Does your dog love to lick your ears? In some dogs, this can seem like an obsessive habit! There may be some reasons your dog loves nothing better than to lick your ears. But can earwax make your dog sick?
What’s in Earwax?
That’s a good question! Earwax is made of dead skin cells, hair, and secretions from glands in and around the outer ear canal. It can contain long-chain fatty acids and other substances produced by the body. It can be brown, yellow, gray, orange, or even red.
Earwax has a purpose, which is to clean the ear canal, lubricate the skin of the ear canal, as well as provide protection against mold, bacteria, and water.
OK, so why would your dog like to lick this out of your ears? No one’s really sure. However, ear licking may be a sign of affection from your dog or it can be:
- Caused by a smell coming from your ears. This could be an infection or just because your ears/wax smell like you.
- Because your dog loves the bitter taste—yuck!
- Maybe your dog is bored.
- Can be a sign your dog is showing you he’s submissive to you.
Can Earwax Make My Dog Sick?
In most cases, no. Dogs are known for being non-discretionary in the things they choose to eat. They can eat poop, garbage, roadkill, and more. So, what’s a little earwax?
One problem could be if your dog eats earwax that’s on an ear swabs in the wastebasket. More than likely your dog won’t become sick from eating one ear swab that’s coated in earwax. However, if he does this on a regular basis, the ear swabs could become lodged in his intestines and cause an intestinal obstruction. This is a life-threatening medical emergency.
Another issue is that if you have other dogs or pets in the house, and your dog is licking their ears, too. Though rare, it’s possible he could infect your ears. That’s only if one of your other pets has an ear infection.
How to Handle a Dog Who Loves Ear Wax?
If your fur baby is only licking your ears, then he will be OK. However, if you’re not happy with his constant attention, then you may want to consider training him not to lick your ears. You can do this by distracting him with a toy, a walk, etc.
If your dog has a regular habit of eating ear swabs that contain earwax, then you may want to get an appointment with the vet. Let the vet know what’s going on, and they’ll probably ask you to bring your dog in to be checked. The vet may even take x-rays to make sure no ear swabs are caught in your dog’s digestive tract.