Most dogs are prone to ear infections and other ear ailments, and dry ears are among the most common ear health problems vets see. The dark, moist environment of a dog's ears is an excellent place for skin problems to develop. Dry ears can be caused by a number of conditions and lifestyle issues, so it's important to rule out the most common health factors that can contribute to dry ears in dogs.
Take your dog to the vet for a checkup. Veterinarian Dennis W. Thomas points out that ear mites, bacterial infections and systemic infections can cause scaly spots on the ears, so it's important to rule out major medical conditions before proceeding with home treatment. Your vet will visually inspect your dog's ears, ask about diet, allergies and lifestyle, and will take a culture of your dog's ears.
The dark and moist environment in the ears of a dog can cause yeast infections, which lead to itchy, dry ears. Most pet stores sell over-the-counter antifungal shampoos. Wash your dog three times over the course of a week with that shampoo to eliminate any fungal overgrowth. Veterinarian and author Dr. Randy Pitcairn recommends supplementing your dog's diet with plain vanilla yogurt. Yogurt helps your dog to build up resistance to fungi that can cause scaly ear patches.
Supplement your dog's diet with fish oil capsules. Give one capsule with each meal. Some dogs simply tend to have dry, flaky skin, and skin problems tend to be the worst around the ears. Fish oil helps to lubricate your dog's skin and prevent scaly patches. Fish oil also has other benefits that can help keep your dog healthy.
Eliminate pork and corn from your dog's diet. Scaly patches on the ears can often be caused by an allergic reaction, and pork and corn are among the most common culprits. Check the ingredients on your dog's food and aim for foods without those potential allergens.
Change your dog's flea treatment. Your dog may have fleas, which can cause scratching that leads to dry skin and hot spots on the ears. If your dog is not currently on a flea treatment, ask your vet to recommend another brand. If your dog is on a flea treatment, it may not be working. Alternatively, your dog could be allergic to the ingredients. In either case, if your dog's ears are getting dry and your dog has fleas, it's time to re-examine your dog's flea treatment regimen.