Why Are My Dogs Ears Cold?

Your dog’s ears can get cold for many reasons.

While it may seem like a minor annoyance, it can be quite serious if left untreated.

Reasons Why Your Dog’s Ears May Be Cold

The most common cause is that your dog’s ears are exposed to the outdoors and are not insulated properly.

This means that when it gets colder outside, the air around your dog’s ears will cool down faster than their body temperature.

The result?

A cold ear.

Other contributing factors include:

If your dog has been in a kennel or shelter where there are other dogs, he may have picked up some canine cold virus (canine distemper).

If you live in an extremely hot climate, your dog may sweat more than usual.

If your dog has had surgery on his ears, such as clipping or ear cleaning, this could lead to infection.

If your dog lives in a warmer climate and spends a lot of time outside on a daily basis, then his ears may become dry.

Lastly, if your dog has a fever, his ears may also feel cold.

In all of these situations, you should pay close attention to your dog’s ears.

If you notice any signs of discomfort, contact your vet immediately.

Here are some tips on how to help prevent your dog from developing cold ears.

When to Worry About Your Dog’s Cold Ears

If your dog has cold ears, you should immediately take action.

If not treated right away, the condition may lead to other health problems that could be more severe than poor ears.

Here is what you need to know about this common problem.

What Causes Your Dog’s Ears To Become Cold?

There are several factors that can cause your dog’s ears to become cold, including exposure to cold temperatures, overheating, and even allergies.

Exposure to the Elements

For most dogs, their ears are exposed to wind, snow, rain, and sun.

This makes them vulnerable to getting wet or even frostbite.

Dogs with long coats have less protection from these elements.


Overheating can make your dog’s ears feel hot and uncomfortable, but it can also contribute to ear infections.

The heat in your home will affect how quickly your dog’s ears cool down after being outside in winter weather.


Some breeds are more susceptible to allergies.

Allergy-causing substances such as pollen, dust mites, mold, and dander can enter through your dog’s nose and irritate his ears.

Symptoms of Your Dog’s Cold Ears

If your dog’s ears are cold, there are some signs that you should watch out for.

Ear Infection

A cold ear can turn into an infection if not treated properly.

Signs include excessive scratching at the affected ear, redness, pain, discharge, and fever.


If your dog doesn’t hear well, he may not notice when his ears get cold.

In fact, he may not even realize that his ears are cold until he tries to shake his head to get rid of the discomfort.

The longer your dog’s ears stay cold, the more likely it is that he won’t hear well.

Other Health Problems

There are other conditions that can result from cold ears, including heart disease, kidney disease, and liver disease.

These diseases can develop over time if your dog’s ears remain cold for too long.

How to Keep Your Dog’s Ears Warm

Dogs’ ears have a lot in common with human ears.

They both contain hair follicles that produce sebum (a type of oil).

This is why your dog’s ears can become wet and cold when you take him out into the rain or snow.

Sebum prevents the moisture from evaporating, so your dog’s ears stay damp and cool.

However, this doesn’t mean you should leave your dog in the rain.

The skin on your dog’s ear canal has three layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.

The outer layer, called the epidermis, is made up of dead cells.

It’s tough enough to protect your dog’s skin from external damage, but it’s not very good at keeping his ears warm.

The middle layer, called the dermal tissue, is responsible for maintaining the temperature inside your dog’s ears.

The innermost layer, called the hypodermis, contains fat cells.

These help to regulate the body’s heat and provide insulation against extreme temperatures.

While these layers are similar to those found in humans, they’re different enough to make a big difference.

As such, dogs’ ears require more attention than human ears do.

Here are some tips on how to keep them warm.

Keep your dog’s ears dry.

Give your dog an ear bath every few days.

Avoid over-the-counter products that claim to “warm” your dog’s ears.

Use hot water only.

Don’t use ice cubes.

Never bathe your dog before she’s had her morning meal.

Check your dog’s ears regularly.

If you notice any signs of infection or discomfort, contact your vet immediately.

What to Do If Your Dog’s Ears Are Cold

As mentioned before, your dog’s ears are covered in fur and are often exposed to the elements.

This is why dogs’ ears tend to get cold easily. However, your dog will not die if their ears do get cold.

The only thing that can happen is that your dog could suffer from ear infections or damage to their hearing.

If you notice that your dog’s ears are getting cold and want to take action, here are some things you should know about how to keep your dog’s ears warm.

How to Prevent Your Dog’s Ears from Getting Cold

To prevent your dog’s ears from getting cold, you need to understand why they do in the first place.

In short, your dog’s ears are exposed to the elements and are full of blood vessels that help heat
up their bodies.

If you want to know more about how this happens, read on!

The Elements

Before we go into the blood vessels, let’s talk about the elements.

When your dog is outside, they’re likely being exposed to all sorts of things.

These things include rain, snow, wind, sun, and temperature changes.

The elements can cause damage to dogs’ ears by exposing them to extreme temperatures or
causing them to become wet.

For instance, rain can leave your dog’s ears waterlogged, which will increase their exposure to the

In addition, some types of weather can create ice crystals that can enter through their ear canal.

This is especially true for dogs with long coats.

If you have a husky or golden retriever, you should make sure to keep them away from snow and
ice during winter months.

Blood Vessels

Now that we’ve talked about the elements, let’s discuss how dogs’ ears work.

For starters, a dog has two sets of ears — one inside each ear canal.

These canals house small hairs called ceruminous glands, which produce an oily substance known
as cerumen.

Cerumen is what causes your dog’s ear wax to stick to their ears.

When your dog’s ears get cold, the ceruminous glands contract, which causes the wax to harden.

As the wax gets harder, it becomes less sticky.

However, when it turns into a solid block of wax, it can stop the flow of air to the eardrum.

It’s not uncommon for your dog to experience pain or discomfort when their ears start to feel cold.

If you notice that your dog seems uncomfortable while outside, there are steps you can take to
avoid this issue.

First, try applying a warm compress to your dog’s ears, which can help loosen the hardened wax.

Once you’ve done that, you can use a cotton swab dipped in mineral oil to remove the hardened

You can then apply a topical solution to help dry out the ear canal.

Finally, you can give your dog a bath to ensure that they don’t develop any infections.

If you want to learn more about how to treat ear infections in dogs, check out our article here.

It goes over everything from how to spot signs of ear infection to how to treat it effectively.


If your dog’s ears are cold, you should take action right away.

This is not something that should wait until after an appointment with your veterinarian, as it could lead to more serious problems down the road.

It is important to note that dogs’ ears are often colder than humans’.

The average temperature in dogs’ ears is 25 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius).

However, this number varies greatly between different breeds.

For instance, German Shepherds have ears that are around 16 degrees Farenheit (8 degrees Celsius) while Poodles have ears that are about 34 degrees Farenheit (1 degree Celsius).

The reason why dogs’ ears are so cold and how to prevent your dog’s ears from getting cold will be discussed below.

We’ll also look at what causes ear infections in dogs, as well as the symptoms of ear infections in dogs.

It is important to remember that there are several factors that determine whether or not your dog’s ears will get cold.

These include weather conditions, breed, age, genetics, and health.

Megan Turner

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