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Dry Skin on Dog Ears: Causes & Treatment

Have your veterinarian look at your dog's dry ears as they indicate something minor and simple to treat or an underlying internal condition that needs medical treatment.

Written by: Desiree Wood

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dry ear skin of dog, suggesting symptom of Aural Hematoma

Dry Skin on Dog Ears: Causes & Treatment

When you notice your dog’s ears being dry, the first step is to see your vet, who will rule out underlying causes, such as a skin infection, allergies, hormonal problems, and dietary issues.

Dry skin on dog ears: digging into the causes

Most changes in the appearance of a dog’s skin and ears are due to underlying allergies, either environmental (pollen, dust mites, etc.) or food (chicken, beef, etc.), says Dr. Dori Calloway with VCA Animal Hospitals. Other reasons include:

  • a dog’s breed-specific genetics make him more susceptible to skin disorders. Some of these breeds include Boxers, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles.
  • allergies to medicines and skin products
  • a nutritional imbalance
  • more serious causes, such as parasites, infections, injuries, internal disorders, diseases, and cancer

What does dry skin look like?

Dry skin doesn’t look the same in every dog and should be taken seriously if your dog develops it. If your dog has dry ears, the skin will appear noticeably dry. The ears may have flaky or crusty skin or be red, swollen and irritated. They may show signs of hair loss or have bumps, lumps and scabs. Depending on what’s causing the dry skin, you may see culprits like fleas or mites moving about or notice an odor or oiliness.

Healthy dog ears are cool to the touch, feel soft and smooth, and are free from bumps. The ear canal will be a healthy shade of pale pink with little to no wax and not feel oily.

Best products for dry skin on dog ears

Treatment may be as simple as changing your dog’s diet or adding a supplement, depending on your dog’s diagnosis.

There are many over-the-counter products on the market today that help with dry skin on your dog’s ears. Vetericyn Animal Wellness’ in-house vet says omega-3 fatty acids are great for dry skin and ears. Geoff Hamby, director of marketing at Vetericyn, recommends its ALL-IN dog supplements as a great supplement of essential nutrients for your dog’s  skin and coat.

Here are some products to help your dog’s dry ears:

If you are looking for the perfect product to clean your dog's sensitive areas or would benefit from an on-the-go option, Hepper's Wash Wipes are our recommendation. These premium wipes are thick and durable enough for the toughest of paw messes, while still being soft enough to use on your dog's ears or eyes. Formulated with pet-friendly, hypoallergenic ingredients they are the ideal product for all dogs of all ages, skin conditions, or sensitivities. 

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Zymox Ear Cleanser: A non-toxic and gentle solution for cleaning ears, including protein, enzymes and surfactants. Costs $29.99.

Vet’s + Best Ear relief Dry Ear Relief Wash and Dry: Uses plant-based ingredients like aloe vera and tea tree oil to soothe, deodorize and dry. Relieves raw, itchy, greasy and irritated ears. Costs $12.57.

Vetericyn ALL-IN Dog Supplement: Provides nutrients for healthy ears, skin, coat and paws, plus reinforces natural defenses for healthy immune function. Costs $39.99.

Natural Dog Company Skin Soother: Made of organic, plant-based ingredients, this balm healss and soothes dry, itchy skin. $13.46.

Consult your vet if you suspect dry ears are caused by an allergy or food sensitivity. Your vet will run tests to pinpoint what is causing the allergy and help you modify your dog’s diet.

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