Why do dogs lick each others ears? Read on to learn what’s behind this odd canine behavior and whether or not it is safe.
If you own a pet, you’ve probably noticed a few odd behaviors in your beloved pet. One of these is licking another dog’s ears, which is common among dog owners. What causes dogs to lick each other’s ears?
At first glance, ear licking appears to have no good explanation it’s difficult to imagine why they’d do this, but your dog could be responding to ancestral urges or they might just want a snack!
Why does my Dog Lick Other Dogs’ Ears?
There are so many reasons why dogs engage in this odd behavior. However, we are going to list and explain some of them here:
1. Friendly or Appeasement Behavior
While it would be considered weird for humans to go around licking the ears of people they just met, it’s normal in the canine world.
Dogs are social animals, which means the canine world operates under a particular social structure and hierarchy.
As such, ear licking when meeting another dog would fall under appeasement behavior or behavior that shows respect and friendliness. Appeasement behaviors include lifting paws, avoiding eye contact, licking your feet, licking other dogs’ faces, etc.
Friendly licks are usually quick, short, and followed by other submissive body language and postures.
2. For the Love of Earwax
To the distaste of most dog owners, it’s common knowledge that dogs tend to dabble in the dark arts and gross stuff. Dogs will eat their own poop, chew their feet, sniff other dogs’ unmentionables, and some other questionable habits.
Ear licking for the sole purpose of enjoying the taste of earwax is one of those gross habits our canine buddies indulge in. Apparently, dogs love salty treats, and like most bodily secretions, earwax is salty.
The ear canal cocktail of salty ear wax mixed with debris and dirt could be why ear licking is irresistible for many dogs.
3. Infection Indicator
Dogs take gross to new levels as it seems they are particularly interested in infected ears. Infected ears taste, smell, and feel different, and for some weird reasons, they can’t seem to get enough of it.
Canine ears are often plagued with yeast infections that can cause strange smells, which some people have likened to Fritos.
And since your dog will most certainly wolf down some Fritos when offered, it makes sense that dogs jump at the opportunity to lick a yeast-infected ear.
Note: Dogs that engage in the ear licking business for taste will lick deeper and more frequently than pups that use it as a sign of appeasement.
Hence, if you notice your dog is constantly fishing for grimy treasures in its friend’s ear, it’s safe to assume they are motivated by taste.
4. Grooming Technique
Although dogs may mess around with things that would leave you nauseous, they also care about hygiene.
Like cats, dogs also groom by licking themselves. However, dogs can’t groom every part of their bodies, such as their ears themselves. And this is where the doggy friend comes in.
Therefore ear licking can be a sign of grooming if your dog is licking the ears of a familiar dog or a close companion.
Although enjoying a little grimy snack in the process could serve as an incentive. This makes it a win-win situation for both dogs.
However, despite the altruistic intentions, ear licking will likely result in infections rather than cleaner ears. This is because bacteria tend to thrive in moist environments.
Dogs experience their environment through their noses and mouths as a result of how they evolved in nature.
A dog’s nose can detect scents in parts per trillion. To put things into perspective, a dog at 3000 miles away will see more than you would at a third of a mile.
This means that their powerful nose can easily detect a change in odor coming from a friend’s ear. Their next move is frequently to lick, not only because dogs can be gross, but also because their sense of taste serves as a confirmation of their curiosity.
Dog licking is one of many dog behaviors that, while occasionally disgusting, are often a normal part of being a pack member. However, if your dog is obsessive about it, it can damage the other dog’s ears. It may even result in an ear infection. Kindly share this content on all platforms.