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Why Are My Dog’s Ears Hot? Causes and Treatments to Watch for (Answered 2024)

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Why does my dogs ears feel warmYour pup’s ears are their portal to the world, attuning them to each cherished voice and familiar footfall.

When inflammation makes them burn hot to the touch, your heart echoes that discomfort.

As pack leaders, we must delve into why this affliction plagues our companions, seeking diagnostics and treatments to return their ears to gentle warmth.

Why do our dogs’ ears feel so hot?

The answer may surprise and compel us to act.

Key Takeaways

  • Ear infections from bacteria, yeast, or mites can cause hot, uncomfortable ears in dogs.
  • Allergies and skin conditions like food sensitivities or autoimmune disease can make a dog’s ears irritated and inflamed, feeling warm to the touch.
  • Injuries like bites, scratches inside the ear, or foreign objects lodged in the canal may cause pain and inflammation, heating up the ears.
  • Tumors or cancer in the ear canal, though less common, can also lead to uncomfortable warmth and other troublesome symptoms.

Signs of Warm Dog Ears

Signs of Warm Dog Ears
Your dog’s ears feeling unusually warm or hot to the touch could signal an underlying issue.

Frequent head shaking or tilting, redness, swelling, tenderness, or discharge can indicate an ear infection or irritation.

Carefully inspect and smell inside the ear using proper technique after obtaining veterinary guidance on safe and effective ear cleaning.

Schedule a veterinary examination to diagnose the cause, which may require allergy management, preventive measures, or home care if infection is found.

Monitoring your dog for additional symptoms will help your veterinarian determine next steps for treating hot ears in dogs.

When to See the Vet for Warm Ears

When to See the Vet for Warm Ears
If your dog’s ears feel hot to the touch, take note of any other symptoms they may be exhibiting.

Ear infections, injuries, and other medical issues can cause inflammation and warmth in the ears.

Schedule a veterinary appointment right away if the ears remain hot or if other concerning symptoms develop.

Ear Infection Symptoms

See your vet if you notice debris, redness, swelling, or an unpleasant odor in your dog’s ears, as these are common signs of an ear infection that requires treatment.

Ear infection awareness helps prevent complications through recognizing early signs like head tilting, swelling, bad smells, or debris.

Exploring common causes and preventive care tips equips us to get treatment options for hot, infected ears.

Injury Symptoms

You’ll also want to take your dog to the vet if their ears are hot due to injury symptoms:

  • Excessive head shaking
  • Scratching that leads to wounds, bleeding, or swelling

These signs may indicate ear trauma and require immediate attention.

The vet will assess and provide emergency care for any injuries present.

Protective measures, healing techniques, and injury prevention strategies can then be discussed for long-term ear health.

What Causes Hot Ears in Dogs

What Causes Hot Ears in Dogs
What’s behind your dog’s uncomfortably warm ears?

There are a few common culprits for hot ears in canines.

Infections, allergies, and injuries top the list of usual suspects for this troubling symptom.


How might infections spark hot ears in your dog?

Bacterial and yeast infections often trigger inflamed, hot ears as infectious agents multiply.

Mite infestations also ignite irritation and inflammation.

Seeking prompt veterinary care for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatments helps resolve the pathological causes of uncomfortably warm ears.


If your dog has allergies, their ears may become irritated and hot from common irritants like pollen, dust, or food.

To help prevent hot, itchy ears:

  • Bathe regularly.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Discuss allergy meds.


When handling your dog, you’d do well to avoid injuries that may cause hot ears.

Traumatic injuries like bites or scratches can damage cartilage and blood vessels in the ear, resulting in bruising, fluid buildup, swelling, and heat.

To prevent further injury, cushion your home and supervise play.

If you notice these symptoms, promptly seek a veterinary examination.

Diagnosing the Cause of Hot Ears

Diagnosing the Cause of Hot Ears
To determine the reason behind your dog’s hot ears, the vet will first thoroughly examine them.

Gently manipulating the ear flap and canal, we check for signs of infection like odor, discharge, swelling, or redness.

Tests like skin scrapings, cultures, or bloodwork help confirm diagnoses.

If an infection, we determine the cause – bacteria, yeast, mites – to select appropriate treatment options like antibiotics, antifungals, or gentle cleansers.

Without an infection, we explore other explanations like allergies or injury and discuss tailored solutions to relieve discomfort, prevent recurrence, and keep those ears comfortably cool.

