first we should look at the typical causes. According to Dog Breeds 101 and Pet MD, these are common triggers for ear infections and the breeds most likely to be affected. 

The most common causes of ear infections include water getting trapped in the ear canal, ear mites, and allergies.

When water gets trapped in the ear canal, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, or yeast to multiplying and causing pain, inflammation, and discharge. Due to the structure of a dog’s ear, any dog that swims or gets bathed frequently has the potential to develop an ear infection, but breeds with droopy ears or hair that grows in the ear canal are more likely to have water that’s trapped long enough to cause infections.

Image Source: M. M. Sand Via Flickr


Ear mites feed on your dog’s earwax and oil secretions and can cause inflammation and infection. Infections caused by ear mites tend to have a brown discharge.

Food allergies, hay fever, and food sensitivities can also cause ear infections. If your dog is prone to ear infections and also licks themselves so much that they have hot spots (red, itchy spots on their skin caused by infections), it’s worth a trip to your vet’s office to discuss food allergies. Switching to a different protein or a grain-free food could lead to a healthier, happier dog.

Image Source: Maja Dumat Via Flickr


So which breeds are most likely to get ear infections? Labs, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Dachshunds, Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Schnauzers top the list due to their ear structure, hair that grows in their ears, or propensity for swimming.

If you suspect your dog might have an ear infection, the best course of action is to take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Different causes require different treatments and only a vet can tell whether an infection is caused by bacteria, yeast, or mites. The prescription the vet gave you last time might not work on this infection if it has a different cause, so make sure you consult with the doctor every time! 

Sometimes, the best “cure” is prevention! To help reduce the risk of your dog getting an ear infection, check out these ear-cleaning products:

Project Paws™ Ear Cleaner for Dogs: Eliminates Itching, Removes Dirt & Wax, Reduces Odor. Each purchase feeds 7 shelter dogs.


Project Paws™ Ear Wipes for Dogs with Aloe Vera & Eucalyptus. Each purchase feeds 7 shelter dogs.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.

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