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How to Clean French Bulldog Ears (8 Simple Steps)

Cleaning your French Bulldog ears should be part of your French Bulldog grooming routine. Just like nails trimming and teeth cleaning, you can safely clean your Frenchie’s ears at home.

If you’ve ever wondered how to clean your French Bulldog ears at home, this guide is for you. You’ll learn step-by-step instructions for cleaning your Frenchie’s ears with just a few supplies.

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Why It Is Important to Clean Your French Bulldog Ears

Ear cleaning is a crucial maintenance step for any dog. Therefore, it is always important to pay special attention to your Frenchie’s ear canals.

If your dog goes too long without an appropriate cleaning, this could easily lead to ear wax build-up while making your dog more susceptible to an ear infection.

Dogs with naturally large ears, such as French Bulldogs, may need to have their ears cleaned regularly, as opposed to dogs with smaller ears.

Veterinarians recommend that dogs with larger ears or ears prone to infection have their ears cleaned at least once a month with a good-quality ear-cleaning solution. And even more frequently if your dog likes to swim.

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How Can You Tell If Your French Bulldog Ears Need to Be Cleaned?

You can tell if your French Bulldog ears need to be cleaned by looking for certain signs such as shaking their head, scratching their ears, or a foul smell.

Additionally, your Frenchie may not respond to your voice as well if their ears are really clogged. To further assess the condition of your Frenchie’s ears, you can take a peek inside by folding their ear back.

Look for redness of the ear skin or brown or yellow wax built up inside the ear and lodged in the folds of the ear cartilage.

While some light yellow or light brown ear wax is normal, dark brown, black, yellow wax, or green ear discharge may indicate an infection that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.

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What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your French Bulldog’s Ears Regularly?

It’s important to regularly clean your French Bulldog ears to prevent a buildup of dirt, wax, or debris that can lead to discomfort and itchiness.

Failing to clean your Frenchie’s ears can also lead to the growth of disease-causing bacteria, yeast infections, or even parasites like ear mites.

Ear mites can be especially problematic because they are difficult to detect and can cause extreme pain and discomfort for your French Bulldog.

If left untreated, ear mites can create a coffee ground ear debris appearance, leaving your Frenchie’s ears red and bleeding.

Other symptoms your Frenchie may experience from neglected ear cleaning include temporary hearing loss from inflammation or excessive ear wax.

It’s important to have your veterinarian diagnose and treat any ear issues to prevent further complications.

Fortunately, regular ear cleaning and veterinary medical treatment can help restore your Frenchie’s hearing and prevent these problems from occurring.

How to Know If Your French Bulldog Has an Ear Infection

If you have missed the signs that your French Bulldog needs an ear cleaning, then an ear infection will soon follow.

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If your French Bulldog ears appear red and inflamed, along with a yeasty/bacterial smell, your Frenchie may suffer from an ear infection.

It is possible to treat ear infections at home, but remember that ear infections are incredibly painful to dogs. Thus, it is necessary that you are particularly gentle, as ear tissue itself is already especially sensitive.

Nevertheless, going to a veterinarian when your Frenchie’s ears are infected is truly the better option, as cleaning an infected ear could worsen the ear tissue.

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What to Look for in a Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions

When looking for an ear-cleaning solution, you may come across a plethora of recommended homemade remedies.

However, it is always best to use a solution that is veterinarian verified. Some homemade solutions might include damaging ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol that can deteriorate your dog’s inner ear.

It is also beneficial to use an ear cleaner that specifically caters to your dog’s needs. Specific ear cleaners have antifungal and antibacterial ingredients that will assist in preventing further ear infections.

Others explicitly only include gentle ingredients: this is ideal if your Frenchie’s ears are sensitive.

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What to Avoid When Cleaning Your French Bulldog Ears

Before we jump into the steps, it is critical that you are aware of a few things that you should not do when it comes to cleaning your French Bulldog ears.


The first thing you should avoid is using Q-tips or any pointed cleaning tools. Using Q-tips on your dog’s ears exacerbates the possibility of you accidentally pushing the dirt further into their ears and irritating their inner ear.


This article stresses the importance of regularly checking and cleaning your French Bulldog ears. However, Frenchies do not need their ears cleaned as often as others might.

Thus, it is important to know when it is necessary to clean your dog’s ears, and when it is not. If you overclean your dog’s ears, this can inflame the ear canal and provoke an infection.

Not Using Enough Cleaning Solution

For the best cleaning experience, you should fill your dog’s ear with an ear solution until it is visible in the ear canal. Doing that allows the solution to break down the ear wax, making it easier to remove.

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How to Clean Your French Bulldog Ears 

Most dogs don’t like to have their ears cleaned, so it’s crucial to ease them into the process.

Before you begin the cleaning itself, it’s important to practice handling your Frenchie’s ears, especially if they are not used to it.

Some dogs might be content to simply sit with you, while others may require some form of restraint.

Now that we have addressed some background information, we can finally get into all the steps that are used to adequately clean your French Bulldog ears from home!

Gather Materials

Before starting the cleaning process, you must gather the materials first. You will need the ear cleaning solution, a towel, a cotton ball, or a gauze pad. 

Positioning Your French Bulldog

Make sure your Frenchie is comfortable and relaxed. You should position your Frenchie between your legs, with its backside facing you.

Exposing the Ear Canal

Once you are in your preferred position, place the towel on the floor (it is best to do this on a flat surface) adjacent to your Frenchie’s ear.

Next, gently take control of one ear, and hold it up vertically until the ear canal is exposed. You might have to maneuver it a couple of times to get it fully straightened out.

Apply the Cleaner to the Ear

When you have a firm grasp on the ear, place the bottle of solution on the other hand. Slowly squeeze the solution into the ear canal until it is completely full. A little may spill out.

It is very important that you do not put the tip of the bottle directly into your Frenchie’s ear. If this happens, immediately disinfect the bottle tip with alcohol to avoid the spread of bacteria and yeast.

Massage the Base of the Ear

Once the solution is placed in your Frenchie’s ear canal, thoroughly massage the base of your dog’s ear using your free hand.

Do this for at least one minute to completely allow the solution to break up the debris. It is common to hear a squelching sound as the cleaning solution swishes around the ear.

Cleaning Out the Debris

Now that the debris/ear wax has loosened grasp your cotton ball (or gauze pad) and wipe away all the remains throughout the ear.

Next, let go of your dog’s ear and allow them to shake its head. This helps remove excess ear cleaner and debris. Lift the ear flap and wipe away the remains again.

When to Stop (Suggestion)

Never try cleaning your French Bulldog’s ear past finger length. Trying to go too deep could cause serious discomfort and possibly pain to your dog.

Though if your Frenchie seems to be in pain throughout the entire process, then you should stop immediately and take them to a vet instead.

Give Your French Bulldog a Treat

It does not hurt to give your French Bulldog a treat after the whole process is over. This gives them something to look forward to, as the entire process could make them anxious and uncomfortable. It could also give them an incentive to stay still, as some dogs can get fidgety.

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Closing Thoughts on How to Clean French Bulldog Ears at Home

The central point of this article is to stress how important it is to clean and check your French Bulldog ears. As mentioned previously, ear tissue is extremely sensitive, so just about anything can result in a harsh ear infection.

Although another essential takeaway from this article was what you should and should not do when it comes to caring for your Frenchie’s ears at home, you should always be gentle and always refer to your local veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions.

Now, if you feel like there was a technique we did not address or a topic we neglected, do not be afraid to let us know in the comments.

Also, it would be great if you would share this article with family and friends so you can help spread the word about the importance of pet ear maintenance!

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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