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Top 7 Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Has Floppy Ears (2023)

Why Do Chihuahuas Have Floppy Ears

You are expecting your Chihuahua to not have floppy ears by now.

After all, aren’t they supposed to have pointy ears?

But it’s been months.

Why are they still floppy?

Aren’t they supposed to be standing?

Read on to learn:

  • 7 reasons why your Chihuahua has floppy ears.
  • Tips on how to take good care of your Chihuahua so they grow well.
  • How to make sure that an unhealthy diet is not the reason for their floppy ears.
  • And much much more…

Why do Chihuahuas have floppy ears?

Chihuahuas are initially born with floppy ears. It will develop as they get older but with the help of a healthy diet and stress-free environment. Illness or mixed breed Chihuahuas may also be the reason for their floppy ears. Even purebred Chihuahuas naturally have floppy ears.

Top 7 reasons why Chihuahuas have floppy ears

#1: Being too young

Is your Chihuahua still young? Just chill and wait.

They’re born to have droopy ears.

Puppy Chi’s ears are naturally floppy.

But why do older Chihuahuas have stiff ears?

When they’re young, muscles and cartilages in their ears aren’t yet firmly developed.

It takes about 5 to 6 weeks before their ears will be fully erect. At times, even 6 months.

If their ears are still floppy beyond 6 months, there can be other reasons.

We can’t avoid wondering that maybe there’s something wrong with our Chihuahua. 

But don’t you worry, there’s no alarming reason behind their floppy ears.

To ensure that a young Chihuahua grows into a healthy adult dog, you need to take care of them well.

Follow these tips on how to take care of your pup:

  • Avoid salty food.
  • Leave clean water.
  • Feed on schedule.
  • Bond with your puppy.
  • Exercise with your pup.
  • Do not feed human food.
  • Feed them 3-6 times a day.
  • Guide them in exploring their new home.
  • Introduce them to new sights and sounds.

In no time, you will be a pro in taking care of your furry pal.

Do you need more tips on how to take care of your baby Chihuahua?

Watch this video for more details.

#2: Teething

Teething and floppy ears are somewhat connected.

How is that?

Teething causes the muscles that hold the teeth to loosen. 

These muscles are responsible for keeping the ears erect.

Jaw muscles are connected to chi’s ears muscle. 

The jaw and ear muscles get too tired from the teething stage because the Chihuahua chews a lot.

Exhaustion causes it to have less energy to keep the ears erect.

Is this something you should worry about?

Your chi’s having floppy ears also means that their teething process is smooth.

It’s a natural part of growing up and can last up to 3 months.

The teething stage is uncomfortable for both dogs and humans.

As a fur parent, you can help your puppy get more comfortable at this period.

Expect the teething stage to start at 2-3 weeks old.

At 8 weeks, your pup will have a total of 28 milk teeth.

How do you know that your pooch is teething?

Take note of how your Chihuahua behaves such as:

Chewing relieves the discomfort of teething.

Your puppy wants something they can chew on that’s edible, soft, and hard.

You can buy them three chewable to satisfy their teething needs.

We recommend Kong toys and chew sticks. Try giving them frozen treats as well to ease gum soreness.

This is the time in your pup’s life that you should protect furniture or harmful things that they might chew.

Cover it or keep it away from their reach.

Exercise and playtime will also distract them from teething pain.

Keep them entertained with activities such as fetch or tug of war.

It can also help satisfy their desire to chew.

The right information and preparation will help you go through this phase with ease.

Teething can be a worthwhile journey for both of you.

Read next: 7 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Chews On Blankets

#3: Genetics

You might wonder if the breed of your Chihuahua is pure due to their floppy ears.

They could be one of those whose breed came from a long line of floppy-eared Chihuahuas.

Genes play a big part in the physical features they will have.

If a Chihuahua’s parents had floppy ears, it’s more likely they’ll also have it until they become adults.

If you want a Chihuahua that has perky ears, you should check with your breeder if they’re from the family of perky eared Chihuahuas.

Perky eared grandparents will breed the same pups.

It can also be that your Chihuahua is a mixed breed. It’s in the genes.

Your pup’s floppy ears might be from the mom’s or pop’s side.

It’s common for Chihuahuas to be mixed with other breeds that can result in floppy ears such as:

  • Boxer.
  • Labrador.
  • Shih Tzu.
  • Dalmatian.
  • Dachshund.
  • Mini Pinscher.
  • Boston Terrier.
  • Japanese Chin.

You can ask your breeder about this. Get details about their grandparents or parents.

One parent might be a mixed breed while the other is a pure Chihuahua.

Not only to know why their ears are floppy but to get clear information on how to take care of them well.

Different breeds can have different needs.

If your Chihuahua is a mixed breed, embrace their floppy ears and all their adorable traits.

#4: Sickness

Chihuahuas Have Floppy Ears Due To SIckness

If your Chihuahua usually has perky ears and one of their ears becomes floppy, check for any signs of infections or wounds.

Otitis Externa or inflammation of the ear is one of the most common causes.

It leaves physical trauma to the ears muscle and the reason why it will not stand erect.

What other signs can you look out for? Study lists several signs you can check:

Allergies, parasites, and other diseases can cause Otitis Externa.

How to prevent this from happening? It always starts with good hygiene.

Make sure your pooch is well maintained. You can bathe your Chihuahua depending on their level of activity.

