Chihuahua with Floppy Ears: Why It Happens & 6 Fixes

Pawscessories is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Do you have a Chihuahua with floppy ears? If so, you may wonder why they might be floppy and not standing up.

There are a few reasons why a Chihuahua could have floppy ears. For example, during their development period, all Chihuahua puppies go through a phase where their ears will be floppy.

So what are the reasons cause Chihuahua’s ears to be floppy? When do they stand up?

In short, Chihuahua ears start standing up at around five to eight weeks of age. At 4 months, most Chihuahua’s ears will be fully erect. However, in some cases, Chihuahuas may end up with floppy ears for longer or permanently. Floppy ears in Chihuahuas can occur from genetics, nutrient deficiencies, infection, or trauma.

So if your Chihuahua is young still and has floppy ears, they might just need time to develop. However, if you are concerned about their ears, there are ways to fix floppy ears!

This blog post will cover the details behind why Chihuahuas get floppy ears. We will also cover the age you should expect a Chihuahua’s ears to stand up and how you can help them stand.

Let’s dive in.

What Kind Of Ears Will My Chihuahua Have?

The best way to know what kind of ears your Chihuahua will have is to look at their parents. If both parent dogs have erect ears, then it’s likely their offspring will too.

However, if one or both of the parents have floppy ears, then there is a chance that your puppy’s ears may not stand up. Generally speaking, most Chihuahuas have erect ears.

There are cases where Chihuahua’s ears never fully stand up. This is usually due to genetic faults, improper breeding, infection, or injury that damages the ear cartilage.

When Do Chihuahua Ears Stand Up?

As puppies, most Chihuahuas will have floppy ears. This is because their ear cartilage is not fully developed and needs time to stiffen and strengthen.

Over time a Chihuahua’s ears will eventually stand up on their own as they mature. A Chihuahua puppy’s ears start standing up at around 5 to 8 weeks old. During this time, you may notice their ears developing some stiffness.

When most Chihuahuas reach 3-5 months old, their ears will be completely erect. However, since dogs are individuals, some Chihuahua ears will take longer to stand. In fact, Chihuahuas can take up to 7 months to have full-standing ears, and some even longer!

The time a chihuahua’s ears finally stand up is entirely different from one Chihuahua to the next.

However, suppose your Chihuahua’s ears have not begun to stand up for six months. In that case, you should consider taking them to the veterinarian for an examination.

Now that we know when an average Chihuahua’s ears stand up let’s look at the possible reasons for a Chihuahua with floppy ears.

Why Are My Chihuahuas Ears Floppy? (9 Reasons)

There are a few reasons your Chihuahuas ears may be floppy and won’t stand up. Let’s discuss them.

#1 Ears Haven’t Developed Yet

If your Chihuahua is less than 6 months old, their ears may not be fully developed.

If you have a Chihuahua puppy under 6 months with floppy ears, the best action is to simply wait.

In most cases, their ears will stand up on their own. However, after six months, if their ears are still floppy, there may be another underlying reason why they are floppy.

#2 Genetic Predisposition

Chihuahuas with floppy ears are quite common, especially if both parents had them. If this is the case, there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll have to come to terms with the fact that their ears will always be flopping down.

#3 Teething Phase

Another potential reason for a Chihuahua’s floppy ears is teething. During the teething process, a puppy’s gums and teeth are growing, and this can cause their ears to flop.

In fact, you might see their ears starting to stand up, only to fall down again when teething starts. But, again, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about.

Teething starts around 3 weeks old and ends at around 6 weeks once all their baby teeth have grown. After this first teething phase, they will have another for their adult teeth.

At 12 to 16 weeks, a puppy’s baby teeth will begin falling out. This teething phase usually ends by the time they are 6 months and have all of their adult teeth.

So if a Chihuahua’s ears are floppy and they fall into this age group, it could be teething, causing their ears to flop!

#4 Breeding Issues

In some cases, floppy ears are the result of negligent breeding. For example, if a Chihuahua’s parents were not bred correctly, their offspring might have health issues, such as floppy ears.

So choosing a reputable breeder is essential if you want to acquire a Chihuahua with good health and little chance of developing illnesses. In addition, a good breeder can tell you if floppy ears are common in the parents or grandparents of the puppy you are interested in.

#5 Injury Or Trauma

Your Chihuahua’s floppy ears might result from an injury from catching their ear on something or someone pulling too hard on them.

If a Chihuahua’s ears are messed with or hurt during puppyhood, it could affect their future growth and development.

Chihuahuas often accidentally injure their ears during play. For example, if they are running to catch a ball and then jump, they could hit something and damage their ear.

