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Does Flying On A Plane Hurt Your Dogs Ears?

Do you ever ask yourself does flying hurt your dog’s ears? Well, as it turns out many pet owners ask this very question before taking their dog on a plane.

Flying with your dog can be an exciting experience, however, it is important to understand the risks involved before you do decide to travel on an airline.

When flying, your dog’s ears can be affected by the change in altitude pressure. They can experience popping in the ears and slight hearing loss due to air pressure.

There are many signs that a dog is having problems with his ears due to flying. The good news is there are some steps you can take to make sure your four-legged friend has a comfortable flight.

How High Altitude Can Effect Your Dogs Ears?

Altitude pressure can cause slight discomfort in your pet’s ears. This is because air pressure changes when climbing to high altitude causing the inner ear to be under constant fluid shift.

Take Note: Unfortunately, dogs ears are more sensitive to changes in air pressure than humans, and as a result, the dog may start barking, wimping or shake their head!

If this happens try to comfort your dog as they won’t understand why they are feeling discomfort in their ears! The good news is this will pass once the plane has leveled out.

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Popping In The Ears

When a plane takes off and makes its climb the pressure in the cabin changes causing a pooping effect in the dog’s ears. Us humans also experience the same which usually happens during take-off and landing!

The dog may experience some ear discomfort during takeoff, however, this won’t cause any damage to their ears. When this happens you may see your dog shake their head side to side or tilt its head.

Don’t be alarmed if you see this as it’s a natural reaction as your dog is simply trying to clear their ears.

Slight Hearing Loss

Dogs can experience a slight hearing loss and ringing in their ears when on the plane. This is temporary and can last for only a couple of minutes after the takeoff of the plane.

If you are concerned about your dog’s hearing ability make sure to check with your veterinarian before taking any long flights!

Take Note: Although your dog will feel a slight discomfort in their ears when there’s a change in cabin pressure this won’t cause them to be in any physical pain. Nor will it cause any permanent damage!

Noise Level

The noise level combined with the Altitude Pressure can contribute to the discomfort in the dog’s ears. Although the sound of the plane engines inside the cabin may be quiet to us humans to dogs it’s a different story!

Take Note: Dogs can hear much higher pitches ranging from 40Hz to 45,000 Hz this means that the humming sound you hear from the engines can actually be quite loud for dogs.

When boarding the plane it’s a good idea to use some kind of ear protection for your dog which we will talk about more later in this article.

But even for us humans, the sound of plane engines can be very loud can cause you to put your hands over your ears but unfortunately, dogs can not do this!

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Can Dogs Get Ear Infections When Flying?

They have been no proven cases that flying can cause ear infections, but if you notice that your dog is shaking their head continuity while on the plane then this could be a sign that your dog has an ear infection.

Therefore, if you notice that your pet has been excessively shaking or rubbing its head after flying then make sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can check out their ears.

It’s always better safe than sorry!

Signs That Your Dog Has An Ear Problem

You should never ignore ear problems with your dog as they may cause further problems later on and require medical attention. There are some common signs that you may notice which can indicate there is a problem.

Signs Of Ear Problems:

  • Excessive head shaking or rubbing of their ears.
  • Slight bleeding from the tips of their ears.
  • Redness around the inside edge of the outside flap of his ear.

This would look like red bumps located close to where his jaw ends on each side. If you see any rashes make sure to call your veterinarian ASAP so they can prescribe medication for him if necessary!

How To Protect Your Dogs Ears When Flying?

If you’re planning on traveling by plane soon with your four-legged friend then it is important that you know how to protect their ears from the pressure change caused by altitude changes.

Your dog will be more comfortable and have a better journey while on the plane if you follow these simple steps below!

Ear Hoody

The Dog Ear Hoody is the perfect solution to help protect your pet’s ears while flying. This dog hoodie was designed to fit over a dog’s head and cover their entire ear which like ear muffs can help prevent pressure from building up inside their inner ear!

This type of outfit is great because once they are worn only when flying then just store them away into their case until the next time you need them.

You find these dog hoods on the internet and they come in different colors, sizes, and designs. The Dog Ear Hoody is also available on Amazon.com

Ear Muffs

One of the best and most effective ways to keep a dog’s ears protected is by putting earmuff on them before boarding the plane. These special types of muffs will help prevent air pressure from building up inside their ears which can cause discomfort or pain in their inner ear.

They are designed for noise reduction so they should fit snuggly around your pet’s head without causing any problems with blood circulation or breathing difficulties!

The good thing about these kinds of muffs is that you just place them over your pet’s head with no need to tie anything, unclip them when not using it, put it away into their case then clip again when needed next time… simple!

Ear Plugs

There are also earplugs you can buy to help protect your dog’s ears while flying! These special plugs are designed to block out the noise and will fit snugly into the outer part of their ear canal which may reduce discomfort from air pressure build-up.

This could be especially useful if you have multiple pets with you that might be causing some noise during flight time!

In case these options do not work out for then just remember there are always the tried and true methods of covering your pup’s ears with a soft towel, blanket, or sweatshirt!

The good news is that most dogs get over the discomfort of flying quite quickly.

Use Medication

Some dogs may find the changes in pressure and discomfort in their ears worrying and can suffer anxiety which can cause excessive barking and whimpering, one option you do have is you use medication!

However, this is the last resort and you should always connect the airline before giving your dog any medication. As some airlines don’t allow dogs that have been dosed (strictly for health reasons).

Important: Always consult with your local veterinarian and contact your airline before considering giving your dog any type of sedative or medication!


So now not only do you know what cabin pressure can do to your dog’s ears but also what steps you can take to protect them.

If you’re planning on traveling with your dog then it is important that you know how to protect their ears from the pressure change caused by altitude changes. In most cases, dogs will handle flying just fine!

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