do dogs' ears pop on planes

Do Dogs’ Ears Pop on Planes? (Stress Free Flying with a Dog).

When it comes to flying with pets, one of the most common questions that pet owners have is: do dogs’ ears pop on planes? After all, the rapid changes in air pressure that occur during takeoff and landing can be uncomfortable for humans. So it’s natural to wonder if dogs experience the same sensation.


In this blog post, we will explore the science behind ear-popping and how it affects a dog in an airplane. We will also discuss the signs of discomfort that you can look for in your dog during a flight. Additionally, we’ll provide tips on how to make the experience as comfortable as possible for your furry friend.


Whether you’re a seasoned pet traveler or you’re planning your first flight with your dog, this blog post is a must-read if you’re asking: “do dogs’ ears pop on planes?”. By understanding how dogs’ ears experience air pressure changes, you can ensure that your dog has a safe and enjoyable flight.


The Anatomy of a Dog’s Ear and Ear Popping

white dog with ears up; Do dogs' ears pop on planes? Similar to humans, the anatomy of a dog's ear can contribute to ear popping.A dog’s ear has three main parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The middle ear is connected to the back of the throat by a small tube called the Eustachian tube.


The Eustachian tube helps to keep the air pressure in the middle ear the same as the air pressure outside the ear. This is important because it allows the eardrum to vibrate properly.


When the air pressure changes rapidly, such as during takeoff and landing on a plane, the Eustachian tube can become blocked. This can cause a buildup of pressure in the middle ear, which can lead to ear popping.


So, do dogs’ ears pop on airplanes? Yes, in fact, dogs’ ears are more prone to popping than humans’ ears because their ear canals are longer and narrower. This makes it more difficult for the Eustachian tube to equalize the air pressure.


Factors That Influence Ear Popping in Dogs

cute puppy with one ear upThe question “Do dogs’ ears pop on planes?” has been answered. But what causes it? Below, you’ll see the following factors that may influence ear popping in dogs:

  • Age: Puppies are more prone to ear popping than adult dogs because their Eustachian tubes are not yet fully developed.
  • Breed: Some breeds of dogs, such as brachycephalic breeds (e.g., pugs, bulldogs), are more prone to ear popping because their skulls are shorter and their airways are narrower.
  • Health: Dogs with allergies, colds, or sinus infections are more prone to ear popping because these conditions can cause swelling and inflammation in the nose and throat, which can block the Eustachian tubes.
  • Earwax buildup: Excessive earwax buildup can also block the Eustachian tubes and lead to ear popping.
  • Altitude changes: Rapid changes in altitude, such as during air travel or mountain climbing, can also cause ear popping in dogs.

If you are concerned about ear popping in your dog, you should talk to your veterinarian. They can help you develop a plan to prevent or manage ear popping in your dog.


Signs of Discomfort in Dogs During Flights

Does flying hurt dogs’ ears? Yes, and it is important to be aware of the signs of discomfort in dogs during flights so that you can take steps to help them. Here are some of them:

worried dog in an airplane; Do dogs' ears pop on planes? Watch out for signs of discomfort to know if your dog is experiencing ear popping.

Behavioral Cues

Do dogs’ ears pop on planes without warning? Most of the time, dogs show a variety of behavioral cues to indicate that they are experiencing discomfort during flights. Some common behavioral cues include:

  • Whining or whimpering
  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Head tilting or shaking their ears
  • Pawing at their ears
  • Hiding or withdrawing from social interaction

Physical Signs of Dogs’ Ears Popping on Planes

Dogs may also show physical signs of ear or pressure-related distress during flights. Some common physical signs include:

  • Discharge from the ears
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Shaking their heads
  • Rubbing their ears against the floor or furniture
wiping a dog's ear due to discharge; Do dogs' ears pop on planes? Physical signs can show if your dog is experiencing ear popping so always be aware.

Recognizing When a Dog May Be Struggling

It is important to be aware of the signs of discomfort in dogs during flights so that you can help them if they need it. Here are a few tips for recognizing when a dog may be struggling:

  • Pay attention to your dog’s facial expressions. If their ears are pulled back, their eyes are wide, or their mouth is panting, they may be feeling stressed or anxious.
  • Watch your dog’s body posture. If they are hunched over, have their tail tucked between their legs, or are avoiding eye contact, they may be feeling scared or uncomfortable.
  • Listen to your dog’s vocalizations. If they are whining, whimpering, or barking excessively, they may be trying to communicate to you that they are in distress.