Treating Hot, Infected Dog Ears

Treating Hot, Infected Dog Ears
Depending on the cause of your dog’s hot ears, you’ll likely need antibiotics or antifungals to clear up the infection.

If a bacterial infection is the culprit, your vet will prescribe antibiotic drops or oral antibiotics.

For yeast infections, antifungal ear drops are typically used.

Apply all medications as directed, usually twice daily, while gently massaging the base of the ear.

Finish the full course, even if symptoms resolve sooner.

Prevent future ear issues by keeping ears clean and dry.

Trim hair around ears and wipe inside gently once a week.

Address any underlying allergies.

Follow up with your vet until infection signs fully resolve.

Preventing Hot Ears in Dogs

Preventing Hot Ears in Dogs
You can prevent hot ears in your dog by:

  • Keeping their ears clean and dry.
  • Avoiding known allergens.
  • Getting preventative treatment when recommended.

Clean your dog’s ears regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleaner to prevent buildup of debris.

Carefully dry your dog’s ears after baths, swimming, or being out in rain or snow.

If your dog has environmental allergies, try to limit their exposure to things like pollen or dust that seem to trigger infections.

Trim the hair around and inside your dog’s ears to allow for better air circulation.

Some vets may also recommend preventative medications or vaccinations in dogs prone to chronic ear issues.

Sticking to these proactive ear care routines can help avoid many causes of painful hot ears down the line.

Managing Hot Ears at Home

Managing Hot Ears at Home
When tending to your dog’s warm ears at home:

  • Follow the vet’s care instructions while monitoring for any changes.
  • Provide a cool, quiet space for your dog to rest comfortably.
  • Apply a cold compress wrapped in a towel to gently soothe irritated areas.
  • Try natural remedies like aloe vera gel to ease inflammation.
  • Never insert anything into the ear canal without guidance.

Outlook for Dogs With Hot Ears

Outlook for Dogs With Hot Ears
The prognosis for your dog depends on the underlying cause of the hot ears.

If it’s a simple infection, the outlook is good with prompt veterinary treatment.

However, recurrent or chronic infections may require long-term management with medication and frequent cleaning.

Allergies will need environmental control and possibly immunotherapy.

Injuries can heal well barring complications.

Ensure adequate pain control and anti-inflammatories during recovery.

Whatever the cause, be patient during treatment as healing takes time.

Provide extra love and support.

With commitment to proper care from you and your vet, your dog can return to normal life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are home remedies as effective as veterinary treatment for hot ears in dogs?

Home remedies may provide temporary relief.

However, veterinary treatment is essential for hot ears in dogs.

Professional diagnosis and appropriate medications are crucial to address the underlying cause and prevent potential complications.

What breeds of dogs are most susceptible to developing hot, infected ears?

Some breeds with floppy ears and hairy ear canals are more prone to developing infected, hot ears.

Regular cleaning, grooming, and drying of ears can help prevent buildup of debris and moisture that allow bacteria and yeast to thrive.

Being attentive to ear health is especially important for at-risk breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Basset Hounds.

Can my dog still go for walks and play if he has an ear infection causing hot ears?

You shouldn’t let your dog play or exercise while his ears are infected.

Strenuous activity can worsen inflammation and delay healing.

Limit his walks to short, leisurely ones until the infection clears.

Focus on rest, allowing medication to work.

Once fully recovered, gradually build back up to regular physical activity.

How much does treating hot dog ears typically cost?

Treating hot dog ears typically costs $100-300 for the exam, tests, and medications.

Quick action is key, as delayed treatment can lead to complications requiring surgery, which is much more expensive.

I advise bringing your dog in as soon as you notice any symptoms for an accurate diagnosis and cost estimate.

Should I change my dog’s diet if he frequently gets ear infections leading to hot ears?

Yes, if your dog frequently gets ear infections leading to hot ears, it’s a good idea to change or try eliminating ingredients from their diet, as food allergies could be contributing to the infections.

Consult with your veterinarian on an elimination diet trial to pinpoint possible triggers.


As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Keeping your pup’s ears clean and dry can spare them discomfort down the road.

If their ears do feel warm, have your vet check for infections or injuries to get the right treatment.

With prompt care for warm ears in dogs, you can help restore their happy, healthy lives.

Stay vigilant, and those floppy ears will remain a portal to joyful days ahead.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.