My Dog Won’t Let Me Put Ear Drops In

My Dog Won’t Let Me Put Ear Drops In

Last Updated: August 20, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “My Dog Won’t Let Me Put Ear Drops In“.

Just wait until you put drops in his ears and try getting your dog to take his medicine.

There are not just aggressive dogs who will give you trouble; most dogs will react violently if you put something in their ears.

My Dog Won’t Let Me Put Ear Drops In

Even so its your responsibility as an owner.

You can help your pet by following these tricks. You can leave your house without losing any fingers.

Why won’t a dog let you put ear drops in?

A question of this nature is unnecessary if you have ever suffered an ear infection.

Dogs often refuse to allow anyone to approach their ears when they have an infection which is understandable as the pain can be extremely severe.

The reason you would do that is that you know ear drops are good for you even if they hurt. A dog doesn’t.

The last thing he needs is anyone tampering with his ears because hes in pain.

In many cases dog owners are baffled by the fact that their dogs with an ear infection will still permit them to touch or brush their ears but will bare their teeth the moment they see an ear drop container.

You can insist on biting him. 

Dogs allow you to stroke their ears but they would not let you put anything inside.

Putting some ear drops in may be associated with pain although scratching and stroking are pleasant memories for the dog.

In the end how can he know that your drops would not make things worse?

How do you put ear drops in an uncooperative dog?

This question does not have an easy answer.

In the case of an ear infection in your dog you will need to provide him with medicine regardless of the circumstances.

Restrain the dog

Theres no way around it; you have to go through with it.

The best course of action is to call for reinforcements and attack the poor dog as a group.

If your dog is around medium size you can hold the dog down and quickly squirt some drops in his ear.

Theres no need to worry about dosage too much.

When you are dealing with this type of problem it is impossible to count an exact number of drops so long as your medicine is getting into your ear.

Try grabbing his head pinning him to your side and administering the correct treatment if you are strong enough.

Make sure you have everything you need to clean the ear canal before putting the drops in including tissue or mild cleanser.

At this point do not worry about perfection. Simply swiping your ear should be enough.

You will have no other option than to use a muzzle if your dog threatens to bite you. 

An important drawback of this approach is that it will damage the trust relationship between you and your dog. You will be judged negatively by your pet for what you did.

The key to regaining his trust is regaining his trust.

When hes healthy again he’ll be able to do that.

Desensitize the dog

To overcome the dogs fears you have to help him.

When he is cured you can continue to show him the medicine bottle does not pose a threat.

It will help if you sit on the couch and gently touch the dogs ear while hes by your side.

To play with him touch him lightly with your fingertip if the infection episode is still recent.

Donot be afraid to lay your hands on his ear massage him and help him relax if he does not object. Putting the hated drops in his ear may fool him into thinking you’re about to do it.

At this point wait for the dog to see the medicine bottle on the coffee table and keep it in the other hand.

Demonstrate to him that the medicine bottle is merely a toy.

The dog can then be desensitized so he would not be as apprehensive. When he next needs ear medicine this technique will be very useful.

Trick and treat

While bribing a dog would not work as a method of teaching him its an acceptable solution if he needs medicine.

Make some tasty treats. Ideally something small bite-sized so he’ll want to stick around. It takes the dog a bit of time to lick off the spoon after eating peanut butter.  Be sure to have the medicine next to you. Treat the dog and pat his head stroking his ears with your hand. He will ignore your touch of his ears if he is engaged with the treats. 

After that comes the tricking part. It would be helpful to have an accomplice. You can put some ear drops in the dogs ears while he is busy eating his next treat. You can close his mouth with the next treat.

This trade-off might be readily accepted by a greedy dog. but this can wait until after the infection has cleared. Other dogs are going to protest and you’ll have to deal with the same trust issues. 

Corner the dog

Medications should never be administered in a dogs favorite spot as this could make the dog fearful and create an association with an unpleasant event. If you do not have treats do not call the dog to you. 

Its you who needs to approach the dog and pushing him into a corner is an effective way to accomplish the task. The dog will let you place the drops in if there is no room for him to back away so that you can leave him be.

When you have a small dog it is recommended that you place him on a raised surface such as a table. Putting the drops in the dog is very easy. Whenever he is near high surfaces make sure you keep an eye on him in case he tries to jump off. 

Attack by surprise

Here is yet another stealthy approach. You might have been told to administer the drops at certain times by the doctor but since hes not around to help do the best you can. By knowing your dogs habits and timing the medicine around the time of day when he will likely nap you can make sure the dog gets the best care. Even if you do not want to pounce on a sleeping dog if you see him lying on his side with an exposed ear do not hesitate to give him some drops from the medicine bottle. 

Although it would not be easy to put drops in the other ear as well at least its something.

Can you sedate the dog to put ear drops in?

Veterinarians sometimes sedate aggressive dogs when performing tests or even cleaning their ears. Several pet owners wonder whether these drops can be administered at home with sedation. This is not a practical solution since the drops must be administered frequently throughout the day. Keeping the drug sedative all day is simply not possible. 

It is possible to give your dog Benadryl if you ask your veterinarian. Its a prescription antihistamine not a sedative. Dogs with travel anxiety or motion sickness may be prescribed Benadryl in certain situations. Bentyl often induces sleep in dogs so this is a great way to get those drops in.

To make sure that your dog will not become sick from this type of drug you should always speak to your veterinarian first. Keep in mind that the side effects of Benadryl include a dry mouth as well as an increased heart rate.  

Ask for a different type of medicine

Ask your veterinarian to prescribe another medicine if putting ear drops in is too difficult or requires too much effort.

There may be an ointment he can prescribe instead of drops if the ear is infected from the inside. A good thing about ointments is that dogs would not even notice you’re using them so you can pretend to be playing with them as you normally would.

Be very gentle. By lifting the ear flap you can rub some ointment on the inside of the ear with your finger. 

Alternatively you can ask the doctor for some pills such as antibiotics to treat the ear infection without having to put any drops in. 


Dropping some drops into your dogs ear is one of the most difficult tasks since dogs are very sensitive about their ears. The fight will be inevitable if your dog is large and uncooperative.

The dog probably will have to be muzzled while you put the drops in and clean his ears. If your dog is more reasonable tasty treats can be bribed.

It might be possible to use an ointment rather than drops or to give the dog pills to eliminate the infection if possible. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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