Do dogs’ ears pop on planes without signs? If you are unsure whether your dog is experiencing discomfort, it is always best to err on the side of caution and ask a flight attendant for help.


Precautions and Tips for Flying with Dogs

To ensure a safe and comfortable flight for both you and your furry friend, here are some precautions and tips to keep in mind:

woman and a cute dog in an airplane

Consult with a Veterinarian Before Air Travel

Do dogs’ ears pop on planes even if they travel frequently? To make sure, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before flying with your dog. Your veterinarian can assess your dog’s health and fitness for travel.


Moreover, they can also provide you with specific advice on how to make the experience as comfortable and safe as possible for your dog.


Ease a Dog’s Experience During Flights

Here are some strategies to ease a dog’s experience during flights:

  • Acclimatize your dog to their travel crate in advance. Start by putting the crate in a familiar area of your home and feeding your dog inside it. Once your dog is comfortable eating in the crate, you can start to close the door for short periods of time. Gradually increase the amount of time that your dog spends in the crate until they are comfortable being in it for several hours at a time.
  • Give your dog a bone or chew toy to chew on during takeoff and landing. This can help them to swallow more frequently and equalize the pressure in their ears.
  • Offer your dog water or a treat during takeoff and landing. This can also help them to swallow more frequently.
  • Use medications. If your dog is particularly susceptible to ear popping, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about using over-the-counter decongestants or other medications to help prevent the problem.
  • Provide your dog with a comfortable bed or blanket in their travel crate. This will help them to relax and feel secure during the flight.
  • Take breaks. Take your dog for a walk or potty break before boarding the plane and after arriving at your destination.
black dog in crate; Do dogs' ears pop on planes? Always take safety precautions before travel to reduce the risk of your dog's ears popping.

Choose Pet-Friendly Airlines

Do dogs’ ears pop on planes that are pet-friendly? Keep in mind that not all airlines are created equal when it comes to flying with pets. When choosing an airline, be sure to consider the following factors:

  • Pet policies: Does the airline have a pet policy in place? What are the restrictions on pet size, breed, and weight?
  • Pet fees: How much does the airline charge to transport pets?
  • Pet travel options: Does the airline offer in-cabin pet travel or only cargo pet travel?
  • Pet travel amenities: Does the airline provide any amenities for pets, such as water bowls, food bowls, or bedding?

It is also a good idea to read reviews of different airlines before booking your flight. This can help you to get a sense of how other pet owners have experienced flying with that particular airline.


By following these precautions and tips, you can help to ensure that your dog has a safe and comfortable flying experience.

dog inside pet carrier in an airplane

Frequently Asked Questions

Does airplane pressure affect dogs’ ears?

Yes, changes in air pressure during flights can cause discomfort in a dog’s ears similar to how humans experience ear popping.

Do dogs’ ears pop on planes?

Dogs and other pets with similar ear structures to humans can indeed experience the sensation of their ears ‘popping’ due to changes in cabin pressure.

Do dogs’ ears pop with elevation?

Absolutely. Dogs’ ears are sensitive to elevation changes just like humans, which may result in a popping sensation or discomfort as the plane ascends or descends.

How can I protect my dogs’ ears on a plane?

You can help your dog by providing chew toys during takeoff and landing. Also, consider using dog ear muffs for flying and keeping them hydrated throughout the flight.

Do dogs’ ears hurt on planes?

Yes, dogs’ ears can hurt on planes due to ear popping. To help your dog, give them a bone or chew toy to chew on during takeoff and landing, offer them water or a treat, and consider using dog ear muffs for flying.

Do dogs’ ears pop in the mountains?

Yes, dogs’ ears can pop in the mountains due to the change in air pressure. Most dogs adjust quickly, but if your dog shows signs of discomfort, give them a treat or chew toy to help them swallow. If the discomfort is severe, consult with a veterinarian.

brown dog traveling in an airplane

Conclusion: Do Dogs’ Ears Pop on Planes?

Do dogs’ ears pop on planes? Yes, dogs’ ears can pop on planes, just like humans’ ears. This is because dogs have the same anatomy of the ear as humans and this post explains how it happens to dogs.


Flying with a dog can be a rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend, but it is important to understand and address the unique needs of dogs during air travel. By following the precautions and tips mentioned above, you can help ensure that your dog has a safe and comfortable flight experience.