Ear infections are a common problem, especially in dogs who eat poor quality food or have long floppy ears. You can usually detect an ear infection by the yeasty, old-gym-sock smell coming from them, or by checking for swelling, discharge, or lots of ear wax in the dog’s ear. 

Chronic ear problems are a hazard of some dogs, but they don’t have to mean a near monthly trip to the vets office for more medication. There are several things you can do to help your dog feel better. 

Check your dog’s food 

Ear infections are common in dogs who eat low quality kibble. Check your dog’s food and treats for grain and unsourced animal products (“Animal” or “meat” instead of “Lamb” or “Pork” etc.) If your dog’s food has either of these ingredients, switch him to a higher quality food. Check out our “Dog Food” page to see which foods we recommend. 

Clean your dog’s ears daily 

Cleaning your dog’s ears with a medicated ear cleaner such as Zymox or Vetericyn should help clear the ear infection. Daily maintenance with an ordinary ear cleaner after that can help keep ear infections away. 


Your dog’s gut plays a surprisingly large role in his or her ability to resist infections. Supplementing with a probiotic daily may help boost your dog’s immune system and help fight ear infections from the inside. 

Ear Mites 

There are many reasons why dogs get ear infections. If your dog has coffee ground like discharge, ear mites may be the cause. If you suspect ear mites may be the cause, your vet can find out for certain by looking at a swab of your dog’s ear under a microscope.