Why Do My Dogs Ears Stink? And How Do You Keep Them Clean?

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One of the most common dog-related questions is, “Why do my dogs ears smell?” or “Why do my dogs ears stink?” What many people don’t know is that this odor can be a sign of an infection in the ear.

Dogs have two small organs located inside their ears called the inner ear and the outer ear. When they are healthy, these organs are not very noticeable because they are surrounded by fur.

However, when there is an infection, moisture can accumulate in these areas which causes bacteria to grow.

This produces a distinctive smell. If you notice your dog’s ears have a foul smell, it may be time to schedule a veterinary appointment to investigate further.

Here are some common reasons why do my dogs ears stink and how to make your dog’s ears stop stinking and how you can clean them.

Why do my dogs ears stink?

Dogs ears can often stink because they are covered in fur.

Dogs are often born with a lot of ear and lip hair. This helps them to keep cool when they are young.

But if the dog is not groomed regularly, the dog’s hair can become matted and eventually form a plug that blocks the ears and other places where hair is not naturally present.

Eventually, this buildup of hair may get trapped in the ear canal, where it will continue to develop a foul smell. This is called a plugged ear, ear mites, or ear wax.

Oftentimes, dogs will not ever show any signs of a plugged ear, but rather will just have an unpleasant odor when their ears are wet or when they are bathing.

What are the reasons for my dog’s ear stink?

After thinking about this question a while, I’ve noticed that when a dog’s ears do smell, it’s not because of something in the environment.

In fact, it’s usually because they have an infection. When there is a bacterial infection in the ear, one of the first things that will occur is an accumulation of bacteria.

Also, the hair in the ear gets wet and starts to mold together, causing a smell.

Additionally, you may notice that there’s an excessive amount of discharge, which is most likely due to an infection in the ear.

Since your dog’s ears have no bones, they have a hard time draining fluid, which causes them to collect. When this occurs, they might start to stink.

How can I keep my dog’s ears clean?

Washing your dog’s ears every day is not realistic. If you can’t do this, you should do it daily for a couple of weeks and then do it less often for a few more weeks.

By doing this, you will help the germs that cause this odor to disappear from your dog’s ears. If your dog has an ear infection, washing the ears daily for 2 weeks may help your dog to get better.

If your dog is experiencing other ear problems, you may need to do other things to clean them like apply petroleum jelly to the ear canal. This can help keep the smell away from your dog’s ears.

Alternatively, you can take your dog for a short walk and stop and give your dog a treat every time you feel that it may be necessary to wash the dog’s ears. While taking your dog for a walk, you should also keep him from licking the ear.

Can I clean my dog’s ears at home?

You can try giving your dog a bath in the sink and then drying it off with a towel. If your dog has an extreme odor, you can use a clarifying shampoo or if it is so bad that it is making you sneeze, you can use an odor eliminator or ointment to make it go away.

Do my dogs ears smell right after a bath?

If your dog does not have a lot of furs, it may be difficult to get the bath smell out of the fur before you wash it with soap.

However, if your dog has a lot of furs, it may be easier to bathe your dog before it dries. It is important to wash your dog with soap to get all the soap smell out of its fur.

How can I make my dog’s ears stop stinking?

There are two ways to effectively rid your dog’s ears of the odor. First, you can try to clean it using a gentle shampoo and/or a small amount of Dawn dish soap.

If your dog has a lot of hair, you may want to also apply a generous amount of foot powder such as  Miracle Care Ear Powder in his ears. This will keep the paws from smelling and rubbing it in as well.

Once your dog is dried off, check the ear for redness, irritation, or bleeding.

If you are unable to find any redness, discharge, or redness, you can always try to rinse the ear gently with a mild solution of Hydrogen Peroxide to kill the bacteria.


When it comes to cleaning your dog’s ears, it’s important to keep them clean. Dogs can pick up bacteria and other contaminants from areas of the environment that have not been sanitized.

Most owners believe that simply washing their dog’s ears with water is sufficient.

This is not the case! It is essential to treat your dog’s ears with an appropriate wash just as you would for your own and to provide your dog with daily checkups to make sure the ears are clean.

Some dogs, due to age or breed, may have difficulty maintaining the health of their ears.

If your dog experiences ears that are irritated and sore, ask your veterinarian about your dog’s ear health. Many dogs experience ear infections after regular swimming or trips to the lake.

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