What’s with Fido’s fascination for Fluffy’s ears? Why do dogs lick other dogs’ ears? It’s a question that has puzzled many dog owners and canine enthusiasts alike.
Dogs lick other dogs’ ears as a form of communication, showing submission, affection, or for grooming purposes. However, excessive ear-licking can potentially indicate health issues, like an ear infection or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In this article, we’ll pull back the curtain on this unique dog behavior and understand the reasons behind it.
Why Do Dogs Lick Other Dogs Ears? The Science Behind It
There’s more to this fascinating quirk than meets the eye, or rather, the ear.
Dogs are incredibly social animals and their interactions are rich with meaning, a vast chunk of which we humans are still trying to decode.
Ear-licking falls right into this complex canine communication code.
A Communication Tool
Ear-licking serves as a type of canine Morse code. Dogs are known to use physical touch as a form of communication, and this behavior is no different.
A dog licking another dog’s ears could be its way of saying, “Hey, I like you,” or “Let’s be friends.” It’s akin to a human handshake or a friendly pat on the back.
A Show of Submissiveness
Ears are sensitive parts of a dog’s body, and for one dog to allow another to lick its ears indicates a high level of trust and submission.
If you notice a dog frequently licking the ears of another, chances are the ear-licker views the other as a dominant figure.
Cleaning and Health Maintenance
Dogs are natural groomers, and ear-licking plays a role in their hygiene habits. The licking helps remove dirt and debris from the ears, aiding in overall health maintenance.
It’s a way for dogs to look after one another, much like how wolves groom each other in the wild.
What Your Dog Is Trying to Say
Canine behavior is an intricate tapestry of actions and reactions, each filled with its unique emotional underpinnings.
And ear-licking is one such intriguing thread woven into this intricate tapestry.
Just as humans show affection through touch, dogs do so through actions like ear-licking.
When your dog licks another dog’s ears, they may be expressing their affection, trust, and bond with the other dog.
It’s a canine version of a bear hug or a high-five, a heartwarming display of puppy love that can be as touching to observe as it is to receive.
Ear-licking is not just about expressing love and respect. It can also serve as a comforting gesture.
When dogs are stressed or anxious, they may resort to behaviors that comfort them – ear-licking is one such soothing ritual.
A dog licking another dog’s ears may be their attempt to calm themselves or the other dog, providing solace in stressful situations.
Decoding the emotional aspect of why dogs lick other dogs’ ears can deepen our understanding of our furry friends, helping us build stronger, more empathetic relationships with them.
We must always remember, behind each lick, there is a tale waiting to be told.
Why Do Dogs Lick Other Dogs Ears? Unpacking The Risks
While ear-licking can be endearing and serve important purposes, like most things in life, there can be too much of a good thing.
Let’s peel back the layers of potential risks involved with this seemingly innocuous behavior.
The Dark Side of Ear Licking
While ear-licking can be a sign of affection and respect, it can also introduce potential health risks.
Overly persistent ear-licking can lead to irritations, creating an inviting environment for bacteria and yeast infections.
What begins as a simple grooming exercise could potentially spiral into a health concern if left unchecked.
When to Seek Veterinary Advice
As a dog parent, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your pet’s behavior.
If you notice excessive ear-licking, resulting in redness, swelling, or a noticeable change in your dog’s behavior, it’s time to consult a vet.
Persistent ear-licking can sometimes indicate an underlying issue, like an ear infection in the dog being licked or an obsessive-compulsive disorder in the one doing the licking.
Understanding why dogs lick other dogs’ ears allows us to better comprehend our canine companions.
It’s more than just a peculiar behavior – it’s a window into their world.
By understanding their actions, we can respond effectively, ensuring the best health and happiness for our four-legged friends.
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