If you think your Chihuahua has injured their ear, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

#6 Their Diet And Nutrition

Another cause of floppy ears is poor nutrition. If a Chihuahua does not get enough of the right nutrients, this can affect their overall health and development.

Make sure your Chihuahua is eating a high-quality diet that contains vitamins and minerals. This will guarantee that they receive all of the nutrients needed to remain healthy and mature properly.

If a Chihuahua grows up with nutrient deficiencies, they can develop issues such that the cartilage in their ears does not grow properly, leading to floppy ears.

#7 Bad Hygiene

If you don’t clean your Chihuahua’s ears, this can result in ear infections. Ear infections are a frequent reason for floppy ears in dogs. In addition, when ear infections go untreated, they might cause the cartilage in the ears to collapse.

If you do not clean your Chihuahua puppy’s ears, dirt and wax will accumulate and eventually weigh their ears down. This could impact the shape of their ear as they continue to grow.

To avoid ear infections, make sure you clean your Chihuahua’s ears regularly with a dog-safe ear cleaner. This will help remove any dirt, wax, or debris that could cause these issues.

A good indicator that a Chihuahua has an ear infection is scratching their ears frequently or shaking their head.

Further Readings: How To Clean Dog’s Ears When They Hate It: 9 Simple Steps

#8 Infections And Parasites

The last cause of floppy ears in Chihuahuas are infections and parasites.

Ear mites are a form of parasitic insect that can live in your dog’s ear canal. If your Chihuahua has ear mites, they’ll scratch their ears repeatedly, which can lead to damage or illness.

There are a number of infections and parasites that could cause floppy ears. If you think your Chihuahua has an infection or parasites, it’s important to take them to the vet for treatment.

Further Reading: Dog Scratching Ear And Shaking Head At Night? (Vet Answers)

#9 Not Fully Chihuahua

Chihuahuas with floppy ears might not be 100% Chihuahua.

Suppose a Chihuahua’s parents were not both purebred Chihuahuas. In that case, they might not have the same gene that causes the ears to stand up.

So, floppy ears could indicate that a Chihuahua is not a purebred.

Why Have My Chihuahuas Ears Flopped Suddenly?

For both of a Chihuahua’s ears to suddenly become floppy after being upright, there are a few potential causes.

Parasites, sickness, poor hygiene, trauma, or other medical reasons are the most common causes. If your Chihuahua has ear mites, they will scratch their ears constantly due to this itching. This can cause your pup’s ears to droop out of nowhere.

Poor hygiene is another possible cause of floppy ears. If a Chihuahua’s ears are not cleaned, wax, dirt, and debris may accumulate over time. Their ears will become weighted and flop over as a result of this. It can also lead to infections.

Sudden, floppy ears are often caused by ear infections. If these infections go untreated, the cartilage in their ears will be damaged and cause them to flop.

Furthermore, an injury to the ears can also cause them to droop suddenly. If a Chihuahua hits their head or ears forcefully on something, this can damage the cartilage and result in floppy ears.

If your Chihuahua’s ears have suddenly fallen flat, it’s essential to get them checked out by a veterinarian. While I’ve listed some typical reasons, there may be other health issues that are unrelated. If necessary, a vet will be able to tell you whether or not the problem is serious and what treatment might be required.

Why Is One Of My Chihuahuas Ears Floppy?

When just one ear of a Chihuahua starts to flop, it’s usually indicative of two things. The first is that there may be an infection or parasite in the ear that’s flopping. The second possibility is that something has happened to damage the ear.

Perhaps the Chihuahua scratched their ear on something, or there was an accident with one ear. If their ear was hit or pulled, this could have caused damage to the ear.

Either way, infections, parasites, or injuries are common causes of isolated injuries. For only one ear to flop means it’s an issue specific to that one ear.

How to Make My Chihuahuas Ears Stand Up?

The first thing to note is that floppy ears are not always a sign of poor health for a Chihuahua. You should not be concerned if your Chihuahua’s ears are floppy and otherwise healthy.

Sometimes they do not need fixing or help to stand up. However, as long as they are happy and healthy, that is all that matters.

With that said, there are some methods you can try if you want to make your Chihuahua’s ears stand up. However, as a full disclaimer, it’s important to know that there is no guarantee these will work.

Here are 5 methods to help your Chihuahua’s Ears stand up:

#1 Chew Toys

The first thing you should try is the chew toys.

By gnawing on chew toys, Chihuahuas can develop stronger muscles in their face and neck area. This might even cause their ears to stand up straighter! Not to mention that chewing helps relieve teething pain.

Some of the best chew toys for puppies come from the brands like West Paw and Kong.

There are a variety of chew toys on the market, so make sure you choose one that is appropriate for your Chihuahua’s age and size.

