How to clean French Bulldog’s ears. Tips and tricks.

How to clean French Bulldog’s ears. Tips and tricks.

How to clean French Bulldog’s ears.

In this post we’re going to look at how to clean French Bulldog’s ears. A certain level of apprehension is understandable when it comes to the thought of cleaning your Frenchie’s ears. First of all, you expect they won’t like it and on top of that, ear drums are an extremely sensitive organ and the last thing you want to do is cause any damage or pain.

We’ll be taking a gentle approach and walking you through it with pictures and videos. We’ll also look at how often should you clean your French Bulldog’ ears and how to make it comfortable for your dog. So let’s dive in…


How to clean French Bulldog’s ears and why?

Unlike most other dogs, Frenchie ears don’t possess the ability to self clean and unfortunately, they’re just the right shape to catch pollen, dirt, debris and dust. Over time this accumulation of unwanted grease and dirt can quickly build and lead to painful infection. Frenchies also tend to have a narrower than usual ear canal which can make them more susceptible to ear problems so for these reasons, it’s important we look after our French Bulldog’s ear health.

How often to clean French Bulldog’s ears?

How often you need to clean your French Bulldog’s ears really depends. If your dog’s are out a lot at the beach, in the woods etc and like to get dirty then you might want to clean them every 4-5 days. If not then you might be ok with twice a month. Our French Bulldogs love the beach and they go there about once a week. We tend to clean their ears about 3-4 times per month. After a few cleans you’ll get to see how often it’s needed.

How to spot potential problems with French Bulldog’s ears.

Before you’ve even looked in your dog’s ears, they might already be giving you clues that something isn’t quite right. Is your Frenchie always shaking their head or scratching at their ears more than normal? Maybe even to the point where the skin is turning red and inflamed. These things could signal that there’s something up with their ears. So, let’s take a closer look.

Inner ear diagnosis.

Take a look inside your Frenchie’s ears and see if you can spot anything obvious. If you suspect something make sure to be gentle, they could be in a lot of pain and very sensitive around the ear area. The ears might be very obviously dirty, swollen and/or red inside. They could be smelly which might indicate a yeast infection. If your dog pulls back strongly when you try to take a look then this may also indicate that they’re suffering. Take a look at the image below for an example of an infected dogs ear.

clean french bulldog ears
An inner ear infection in need of treatment.

























The image above shows an infection of the inner ear, hopefully this isn’t the kind of thing you’re presented with when you look inside your Frenchie’s ear. Prevention is better than cure so what we’re looking to do is regular ear maintenance to prevent this kind of situation from arising. If this kind of thing is what you see on your inspection then it’s best to make an appointment with your vet to find the best course of treatment and of course, a proper diagnosis. If the inside of your dog’s ear is a little dirty but shows no signs of swelling, redness, discharge etc, we’re good to go ahead and clean.

Prevention is better than cure.

I know, I just said this but I’d really like to emphasise that this post is about how we prevent your dog’s ears from becoming like the picture above. This isn’t a post on how to treat infection, we’re here to look at how to stop it from ever getting to that stage.

How to clean French Bulldog’s ears.

The tools of the trade!

Ok so, the tools of the trade sounds a bit severe but there are some basic but essential things you’ll need to have at hand before you start. These are listed below:

1: Treats!

Your dog likely won’t enjoy you poking about their ears, especially if it’s the first time. We want to make this a positive experience so having treats on hand is a sure fire way to do this. Reward them in stages throughout the process.

2: Towels.

It’s a messy business. Make sure to have a couple of towels on hand and find a location that’s easy to wipe down. We do our dog’s ears in the bathroom.

3: Ear cleaning solution.

This is the antibacterial solution that will go into your dogs ears and kill off the nasties. What you use is up to you and there are plenty to choose from on the market. We like to use natural products and so opted for this one (UK link) (Similar product US here.) So far so good for us, it works fine and doesn’t cause Kikka (our Frenchie) any problems.

4: Cotton balls/cotton buds/Q tips

Get yourself a bag of cotton balls and/or some cotton buds/q tips. Do not use the cotton buds inside the ear canal as you can easily cause damage to the ear drum. Use them only for the creases and folds on the external parts of the inner ear where you can easily see and access.

5: Tissue paper

Basic toilet roll or tissue paper for cleaning out the ears.

