Why Are My Dogs’ Ears Hot?

While ears are primarily used for hearing different sounds, they can also be used for a variety of other things. In response to laughter, our ears rise slightly above our heads, if only slightly.

This is also true for dogs, though the effect is far more pronounced. If you notice that your dog’s ears are warm to the touch, there may be an issue that needs to be addressed. 

In most cases, a dog with warm ears simply has warm ears, to begin with. This could be due to playtime or simply because your dog feels warm inside or outside the house. 

Luckily, it’s not dangerous most of the time and may just be a case of allergies, similar to how dogs’ tails itch

To ensure that you understand when you should be concerned, we’ll go over several reasons why a dog’s ear may be hot to the touch for your convenience.


5 Reasons Why Your Dogs Ears are Hot

1: Exercise

If you’ve ever played sports or even just watched them, you’re probably aware that when a person becomes slightly overheated, their ears turn red and warm. 

This is because the blood vessels in the ear dilate, allowing for better heat dissipation. 

In the same way, the same principle applies to dogs. 

As a result, if you’ve been playing with your dog, the dog is probably just a little warmer than usual as a result of the exercise.

2: Fever

Some of you may be surprised to learn that dogs, like humans, can become ill from various types of viruses.

The virus that causes the Flu, for example, is common among the viruses that dogs contract. 

The Flu can cause symptoms such as fever, stuffy and runny nose, coughing, and other symptoms, as you may be aware. 

You can expect your dog’s ears to become hot if they have the Flu. If you have any basis to think your dog has a fever, you should contact your veterinarian. 

If your dog requires medical attention, the veterinarian can advise you on the best course of action.

3: Irritation

Irritation, which is one of the more likely causes of a hot ear, is one of the more common reasons. 

Bee stings, rashes, and other skin conditions can all cause irritation. 

If you notice your dog scratching their ear repeatedly, you should contact your veterinarian to obtain some ointment to help soothe it. 

This is the most frequent reason for ear discomfort and can provide immediate relief.

4: Allergies

This problem is familiar to me, because my dog, a hound mix, has allergies that affect his ears. Allergies in dogs can manifest in several ways. 

My dog, for example, exhibits ear irritation symptoms such as ear warmth and irritation, as well as signs of eye irritation. 

As a consequence of the allergens, others may experience sneezing and other symptoms. 

Veterinarians have medications like allergy shots that can provide relief for several weeks or even months to combat this.

5: Ear Infection

Even though ear infections in dogs are uncommon, they can still occur and cause severe irritation and pain in the affected ear. 

Ear infections in dogs, on the other hand, are relatively simple to treat. 

In most cases, your veterinarian will be able to provide ear drops that contain special antibiotics that will quickly kill the bacteria present in the ear. 

If your dog has an ear infection, it may experience severe and sudden pain. 

Be extremely cautious when placing the drops in the dog’s ear and exercise extreme patience and watchfulness.

What You Can Do To Help

1: Keep a Close Eye

If your dog’s ears have been warm for several weeks or months, it’s likely due to allergies. 

However, if the warmth has appeared suddenly in the last week, it could be a sign of something more serious. 

Ensure you maintain an adjacent eye on your dog at all times. Inspect the dog to ensure that they’re not acting in a lethargic or nervous manner. 

Panting, walking back and forth, and scratching themselves are all signs of needing to go to the vet.

2: Check For Allergies

Allergies can cause the ear of a dog to become extremely warm. 

Look for discharge from the eyes, nose, and ears to determine if they have allergies. 

If this gets worse at certain times of the day in specific locations, it could be related to a specific clothes detergent, perfume, or something located outside of the home.

3: Call Your Vet

If your dog’s condition hasn’t improved after two to three days, I strongly advise you to bring them to a vet or, at the very least, call one. 

For obvious reasons, an ear infection is a worst-case scenario, and it can cause excruciating pain in the ear canal. 

This requires immediate action because ear infections can become so severe that they can cause permanent damage to the eardrum if not treated promptly.


One important fact to remember about anatomy, in general, is that the ears communicate visually, which is something to keep in mind. 

An individual’s ears become flushed when they are feeling shy or embarrassed. When an individual is ill and has a temperature, their ears can also become flushed and red. 

The last thing to mention is that redness can occur when the ear becomes irritated. 

Make sure to pay close attention to your dog’s ears and call your veterinarian for a professional medical opinion on what to do next.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.