do dogs ears pop on planes

Traveling by plane can be an exciting adventure for humans, but have you ever wondered how our canine companions experience air travel?

If you’re a pet owner and planning a trip that involves taking your furry friend on a plane, you may have some concerns about their comfort and well-being.

One very common and important question that arises is, “Do dogs ears pop on planes?” This post will discuss dog hearing, how flying affects it, and what you can do to make sure your furry friend has a smooth and comfortable flight.

A Dog’s Sensitive Hearing

Before diving into the specifics of air travel, it’s essential to understand just how sensitive a dog’s hearing is. Dogs have an extraordinary sense of hearing, which far surpasses that of humans.

They can detect sounds at frequencies as high as 65,000 Hz, while our range is limited to about 20,000 Hz.

This incredible hearing ability enables dogs to hear sounds that are inaudible to us, like the high-pitched whine of a mosquito or the rustling of a small critter in the underbrush.

Given their exceptional auditory capabilities, it’s natural to wonder how a dog’s ears might be affected when exposed to the changes in air pressure that occur during air travel.

Humans often experience discomfort or even pain in their ears due to these pressure changes, commonly referred to as ear popping, so is the same true for our canine companions?

How Air Pressure Affects Dogs’ Ears

do dogs ears hurt on planes


When an aircraft takes off or lands, the cabin’s air pressure changes rapidly. Passengers often notice this as a feeling of pressure in their ears, and they may need to yawn, swallow, or chew gum to equalize the pressure and alleviate any discomfort.

Dogs, on the other hand, don’t typically express their discomfort in the same way we do. They can’t yawn on command or chew gum, so how do they manage these pressure changes?

The answer lies in their anatomy. Compared to humans, dogs’ ears are slightly different in structure. While humans have a tube known as the Eustachian tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat, dogs have a narrower and more curved version of this tube.

This difference makes it less likely for dogs to experience the same ear-popping sensation that humans do during changes in air pressure.

In other words, dogs’ ears do not “pop” in the same way that human ears do. Instead, they might experience a milder sensation or, in some cases, no sensation at all during a plane’s ascent or descent.

That said, it doesn’t mean that dogs are entirely unaffected by these pressure changes, and some may still experience some degree of discomfort.

Do Dogs Ears Hurt on Planes?

do dogs ears hurt on planes


While dogs’ ears might not pop on planes as humans do, they can still experience discomfort during air travel. The discomfort is typically due to factors other than changes in air pressure. Here are some common reasons why your dog’s ears might hurt on a plane:

1. Noise Levels

Aircraft cabins can be quite noisy due to the engines, air conditioning, and the general hum of the plane. While dogs are equipped to hear a wide range of frequencies, prolonged exposure to loud noises can be distressing and even painful for them.

2. Stress and Anxiety

Dogs can become stressed or anxious when in unfamiliar environments, and being on a plane is certainly not something they encounter every day. This stress can manifest physically, potentially leading to ear discomfort and other physical symptoms.

3. Motion Sickness

Just like humans, some dogs can experience motion sickness during flights. Nausea and discomfort may cause them to drool, which can contribute to ear irritation.

4. Air Quality

The air quality on planes can be less than ideal for both humans and dogs. Dry air can irritate the respiratory tract, including the ears, potentially causing discomfort.

To minimize the risk of your dog experiencing ear discomfort while flying, consider the following tips:

Consult Your Vet

Before flying with your dog, consult your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is fit for air travel and to address any specific concerns you may have.

Reduce Stress

Make the surroundings as cozy and familiar as you can for your dog. Bring their favorite toys and a cozy blanket to help them feel more at ease.

Giving them snacks is a good option. However, it is important to know “Can dogs eat saltine crackers” to ensure you’re well-prepared for a comfortable journey for your furry companion.

Choose the Right Carrier

Select a well-ventilated, comfortable carrier for your dog that meets airline regulations.

Cabin vs. Cargo

If your dog is small enough, consider bringing them into the cabin with you instead of stowing them in the cargo hold. This can reduce stress and exposure to loud noises.

Stay Calm

Dogs often pick up on their owners’ emotions. Staying calm and relaxed can help reassure your dog and minimize their stress.


Make sure your dog stays well-hydrated before and during the flight. Dehydration can exacerbate ear discomfort.

Regular Breaks

If you have a layover, give your dog a chance to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and have a drink of water.


So, do dogs ears pop on planes? In general, dogs do not experience the same sensation of ear-popping as humans do due to differences in their ear anatomy.

However, they can still experience discomfort during air travel due to factors like noise, stress, motion sickness, and air quality.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to ensure your dog’s comfort and well-being during a flight.

By consulting your veterinarian, reducing stress, selecting an appropriate carrier, and following the tips provided in this article, you can help make the flying experience as pleasant as possible for your furry friend.

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and body language during the flight and be prepared to comfort and soothe them if they seem distressed. With the right preparation and care, your dog can be a happy and well-traveled companion on your next plane journey.

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