Can certain foods cause ear infections in dogs? What to Know

How Does Diet Cause An Ear Infection In A Dog?

Food allergies are one of the most prevalent causes of ear infections in dogs, especially those with food sensitivity. Certain food, just as in humans, may not suit your pets digestive system, and food allergies can show up at any point of time in their lives.

When some dogs eat substances that trigger an allergic reaction, the inflammation occurs in the intestines, resulting in bacterial or yeast buildup that spreads to the rest of the body, including the ears.

When it comes to diet, the problem is frequently an overabundance of grain and sugar or intolerance to the protein in beef or chicken. Sugar feeds the yeast that is naturally present in the dogs body, so when a dog consumes too much sugar, yeast overgrowth occurs in the body and around the ear folds or in the canal, causing infection.

Symptoms Of An Ear Infection In Dogs

Symptoms of an ear infection in dogs include:

  • Shaking the head constantly
  • Scratching excessively
  • Discharge and weird, possibly foul smell coming from the ear
  • Redness or swelling
  • Showing irritation or discomfort
  • Enlarged earflap or ear canal
  • What Does an Ear Infection on a Dog Look Like?

    Can certain foods cause ear infections in dogs?

    Symptoms of ear infections in dogs are not too difficult to point out. Some common signs that your dog may have an ear infection are as follows:

  • Head tilt
  • Excessive scratching of the ear
  • Redness/irritation
  • Foul odor
  • Discharge
  • Crust or scabs in the ear
  • Pain
  • If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you should take them to your veterinarian immediately for an assessment. You may be able to see for yourself if your dog has an ear infection by the telltale signs mentioned above, but your vet can be able to identify the location of the infection with help of an otoscope or advanced imaging.

    Can Dog Treats Cause Ear Infections?

    Start with an ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian (don’t use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or witch hazel, as these can irritate your pet’s delicate ear canals).

    Squeeze a good amount of ear cleaner into your dog’s ear canal. You want to use enough that it starts to spill out of their ear.

    Gently massage the base of your dog’s ear until you hear the solution make a squishing noise.

    Lift your dog’s ear flap to straighten out the “L” shape of their ear canal and insert a real cotton ball (not synthetic) into the ear. Massaging the base of the ear will help the cotton absorb the solution and any debris. Then remove the cotton ball.

    Born in North-Central NJ, Dr. Rosenbaum received her VMD with honors from the University of Pennsylvania. After 4 years of private small animal practice in northern NJ, she returned to the University of Pennsylvania and completed her residency in Dermatology and Allergy, obtaining board certification from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, then continued as a Lecturer in dermatology at Penn. She then joined a multi-specialty referral practice in Rochester, New York where she practiced for 10 years before joining Zoetis. Dr. Rosenbaum has lectured extensively and has published articles on a wide variety of dermatology topics. Her areas of particular interest include canine and feline allergic dermatitis and management of recurrent and resistant pyoderma.