Dog Ear Wax Color Chart: What the Colors Mean?

Pet Health


November 15, 2021

Dogs are known for having sensitive ears, and they can get infections. This can be painful, so it is important to know how to tell when everything is okay or when there is something wrong. A dog ear wax color chart tells you everything you need to know.

Ear wax is also called cerumen, and it serves an important role for dogs. It is designed to collect bacteria, dirt, dead cells, debris, and more and then it slides out of the ear. It is made to keep your dog’s ears clean and to prevent anything from sliding into the ear.

What Color Is Healthy Ear Wax in Dogs?

When your dog’s ears are healthy, the ear wax should be a pale yellow color. The ears shouldn’t smell bad, and the dog shouldn’t be in any pain when you check to see. It is important to learn the exact color that is normal for your dog, as they will have their own normal.

Some dogs will have ear wax that is closer to a pale yellow color, while others will have more of a light tan or brown color. Normal ear wax will be white, yellow, orange, or brown. The ears won’t have any odor, and the inside of the ear should be a pink color.

What Does Red Ear Wax Mean?

If you see a reddish tint in your dog’s ear wax, it usually indicates that there is some blood mixed in. This can come from a bug bite or an injury. If it is a bug bite, it will heal on its own, but if there is an injury, you may need to visit the vet.

What Does Brown Ear Wax Mean?

Healthy ear wax can be light brown in color. If your dog’s ear wax is brown, make sure that there isn’t any discharge and check for a bad smell. As long as it smells neutral and there is no discharge, the ear wax is doing its job collecting dirt, and your dog is fine.

What Does Green Ear Wax Mean?

Green ear wax is usually a sign of a fungal infection or a yeast infection. You will probably notice a strong odor coming from the ears, and you need to get some medication from your vet.

What Does Gray Ear Wax Mean?

Gray ear wax is harmless, as it is usually a result of the ear accumulating dust. Ear wax is meant to collect dust and prevent it from entering the ear canal, so in this case, it is doing its job.

What Does Black Ear Wax Mean?

Black ear wax is often the result of a yeast infection, and it will be accompanied by a foul odor. You will want to take your dog to the vet to get some medicine.

How to Check Your Dog’s Ears

The only way to know if your dog’s ear wax is normal is by checking their ears regularly. Ideally, you will want to check them once a week to make sure that they look normal. Make sure that you smell them as well so that you notice any bad odors.

What Are Signs of an Ear Infection?

If your dog has an ear infection, the first sign is the color of the ear wax and the bad smell. However, you might notice that your dog cries or pulls away when you touch its ears. Your dog’s ears may be painful or itchy, and you might see your dog scratching them.

Other signs include excessive ear wax and redness in the flap of the ear. There might be scabs around the ears, and your dog might even show balance problems if the infection is serious.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

The best way to prevent ear infections is to clean your dog’s ears regularly. Bacteria is one of the most common causes of ear infections, and dogs pick up bacteria playing outside, swimming, and even getting a bath. Water creates moisture inside the ear, which gives bacteria a place to grow.

The bacteria will irritate your dog’s ears and cause inflammation and can lead to infection. When you take the time to clean your dog’s ears, you can prevent the irritation and infection.

You need the following supplies to get started:

  • Cotton balls
  • Ear cleaning solution for dogs
  • Towel

You need to make sure that your dog is as relaxed as possible, so it can help to clean its ears after a nice, long walk. You might want to keep a few treats on hand.

The ear cleaning solution comes in a bottle that you can squeeze into your dog’s ear canal. It should tell you how many drops to squeeze in, and then massage your dog’s ear at the base gently. Do this for about 30 seconds, and then let your dog shake its head.

Next, take your cotton balls, and use them to clean the ear canal. Make sure that you don’t stick them too far into the ear. It is important that you use cotton balls and not cotton swabs, as the swabs can damage the ear canal.

Throw the cotton balls away, and use the towel to dry your dog’s head. Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly will ensure that you prevent infections.

Are Some Dogs More Likely to Have Ear Infections?

Some dogs are more likely to have infections. The shape of the dog’s ears has a lot to do with it. Certain breeds, such as cocker spaniels, poodles, bulldogs, and basset hounds are known for getting ear infections more often than others.

Other dogs are more likely to have ear infections for other reasons. Dogs that go swimming or have frequent baths end up with ear infections because the water gets trapped inside the ear canal and creates a place for bacteria to grow.

The best way to prevent ear infections is to clean your dog’s ears regularly, and make sure that you dry the ears after a bath or a swim.

Final Words

Understanding your dog’s ear wax is important to making sure it is healthy. Ear wax can be different colors, and you need to know when to be concerned. Basically, if your dog’s ear wax is pale yellow to light brown, it is healthy as long as there is no smell.

The ear wax has an important role in your dog’s health: it is designed to keep dirt, dust, bacteria, and debris out of your dog’s ear canal. It will turn brown after it collects debris before it slides out. Be sure to check your dog’s ears regularly so that you know if something is wrong.