Why Are My Dog’s Ears Cold? (And What Can I Do About It?)

When a dog's ears are cold, the weather is usually to blame. However, they might also be a symptom of a virus or poor circulation.

Why Are My Dog’s Ears Cold? (And What Can I Do About It?)

When a dog's ears are cold, the weather is usually to blame. However, they might also be a symptom of a virus or poor circulation.

Photo by Skyler Ewing

4 Reasons Your Dog's Ears Are Cold

When you think of a happy, healthy dog, certain images come to mind: a wagging tail, bright eyes, and warm ears. But what happens when your pup's ears feel cold to the touch? Is something wrong? And if so, what can you do about it?

In this article, we'll explore the reasons why your dog's ears may feel cold and what you can do to help. We'll also look at some preventative measures you can take to keep your pup's ears warm and healthy.

If your dog's ears are cold, try warming them up with a doggy scarf.

Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash

1. It’s Cold Outside

One possible reason why your dog's ears are cold is simply that it is cold outside. This is especially true for dogs with short fur or thin coats, as they may not be as well insulated from the cold as other breeds.

Bundle Up Your Pup

To warm your dog's ears up when it's cold outside, you can put a warm hat or scarf on them, or even a cozy blanket. If your dog is particularly susceptible to the cold, you may want to invest in a coat or sweater to give them some extra insulation against the elements.

You should also make sure your dog has plenty of warm bedding.

Walk During the Warmest Parts of the Day

Instead of going for a long, dark walk in the morning and evening, when temps are coldest, take your dog for shorter walks throughout the day (in the sun, if possible!).

Make Sure Your Dog Is Hydrated and Well Fed

Keeping your dog hydrated and well-fed can also help, as dehydration and a lack of nutrition can make them more susceptible to the cold.

2. Your Dog May Have an Illness

One potential reason why your dog's ears may be cold is that they have an illness, such as a cold or virus. Dogs often get colds and viruses just like humans do, and they can be especially sensitive to changes in temperature.

Visit the Vet for Diagnosis and Treatment

If this is the case, then you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible so that it can receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

Keep Them Warm and Comfortable

In the meantime, you can help your dog by keeping them warm and comfortable. Make sure they have a warm, dry place to sleep, and wrap them in a blanket when it's cold outside. You should also make sure that your dog is getting lots of rest, plenty of fresh water, and nutritious food to help them fight illness.

3. Your Dog’s Temperature Is Lower Than Usual

Likely, a dog with cold ears is also feeling chilly overall. As we've learned, weather is frequently to blame when a dog's ears are cold, but he may have a chill or a fever if something else isn't right.

The typical body temperature of a dog is between 101.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Conversely, if your dog's temperature increases to more than 103˚F, he has a fever.

Check Your Dog's Temperature

VCA Animal Hospital explains several ways to check a dog's temperature at home, or your veterinarian can do it for you instead.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

Dogs with abnormal body temperature should be seen by a vet for thorough diagnosis and treatment.

4. Your Dog Has Poor Circulation

The coldness of your dog's ears may be due to poor circulation, although this is uncommon. If your dog is experiencing poor circulation, it could be caused by several factors, including age, injury, or an underlying medical condition.

Take Your Dog to the Vet for a Check-Up

If the coldness is accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, shivering, or lack of appetite, it is advisable to take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

Gently Massage Your Dog's Ears

If the cold is not accompanied by any other symptoms, there are several things you can do to increase the temperature of your dog's ears. Try gently rubbing your dog's ears with a warm cloth to help stimulate circulation.

Make Sure Your Dog's Basic Needs Are Being Met

Provide a warm bed for your dog to sleep in and make sure they're wearing a sweater in cold weather. Finally, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet to help keep their circulation in check.

Provide a warm bed or blanket for your dog to sleep on.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay

How to Keep Your Dog Warm and Healthy

If your dog's ears are often cold and your veterinarian has ruled out any health concerns, here are a few measures you can take to keep them warm and healthy:

  • Make sure they have a warm, dry place to sleep, such as a dog bed with a soft blanket.
  • It's helpful to keep the fur around their ears trimmed so that there is no excess fur blocking their ears from the warm air.
  • During cold weather, you may also want to use a dog jacket, scarf and booties for extra warmth.
  • To keep their ears clean and avoid infection, you can also administer an ear-cleaning solution. Ear cleaning should be done more frequently in dogs who are prone to ear infections. However, if used too frequently, it can sometimes irritate, so use it sparingly.
  • Make sure to check your dog's ears regularly for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any of these signs, it's wise to seek medical attention from your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Stay Warm!

The weather is usually to blame for a dog's cold ears. Try bundling your dog up and keeping his bedding warm if it's chilly outside. If his ears are still uncomfortable, he might have a respiratory infection, a virus, or poor circulation, which are all underlying health issues that need to be addressed.

Taking your dog's body temperature is a simple way to find out if his cold ears are a sign of a lower-than-normal body temperature. In that case, it's a smart idea to take him to the veterinarian for a checkup, especially if there are other symptoms like fatigue, shivering, or a lack of appetite.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Louise Fiolek

(Excluding for the Headline, this article ("story") has not been edited by MiBiz News and is published from a web feed or sourced from the Internet.)