#2 Supplements

Another method you can try to help your Chihuahua’s ears stand up is to give them supplements.

There are a few supplements on the market that claim to help with this condition. Before giving your Chihuahua any supplement, though, it’s critical to consult with your doctor.

After speaking with Dr. Littlejohn, he recommended Glucosamine to help with a dog’s ears.

Glucosamine is a popular supplement that dogs with joint discomfort take. It can also assist with the maturation of cartilage and connective tissue, so it’s worth experimenting with if you want to give supplements a go.

Here are some great options for Glucosamine supplements on Amazon:

Even though these are top-rated products for dogs, it’s still best practice to consult with your vet before giving your Chihuahua any type of supplement.

#3 Nutrition & Diet

The diet your Chihuahua consumes can also have an impact on the formation of their ears. It goes without saying that a high-quality diet is required for all dogs. In puppies, certain vitamins and minerals are required for cartilage and connective tissue development.

Some of these essential nutrients include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Protein
  • Omega-Fatty Acids
  • Zinc

To ensure your Chihuahua’s ears are getting the nutrients they need, feed them a high-quality kibble or raw food diet.

There are also supplements you can add to a Chihuahuas food that will give them some added nutrients. Dr. Wendell O. Belfield wrote a book on how to have a healthier dog. In this book, he discusses supplementing puppy food with vitamin C to help their development. I discussed this with Dr. Littlejohn to find out his perspective, and he also agreed.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the development of cartilage and connective tissue. So adding this to your pup’s diet can help their ears!

I recommend Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C. You can either put it in their water bowl or pour some onto their food.

Further Readings: What Do Chihuahuas Eat? (Including What Chihuahuas Can & Can’t Eat)

#4 Ear Taping

One of the most common methods people use to help Chihuahua’s ears stand up is ear taping. This method is popular because it is non-invasive and relatively inexpensive.

However, this should only be done when your Chihuahua puppy’s adult teeth have started to come in (around 3 to 5 months). In addition, it’s very important to make sure everything is in the right position when taping. Otherwise, you could risk them growing incorrectly.

There are a few different ways you can go about taping a chihuahua’s ears.

How to Tape A Chihuahua’s Ears

To tape a Chihuahua’s ears, you will need medical tape or vet wrap, popsicle sticks, and foam rollers.

I prefer to use medical tape over other types of tape because it is less likely to irritate their skin. It’s also specifically designed for dogs.

Avoid using regular tape or things like duct tape because they can be harsh on their skin. Here are the steps you want to tape your dog’s ears:

  • Tear off a 1.5-inch piece of tape.
  • Pull the puppy’s ear upright, so it’s flat.
  • Loosely wrap the tape around the base of the ear.
  • Repeat the process with the other ear.
  • Now use another strip of tape to connect both ears together in a bridge fashion across the top of the head.
  • Leave the taping in place for no more than 5 days, then gently remove.

If the Chihuahua’s ears are still floppy, remove the tape and try the process again for a further 5 days.

Is Taping Dog Ears Safe?

Now you might be wondering whether taping a chihuahua’s ears is safe or not.

Yes, it is safe. But a few things should be kept in mind to prevent any discomfort. Make sure you use medical tape or something with a similar texture. This is because standard tape can be harsh on the skin.

Secondly, ensure that the foam rollers avoid the dog’s ear canal. You would not want to damage their delicate ears. Other than that, taping is a perfectly safe method for helping Chihuahua ears stand up. They may experience discomfort initially, but it will subside, and they will be fine in no time.

#5 Surgical Procedures

The last method I will discuss is a surgical option. This is an extreme measure and should only be done as a last resort.

For surgical solutions, some people may decide to have their Chihuahuas ears adjusted with surgical implants.

This is an invasive and expensive procedure. It requires your Chihuahua to be put under anesthetic by a vet before surgically implanting devices into their ears. This is purely a cosmetic procedure.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of reasons why Chihuahuas may have floppy ears. This can be due to genetics, poor nutrition, or even how they are handled as puppies.

If you want to help your Chihuahua’s ears stand up, there are a number of methods you can try. These include taping their ears, giving them chewing toys, or even surgery.

Taping is the most common and least invasive method. However, it’s important to make sure that everything is in the right position when taping. Otherwise, you could risk them growing incorrectly.

If you have any concerns about your Chihuahua’s ears, be sure to speak to a vet. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to proceed.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Chocolate Chihuahua: 17 Facts About The Brown Chihuahua

Top 10 Best Dog Brushes for Chihuahuas: Your Complete Guide

Top 8 Best Dog Beds For Chihuahuas: Finding The Perfect One