why do dogs flap their ears

why do dogs flap their ears


Why Do Dogs Flap Their Ears?

Understanding Your Dog’s Ears

You might not give a second thought to those adorable floppy ears of your dog, but they serve a very important purpose. Dogs have a keen sense of hearing, much more developed than humans. Their ears are designed to capture sound waves more efficiently. When your dog flaps his ears, it might be a simple response to a sound or an attempt to alleviate discomfort.

The Communication Factor

Believe it or not, a dog’s ears are one of their most expressive features. When your beloved canine companion flaps their ears, they could be trying to communicate with you.

  1. Relaxed ears: If your dog’s ears are relaxed and slightly back, they are content and happy.
  2. Ears pricked up: This is a sign that your dog is alert and focused on something.
  3. Ears pinned back: Indicates that your dog is fearful or anxious.

Understanding these signals can help you better understand your dog’s emotions and needs.

Health-related Reasons

Sometimes, the flapping could be due to a health-related issue. Dogs are prone to ear infections due to their ear structure, especially breeds with long, floppy ears. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Excessive scratching or pawing at the ears
  • Redness or swelling
  • Unpleasant odor from the ears

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to take a trip to the vet.

The Importance of Regular Ear Checks

Regular ear checks can help detect any problems early. Here’s a simple table to guide you on what to look out for during these checks.

What to check Normal Abnormal
Smell None Foul odor
Color Pale pink Red or black
Discharge None Brown, yellow or bloody

Dealing with Ear Problems

If your dog’s ear flapping is due to an infection or other medical issue, your vet will likely prescribe medication. You might also need to clean your dog’s ears regularly. Always remember, before trying any home remedies, do consult your vet.


Q: How often should I check my dog’s ears?

A: At least once a week is recommended.

Q: What causes ear infections in dogs?

A: Most common causes are allergies, foreign bodies, or excessive moisture.

Q: My dog’s ears are clean, but he still flaps them. Why?

A: It could be due to some discomfort, or simply a habit. If it continues, consult your vet.