Once a week or every six weeks is okay. Again, it depends on how often they need it.

Don’t forget to clean your dog’s ears as well. Chihuahua’s ears are prone to earwax buildup.

Use an ear cleaning solution with a cotton or soft cloth.

Drop the liquid solution into your dog’s ear canal. You need to massage the base of the ear for 30 seconds.

Wait for your dog to shake his head and then wipe it with a towel.

Be gentle when cleaning and don’t go too deep into the ear.

Ear cleaning can be a pleasant event for you and your Chihuahua if you follow our simple steps:

  • Give treats.
  • Do not force them.
  • Avoid over-cleaning.
  • Be calm in handling them.
  • Make sure your dog is calm.
  • Check ears after taking a bath.

Cleaning your Chihuahua’s ears, whether floppy or erect is important to avoid diseases.

As a fur parent, it is a way to make sure that they grow up happy and healthy.

Further reading: Why is my dog avoiding me all of a sudden?

#5: Stress

Stress contributes to any physical changes in dogs.

Your Chi could be stressed when exposed to larger breeds than them.

They are known to experience syndrome. They get anxious with bigger dogs around them.

Chihuahuas get aggressive towards bigger dogs because they’re fearful of them. 

The fear they feel causes them to have floppy ears.

Aside from this common cause, there can be other reasons why your Chihuahua is under stress.

Common causes include:

  • Moving.
  • Separation.
  • New people.
  • Loud noises.
  • Schedule change.

How can you tell if the floppy ears are caused by stress?

Take note of these other unusual behaviors:

You can help your Chihuahua cope with stressful situations.

Exercise and a balanced diet are a must.

You should also avoid bringing them to places that may cause them stress. It can be at parks with big dogs or noisy places.

Stick to a schedule so your doggo knows what to expect. If they get stressed when you leave, train them by not making it a big deal.

Leave them with treats and toys.

*Being with your Chi’s for a long time, you will learn to understand and pinpoint better if their floppy ears are caused by stress or other reasons.

Lastly, make sure to take care of yourself so you can take care of your lovely Chihuahua as well.

Your furry friend can sense if you are under stress. They know if we feel down.

Our dogs can provide us comfort when we are in the blues. But for them to thrive, we need to be happy and healthy too.

#6: Domestication

Have you seen foxes and wolves who have floppy ears? Neither have I.

Naturalist Charles Darwin stated that when animals change their behavior, there’s also a change in appearance.

Domesticated dogs have floppy ears compared to dogs in the wild.

Scientists studied tamed foxes to prove this theory. The tamer the foxes, the floppier the ears.

It could also be the same reason for your Chihuahua.

Stiff ears are an asset if the canine is in the wild. It can keep them alert in listening to their surroundings.

Your furry friend must be tamed and comfy in your home. That’s why they have fluffy ears.

People think they don’t look like a real Chihuahua but they’re still adorable nonetheless.

Chihuahuas are great family dogs. 

Your pup may be domesticated but keep in mind that a Chihuahua has a distinct personality.

Do not be fooled by a Chihuahua’s size. They may be small but they have lots of stored energy.

They like to burn their calories off by playing and exercising.

Keep in mind as well that they can be less patient with children especially if the approach is wrong.

They also tend to bark a lot when they see bigger dogs that make them feel fearful.

#7: Unhealthy diet

Chihuahua's Unhealthy Diet

As a Chi’s fur parent, what do you usually feed your doggie?

If your Chi is already growing up but their ears are still not erect, it could be from their poor diet.

High calcium content food can help to have strong bones responsible for their growth and body maturity.

Calcium helps in making their ears erect. You can feed them bits of calcium-rich foods that are right for their weight and age such as:

  • Meat.
  • Bones.
  • Cheese.
  • Calcium supplements.

Observe your Chi’s appetite too. 

If they eat less, the desired calorie requirements will not be met.

Lack of appetite can be an indication that they’re not well and might have an underlying condition.

The muscles will be too weak to hold up the ears.

No proper diet that leads them to malnourishment could affect them in many ways: 

  • Malnourishment.
  • Unhealthy bones.
  • Lack of muscle structure.
  • Calorie deficiencies that help the muscle to hold the ears.

How to ensure that your Chihuahua has a proper diet?

Chihuahuas are active dogs and they have a fast metabolism.

As puppies, you can feed them 3-6 times a day. As adult dogs, 2-4 times is okay.

Did you know that Chihuahuas are picky eaters? Their food should taste great.

If you keep feeding them treats the whole day, chances are they won’t like mealtimes anymore.

Treats can be tastier for them.

Are you worried about your cooking skills?

The right dog food is the answer. Always check the label.

Make sure it has no extenders. Look for specific food ingredients like chicken, lamb, or beef.

If you’re the cooking type, your pup will love fresh ingredients such as:

  • Beef.
  • Fish.
  • Lamb.
  • Turkey.
  • Carrots.
  • Broccoli.
  • Chicken.
  • Spinach.
  • Potatoes.

You can mix and match the food listed above. Make sure that meat is the main ingredient.

Research says that obesity is one of the main causes of health issues in Chihuahuas.

Make sure to feed them with a balanced diet and avoid too many treats.

People also ask:

Can purebred Chihuahuas have floppy ears?

Purebred Chihuahuas can have floppy ears if their grandparents also have floppy ears. Genes play a big role in how your Chihuahua looks. Ask your breeder about the elders of your Chihuahua.