Why Are Dogs' Ears Hot?

icon June 14, 2023

Have you ever wondered why your dog's ears feel unusually warm at times? Many dog owners have observed this phenomenon and often find themselves concerned about their pet's well-being. Wondering “Why are my dog’s ears hot” is a perfectly reasonable reaction. Who wouldn’t want their pup to feel healthy? In this article, we will explore why dogs' ears can become hot and what it might signify.

Is It Normal for Dog's Ears to Be Hot?

Normal Physiological Reasons

Yes, there are several normal physiological causes that can lead to an increase in a dog's ear temperature. 

1. Exercise

Firstly, exercise plays a role in dissipating heat in dogs since they lack sweat glands on their bodies. During vigorous exercise, dogs release heat through their limb foot pads, ears, and by panting. As a result, the temperature of their ears may rise. However, when dogs take a rest after exercise, their ear temperature typically decreases.

2. Emotional excitement

Secondly, emotional excitement can also cause a temporary increase in ear temperature. When dogs are outdoors, particularly in spacious grassy areas or when encountering a large group of familiar companions, their emotional state becomes heightened, leading to increased blood flow to the ears and subsequent heat. Yet, when dogs are leashed or their excitement is curbed, this rise in ear temperature becomes noticeable. In such situations, it is advisable for the owner to help the dog calm down and regulate their emotions.

3. Stress

Lastly, stress reactions can contribute to elevated ear temperature in dogs. Nervousness and anxiety, triggered by factors such as the presence of strangers in the house or exposure to loud noises, can cause their ears to heat up. To address this, owners should promptly relocate the dog to a quiet environment and provide soothing strokes on the dog's head. Alternatively, allowing the dog to retreat to a secluded corner can help them regain emotional stability. Once the dog's emotions are stabilized, its ear temperature should return to normal.

Abnormal Pathological Reasons

1. Fever

When a dog is suffering from a cold and develops a fever, their overall body temperature increases, including the temperature of their ears. Alongside a dry nose, sneezing, runny nose, and coughing, these symptoms indicate a fever. To confirm the presence of a fever, you can use a thermometer to measure the dog's body temperature. If the temperature exceeds 39.5 degrees Celsius, it is crucial to promptly take the dog to a veterinarian for fever-reducing treatment.

Why Are My Dogs Ears Hot - What To Do?

2. Heat Stroke

Dogs are susceptible to heat stroke, especially in hot weather or if they are exposed to excessive heat for prolonged periods. When a dog's body temperature rises significantly, its ears can become hot to the touch. Other signs of heat stroke may include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and collapse.

3. Ear Infection

In the case of an ear infection in dogs, the affected area experiences a noticeable rise in temperature, accompanied by redness and swelling. For instance, when a dog's ears get injured, infested with parasites, or inflamed due to moisture, they become hot and may exhibit redness, swelling, pain, and an unpleasant odor. 

Why is my dog ears turning red?

4. Allergies

Dogs can be allergic to certain foods, environmental allergens, or substances they come into contact with. Allergic reactions can cause inflammation and itching, which may result in the ears feeling hot. Additional allergy symptoms may include scratching, redness, sneezing, or gastrointestinal problems. 

5. Ear Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites that infest a dog's ear canal, causing irritation and inflammation. Alongside other symptoms like itching, shaking of the head, and discharge from the ears, the affected ears may feel warm to the touch.

Puainta® Dog/ Cats Ear Cleaner

  • Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate assists in breaking down waxy substances for easy removal.
  • EDTA and Tromethamine aid in removing debris and buildup, ensuring thorough cleaning
  • Witch Hazel extract acts as an astringent, helping to cleanse and reduce inflammation. 

  • Chamomilla Recutita oil and Calendula Officinalis oil provide natural soothing properties to calm irritated ears.

Dog Ears Red and Hot Treatment 

Fever- If your dog has a fever. The underlying cause of the fever needs to be addressed, which could include bacterial or viral infections, inflammation, or other health issues. The veterinarian may recommend medications to reduce fever, such as antipyretics.

Heart stroke- Heart stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention. Move your dog to a cool and shaded area and provide them with fresh water. Use cool water or wet towels to gently cool your dog, but avoid using very cold water as it can cause shock. The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and provide necessary treatment, which may include intravenous fluids, medications to control inflammation, and supportive care.

Ear infection- For ear infections, it is essential to have your dog examined by a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. Treatment typically involves cleaning the ears to remove debris or discharge and using ear drops or medications to address the infection. Follow their instructions carefully regarding cleaning procedures and administering medications to ensure proper healing.

why are dogs' ear hot?

Allergies- The treatment for allergies in dogs often involves identifying and avoiding the specific allergens causing the reaction. Your veterinarian can help determine the allergens through diagnostic tests. They may recommend medications to alleviate symptoms, such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, or immunotherapy (allergy shots). 

Ear mites-  Ear mites require veterinary treatment. The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your dog's ears and prescribe appropriate medications to eliminate the mites. This typically involves topical medications or ear drops specifically designed to target ear mites. Follow the veterinarian's instructions regarding the application of medications and any necessary follow-up treatments.

why are my dog's ear hot

How Hot Should the Inside of a Dog's Ear Be?

The inside of a dog's ear should generally feel warm to the touch, but not excessively hot. It is important to understand that dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, so their ears may naturally feel slightly warmer, usually between 99.5-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the inside of the ear feels extremely hot, above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, get them to an emergency vet as soon as possible.

Are Dogs Ears Hot When They Have a Fever?

Yes, a dog's ears can feel hot when they have a fever. When a dog has a fever, their body temperature increases, and this rise in temperature can also affect the temperature of their ears. Along with a fever, other symptoms of illness such as a dry nose, sneezing, runny nose, and coughing may be present. It's important to note that a fever in dogs is a sign of an underlying issue or infection, and it's recommended to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Fever in Dogs

Why Do My Dogs Ears Get Hot at Night?

Dogs have a natural ability to regulate their body temperature, and their ears can serve as a heat exchange mechanism. During the day, when the ambient temperature is warmer, dogs may use their ears to dissipate heat and maintain a normal body temperature. As a result, their ears may feel slightly warmer to the touch. This is typically not a cause for concern unless the ears are excessively hot or accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

If your dog has been active or engaged in play before bedtime, it's possible that their ears may still feel warm as a result of increased blood circulation.


Understanding why dogs' ears can feel hot is essential for distinguishing between normal variations and potential health concerns. While slight warmth in a dog's ears is often natural and harmless, it is crucial to monitor for any additional signs of illness, such as inflammation, discharge, or behavioral changes. Regular veterinary check-ups and maintaining good ear hygiene can help prevent and address ear infections or other health issues. By staying attentive and proactive, you can ensure the well-being of your furry companion and provide them with the care they need.



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