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During a pet class, I had learned that since our dog has flappy ears, our dog may have more ear issues than dogs with perky ears.

I was trying to search for some sort of hat/sleeve that I could put on our dog, but I'm not really finding anything.

I'm looking for essentially something just like this: https://www.chewy.com/happy-hoodie-calming-cap-dogs-small/dp/239662

But, ideally there is a mesh over where the actual ear canals are, to promote more airflow.

Separately, I'm thinking also periodically using these ear wipes will be good additional preventative measure: https://www.chewy.com/pet-md-aloe-vera-eucalyptus-dog-ear/dp/146683

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    Welcome to pets.SE! Has your dog another cause than the ear-shape for higher risk of ear issues? I would assume, that in a general healthy dog the uncomfortable wear of such a tube would be the greater "pain" for the dog ;) Please Edit your question, because there is not clear question in it. If you have multiple questions, please write one post for each one :) May 10 at 7:59
  • If you think, an answer is helpful for your question, then please vote for it. And if the answer solved your problem, please mark it with the small gray/green hook :) May 12 at 5:19
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Summary:

You don't need any type of bandana or head wrap or whatever.

It's a good idea to have ear cleaners at hand and get your dog used to them before he even gets an infection.

Read below for tips how to avoid ear infections.


It's true that floppy ears are more prone to getting infected. VCA writes:

Some breeds, particularly those with large, floppy or hairy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, or Old English Sheepdogs, appear to be more prone to ear infections, but ear infections may occur in any breed.

But that doesn't mean you need to put a head band on your dog to avoid infection.

The main causes for ear infection, according to to Americal Kennel Club, are:

  • Moisture, which can create a prime growing environment for bacteria and yeast
  • Allergies, which lead to ear disease in about 50 percent of dogs with allergic skin disease and 80 percent of dogs with food sensitivities
  • Endocrine disorders, such as thyroid disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Wax buildup
  • Foreign bodies
  • Injury to the ear canal
  • Excessive cleaning

So the number one measure to avoid an ear infection is to avoid water and other foreign objects entering the ear.

  • If / When you bathe your dog, never let water flow over his head and ears. The ear canal in dogs is naturally slanted downwards and any water will flow deeply into the ear.
  • If your dog likes swimming or jumping into water, you can roll a piece of cotton wadding between your hands (to firm it up and lock the fibers in) and gently push it into your dogs ears before going for a swim. That can keep some of the moisture out.
  • If you notice or suspect that your dog got water into his ears, roll a piece of cotton wadding between your hands (to firm it up and lock the fibers in) and gently wipe the inside of your dogs ear.
  • If your dog has very hairy ears, remove most of them (or let a groomer remove them) to allow for better airation.
  • If your dog shows signs of itchy ears without having gotten any moisture or foreign objects into them, consider the possibility of a food allergy (which is very common).
  • Never insert a cotton bud (Q-Tip), a paper towel, your fingers or other hard or coarse objects deep into the ear. They can irritate the skin (especially finger nails) and push ear wax deeper into the ear.

Having ear cleaners at home is always a good idea. You can use the type of cotton pads that are already soaked in a special cleaning solution, or you can buy the solution in small bottles and soak a cotton pad at home or rinse the ear by squirting the solution into the ear. This rinsing is very uncomfortable for dogs and only needs to be done when the ear is already infected.

You should train ear cleaning with your puppy. Gently pull the ear flap upwards and look into the ear canal, then given him a treat before repeating the process with the other ear. You can also sniff at the ears (some infections cause a very notable bad smell). To use the wipes, pull the ear up and swipe them over the visible skin of the ear like a dog would lick it. You should not use the wipes more than once a week to avoid irritating the skin.

Since water can cause ear infections, you should only use special ear cleaners to clean your dogs ears.


Could a head band avoid an ear infection by improving the airation of the ear? Maybe... but probably not.

Floppy dog ears naturally grow pointing downwards. Securing them in a different position for a long time is going to get uncomfortable after a while. Forcing your dog to wear a head band regularily would probably cause more discomfort than an infection he might never get.

If you put the head band on with the ears pointing down in their natural position, you get the exact opposite of your inteded effect. Now the ear is held closed by the flap and moisture is trapped inside. The headbands you linked in your question is actually made for that purpose: to hold the ears closed while grooming and drying the dog, so no moisture can enter the ear.

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