Dog and cat ears are different to ours. Because they have a very deep ear canal, it’s possible they can be harbouring an infection that you are not aware of. Occasionally they can `catch’ ear infections from other animals as is the case with ear mites, but in most cases, and particularly in older dogs, infections develop when the environment in the ear allows the local flora, normally not a concern in small numbers, to fluorish. It’s therefore a good idea to check your dogs ear regularly especially if they have floppy ears or like to swim. If you notice that their ears are dirty or smelly, or if they are shaking their head or scratching at their ears, it may be worth getting them checked. Overly enjoying an ear rub may be a sign of itchy ears. Sometimes the only way to identify an ear infection is with an otoscope that allows us to examine the entire length of a dog’s ear canal. Ear infections are usually straightforward to treat and preventable with regular cleaning protocols. Sometimes recurrent ear infections can be an indication of an underlying food allergy and dietary modification may be necessary.