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Can Dogs Get Their Ears Pierced: (What You MUST Know)

Dressing up our dogs in adorable outfits or sporting fancy collars can be a fun way to showcase their style.

But what about pushing that fashion envelope even further, like with ear piercings?

Can dogs get their ears pierced? is it allowed?

It’s a surprisingly common question with a super important answer. Let’s get started!

can dog get ear pierce

Can Dogs Get Their Ears Pierced?

It’s an easy answer: NO!

When it comes to dogs, piercing their ears is not only unnecessary but is widely considered a form of animal cruelty.

Let’s run through three important reasons as to why dogs should not be getting their ears pierced.

It’s painful & they don’t understand why it’s happening

Although we understand why we want to get a piercing, a dog has absolutely no idea what it means!

This means they’ll be experiencing all the pain and confusion of the process without understand why it’s happening.

This lack of understanding combined with the physical discomfort can lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety for any dog.

It will affect their hearing and natural doggy senses!

The piercing process and the presence of foreign objects in their ears disrupts a dog’s natural state.

Dogs rely heavily on their senses, including their ears, not only for hearing but also for expressing emotions and maintaining balance.

Introducing something unnatural and unnecessary like a piercing can and will interfere with their hearing and essential doggy behavior, which is not fair or kind to them.

Animal ethics aside, it’s actually illegal in some locations

Lastly, it’s worth noting that this topic is not just about personal choices and animal ethics.

In many places, piercing a dog’s ears is considered illegal.

While the specifics of the law may vary depending on where you live, the overarching message is clear: ear piercing is not an appropriate or acceptable way to adorn our furry friends.

In conclusion, the small chance an earring would have of looking “cool” is completely outweighed by all the negatives. It’s not even close.

can dogs get ear piercings

Effects of Getting Their Ears Pierced

Piercing a dog’s ears can lead to numerous negative health and well-being consequences. Let’s run through them below.


Firstly, it’s a painful process. Unlike humans who choose to have their ears pierced and understand the temporary discomfort, dogs cannot consent or comprehend why they are experiencing pain.

Risk of infections

Secondly, the risk of infection is high. Dogs are active and curious creatures who love to roll, romp, and explore. These activities can lead to the piercing getting dirty, which can easily result in painful and dangerous infections.

Allergic reactions

Moreover, allergic reactions to the earrings’ material could occur, leading to additional discomfort and possible long-term damage. The constant irritation might also cause behavioral changes in your pup, including stress and anxiety.


Getting their ears pierced would be a highly traumatic experience for any dog. They will not understand what’s going on, why its happening, combined with a lot of pain surrounded by people they do not know. It’s a recipe for trauma and could have long standing behavioral and mental affects on the dog.

vet checking dog ear

Is It Illegal to Pierce a Dog’s Ears?

Legalities surrounding piercing a dog’s ears vary from country to country, and even state to state within the United States.

However, many jurisdictions consider it animal cruelty, punishable by law.

It’s essential to note that organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) strongly discourage any form of cosmetic alteration in animals that’s not medically necessary.

It’s only a matter of time before this is considered illegal everywhere.

Other Ear Procedures To Avoid

Piercing is just one of the harmful practices imposed on dogs. There are other procedures that negatively affect a dog’s well-being and overall lifestyle.

The practice of ear cropping

Ear cropping involves cutting a portion, or sometimes all, of a dog’s ears and fixing the remainder to stand erect, contrary to their natural drooping position.

This is the reason you occasionally observe a dog with upright ears.

The issue with this technique is it alters the natural form of a dog’s ears. Picture your own ears being taped or twisted indefinitely!

Such procedures can lead to complications like auditory impairment and infections.

The practice of tail docking

Similarly, tail docking involves cutting a segment of a dog’s tail, often using surgical tools. Again, this is an unwarranted modification of a dog’s natural physical attribute.

Docking could affect dogs emotionally. As we’re all aware, dogs express their happiness by wagging their tails, but it could be challenging for them to communicate their emotions or engage without it.

Furthermore, docking can lead to the development of nerve tumors, which could result in your dog becoming irritable or aggressive.

Keep Your Dog Stylish Without Ear Piercing

There are many fun, safe, and cruelty-free ways to let your dog’s personality shine.

Here’s a few better options to try compared to ear piercing:

  1. Stylish Collars and Leashes: Available in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials, a unique collar or leash can make a big style statement.
  2. Bandanas and Bows: Easily attached to a collar, bandanas or bows can be swapped out to match the season, occasion, or your dog’s mood.
  3. Doggy Clothing: Dog sweaters, shirts, and dresses are not just for small dogs or for special occasions. Many dogs enjoy the extra attention they get when wearing clothing, and it can be a fun way to express their personality.
  4. Haircuts and Grooming: A unique haircut can really make your dog stand out. Just make sure any grooming or trimming is done by a professional to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety.
  5. Harnesses: Harnesses, like collars, come in a variety of styles and colors. Plus, they can be more comfortable and safer for some dogs, making them both a practical and stylish choice.
  6. Doggy Backpacks: For the working breed or any dog that loves a job, a doggy backpack can be a fun and functional accessory. They’re perfect for hikes and long walks, as your dog can carry their own supplies.
  7. Dog Boots: These can be both fashionable and functional, protecting your dog’s paws from hot pavement or rough terrain while adding a dash of style.
  8. Custom ID Tags: These can be engraved with your dog’s name and your contact information, and are available in all sorts of shapes, colors, and styles.

Remember, it’s important to always prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety over fashion. Not all dogs enjoy wearing clothing or accessories, so it’s vital to pay attention to their behavior and respect their preferences. After all, each dog is unique, and that’s what truly makes them special!

Last thoughts

Ultimately, dog’s shouldn’t be getting their ears pierced. Piercings are best reserved for us humans, that actually know what’s going on and what It means.

Our dog’s can’t consent to having an ear piercing like we can. And if it was to happen, they would be experiencing extreme pain without understanding why. This is not acceptable.

In many places, piercing a dog’s ear is illegal, as it should be. One day it will be illegal everywhere. But until that happens we have to act responsibly and use basic common sense.

Thanks for reading!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.