There are a lot of reasons why do Basset Hounds chew on their ears. Basset Hounds are chewing masters. They love chewing toys, shoes, cables, tennis balls, and whatnot. Although I don’t encourage that behavior, I totally understand it. My Basset hound has been doing that for a long time. But, one day, my Basset hound started chewing on his ears. I was a little bit worried, to be honest.
Apart from getting tired of stepping in ear-dripping and getting my socks wet and the wet ear drag marks across my paperwork, I was worried that this might be due to some medical condition. I thought that was just some other health issue that they are prone to as a breed.
So, I did a little bit of research on why do Basset Hounds chew on their ears. Here is what I found out:
9 Reasons Why Do Basset Hounds Chew On Their Ears
- Ear infection
- Their teeth are growing
- Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
- They do it for fun
- Food leftover on their ears
- Foreign objects on their ears
- Bad habit
9 Reasons Why Do Basset Hounds Chew On Their Ears
There are many reasons why Basset Hounds chew on their ears. Those reasons could have both medical and behavioral backgrounds. Each Basset Hound chews its own ears for a different reason. You should diagnose the issue and seek medical help if needed. Here are 9 reasons why basset hounds chew on their ears:
1. Ear infection
Your Basset Hound could be chewing on his ears because he might have an ear infection. An ear infection can be itchy, smelly, and very painful, and chewing them might bring some comfort and relief. If your Basset hound is chewing on his ears because of an ear infection, this behavior will be accompanied by head shaking. They try to get rid of any fluid or bacteria that could be causing the ear infection.
Ear infections are a very common problem that many Bassets experience throughout their lifetime. An ear infection usually makes them whine, scratch, bite their ears, and shake their head. Having big and floppy ears makes Basset hounds even more prone to this medical condition. Their ears are basically dragging on the ground as they walk and pick up a lot of bacteria and dirt from the ground.
Perform a visual inspection to determine if an ear infection is a reason why your Basset hound is chewing on his ears. Look for any dark discharge, strong odor, redness of the ear canal, and signs like head shaking and ear chewing. If uncertain, take your Basset hound to the veterinarian for a checkup. Also, make sure that you are cleaning your Basset’s ears regularly to prevent any ear infections.
If your Basset Hound is stressed, he might start chewing on his ears as a result. When a dog is stressed, they tend to lick their paws, bite their tails, and chew their ears. It is something that they do when they are under a lot of stress. Basset hounds find chewing on their ears to be self-soothing. It is a very calming and relaxing activity and it is considered a natural behavior.
Think about what changed in your household that put your Basset hound under more stress and try to remove it. Your Basset hound could be feeling stressed because you leave for work and leave them alone, or simply because you don’t have time to play with them as you used to.
So, by chewing on their ears they reduce their anxiety. This is a good exercise for the jaw but can be very painful if your Basset hound gets obsessed with this habit. It can be pretty hard to break this habit and that’s why it’s important to resolve this issue as soon as it starts.
3. Their teeth are growing
Your Basset Hound could be chewing his ears because his teeth are growing. When your Basset’s teeth are growing, they find relief by chewing things. If you don’t have chewing toys or tennis balls, the next best option is to chew on their ears. Human babies do something similar. My little son was always chewing on something when his teeth were growing. Usually, it was his hand or some toy. But, Basset hound ears are long and always in their sight which makes them their best chewing toy.
You can make sure that your Basset hound is chewing his ears because his teeth are growing by checking his teeth. When you brush your Bassets’ teeth, always check their condition and if any new teeth are growing. If this is the reason why your Basset is chewing on his ears, the solution is to buy your dog chew toys. Avoid buying any stuffed teddy bears because they will tear them up. Rubber chew toys are a great option to make your Basset hound stop chewing his ears.
Basset Hound who licks, chews or scratches their ears could have skin allergies. Dogs can be allergic to airborne particles or food. Your Basset Hound could be reacting to airborne particles that are usually house dust and pollen which will make his skin itchy. This allergy could be manifested in the Basset’s ears and he would chew on them in order to find comfort.
Some skin disorders have multiple causes and a thorough diagnostic approach is needed. Be sure to run all necessary tests and ask for a microscopic exam of a skin scraping. Once you have the results, contact multiple certified veterinary dermatologists and seek a second opinion.
Food allergies are very common in dogs. There are many medical pieces of research done in this field and a prescription novel protein diet trial could help your allergic dog feel a lot better. It is important to treat allergies because the skin can get damaged from all the chewing and scratching.
Your veterinarian will run all necessary tests and will determine the cause of the allergy. Whether your Basset hound is allergic to food, parasites, or airborne particles, a veterinary dermatologist will come up with a treatment that you will have to follow to the letter.
5. Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
Your Basset Hound could be chewing on his ear because he suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. When a human suffers from this medical condition, he usually bites his fingernails. When a dog suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder, they usually chew on its ears.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) occurs in dogs and makes their normal dog behaviors to be exaggerated. Meaning, if your Basset hound has OCD his regular actions would be repeated out of context for a longer period of time like spinning, tail chasing, fly biting, light chasing, barking, chewing on ears, and staring into space.
OCD in dogs happens due to a chemical imbalance and has to be treated with medication. This is where your veterinarian steps in. You have to take your dog to the vet so he can determine the root cause of the OCD which is usually stress, conflict, or frustration. Once determined, the veterinarian will then prescribe some medication for your dog and the ear chewing will stop.
These medications will help take the edge off your Basset Hound, but you will also have to work on providing a stress-free environment for your Basset Hound.
6. They do it for fun
Many Basset Hounds chew on their ears simply because they can. There is no medical reason behind ear chewing, they do it for fun. Naturally, Basset hounds like to chew stuff. They might be laying on the couch and craving to chew on something, but the chew toy could be far away. Lazy as they are, they could start chewing on their ears as that is the closest thing to them that they can chew.
If there is no medical reason behind ear chewing, it is the cutest thing! I personally wouldn’t mind if my Basset chews his ears. So, as long as they are not chewing pieces off of their ears, there is no reason to worry about it.
7. Food leftover on their ears
Although this might sound like a silly reason, your Basset Hound could be chewing his ears because of leftover food. Basset hounds have long ears and as they eat, their ears drag into the food plate. Food could easily get all over their ears and smell like food.
This will result in your Basset hound chewing its ears for hours because they smell and taste like its food. Try changing the shape of the food bowl to avoid this from happening.
8. Foreign objects on their ears
Your Basset Hound could be chewing on his ears because of a foreign body in their ears. Dogs have ear canals that are curved, dark, and deep. This means that even if you cannot see an obstruction, there could still be one in there.
If your Basset Hound has a foreign object in their ears, there would be evidence like dark and waxy debris in the outer ear showing that the ear is irritated. You shouldn’t remove any foreign objects from your dog’s ears If you are not a trained veterinarian. If you suspect something, take your dog to the veterinarian.
The dog’s ears are very delicate and can easily get hurt. That’s why it’s important to take your dog to a professional to have his ears checked. Let your veterinarian decide on the needed treatment and care.
9. Bad habit
As a Basset Hound owner, you might notice that your Basset is chewing his ears and other objects. If you face this issue, it is best to redirect your Basset hound to what he can chew. Always have several chew toys for them to chew.
If you see that your Basset hound is chewing his ears and other objects like furniture, you can spray some bitter apple spray and that will break their bad chewing habit. They hate this taste and will keep them away. You don’t have to worry about them because bitter apple spray is not poisonous.