Running around in the fields is great fun but can lead to pollen getting inside your Frenchie’s ears in summer. Photo by Merili Mgi from Pexels








How often do I need to clean my French Bulldog’s ears?

So there’s no hard and fast rule for this. Maybe you have an apartment dog who keeps very clean, maybe you have a dog who likes to roll about in the sand on the beach. The best thing is to check regularly and make the call. We check our’s about once a week and they only need cleaned around once every 3-4 weeks but many people find they need to do it more often.


How to clean French Bulldog’s ears.

The process.

So we have our pooch, we have our supplies. Let’s get into it!

First things first, even if your dog doesn’t have any kind of ear infection, the chances are that you squirting solution into their ear is not going to be their new favourite thing. For the first attempt I’d recommend a very basic clean just to get them used to the process. You can always go back a few days later and clean again. For us this is a two person job. For sure you can probably do this on your own but if you have an extra pair of hands, use them.

Step 1:

Take your dog to your designated place (we use the bathroom and it will soon become obvious why) and settle them down on top of a towel. Have another towel on hand and all of your products. Keep all of your cotton balls and tissue paper on a tray or something clean, don’t put them on the floor as we don’t want to be introducing more dust and debris into the dog’s ears.

Step 2:

Take a look inside both ears. One may be more dirty than the other as tends to be the case with us. They might be a little smelly and you might see some build up of grime. Next up you have two choices, you can either soak some of your cotton wool in the cleaning solution and then squeeze it into the ear or, you can gently squeeze a little solution into the ear directly. Do not force the bottle into the ear, just squeeze a little on to the opening and it will run down. Your dog will try to shake their head at this point but it’s important to hold the head firm and then give a gentle massage to the are where the jaw meets the ear. This massage will allow the solution to loosen up any wax and dirt and do it’s job. Massage the area for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Step 3:

Stand back! Your dog will shake their head and all the dirty, waxy solution will go everywhere! This is what the towels are for. Let them do their thing.

Although Frenchie ears can look cute, they can be prone to infection. Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay

Step 4:

Clean. Use the cotton balls and/or tissue paper to clean inside your dog’s ear where you can see. Be gentle and try to get into all the little creases. You can twist the toilet roll or wrap around your little finger. Try to clean in an outward motion and keep changing the tissue paper as soon as it picks up any dirt. For any intricate parts you can use the buds/tips but be very careful and don’t go inside the ear with them. Take your time and clean until the ears look clean and the tissue paper is coming out without any residue.

Step 5:

Reward. At this point it’s a good idea to give the dog a treat for their tolerance and good behaviour. If it’s their first time then you might need to give a treat after step 3.

Step 6:

Repeat. Go through the process again on the other side. Remember, if the whole thing is proving to be stressful for your dog and difficult, you can always give a very brief clean and then try again in a few days. Just to get the solution in and remove some of the dirt is better than not removing any. In time, they will become used to this just like anything else and the process will become easier. It just takes a little practice and confidence.Learning how to clean French Bulldog’s ears is definitely something that takes time.

How to clean French Bulldog’s ears.

Other info & links.

That’s it. It might not be easy the first time but patience and you will get there and your dog will learn to trust you after several cleans. If you are still unsure and feel like you’d need some video guidance then I’d recommend this video from My Pawsome Frenchie below. He goes through all the steps and you can see what’s involved and even follow the video if need be.

How to clean French Bulldog’s ears.

Why clean your French Bulldog’s ears & Conclusion.

Cleaning French Bulldog ears might seem like a bit of a hassle but it’s just one of these things that needs to be done. You likely won’t enjoy it, your Frenchie won’t enjoy it but they may learn to tolerate it. It’s also far better than having to treat ear infections which can often lead to more serious problems. We’ve had to deal with several vet visits due to recurring yeast infections in one of our Frenchie’s ears. The infections cause a great deal of pain for the dog which makes cleaning 10 times more difficult and stressful for all involved. Prevention is always better than cure.


As with any health issue when it comes to your dog, it’s always best to seek professional advice from your vet if you’re unsure.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and please feel free to check out any other relevant posts linked below:

French Bulldog health issues. (Common things to look out for.)

How to trim dog nails that are overgrown and why it’s important.

Why is my dog’s nose dry? Our crusty dog nose home remedy.


Header image credits: Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

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