Keeping your French Bulldog clean and healthy is essential to being a responsible dog owner. French Bulldogs are known for their larger-than-life bat ears. Not only do they attract attention from passers-by, but they also attract a lot of dirt and germs. So you need to know how to clean them.
But it’s not as simple as quickly wiping the inside of the ear with a damp cloth, which can worsen matters. You need vet-approved ear-cleaning products to clean their ears thoroughly and know how to do it properly. Too little cleaning and you risk ear infections, too much cleaning, and you also risk ear infections. Dog ears are delicate, and you can cause a lot of damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Here in this French Bulldog ear cleaning guide, we take you through why cleaning their ears is essential, how often you should do it, and, more precisely, how to clean them. Let’s take a closer look at all the information you need.
At a Glance: Top Ear cleaning Products
Why Is Cleaning Your French Bulldog’s Ears Important?
French Bulldogs are famous for their bat ears, and learning when and how to clean them is crucial. Dog ears can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially erect ears that constantly expose the ear canal to dirt, debris, and allergens. Over time, this dirt, debris, and wax build-up, causing painful infections. If left unchecked, persistent ear infections and uncleaned ears can lead to permanent ear damage.
When Should You Start Cleaning Your French Bulldog’s Ears?
It would help if you started handling and cleaning your Frenchie’s ears with ear wipes when they are young. However, you should only clean their ears with an ear-cleaning solution if they produce more wax than usual. Handling their ears from an early age makes cleaning them a lot easier when they might need it. Check your dog’s ears every week for signs of infection.
A little bit of light-colored wax is normal and healthy, and it’s important to remember that not all dogs need their ear canal cleaned with a solution. Over-cleaning your Frenchie’s ears can lead to ear infections and overly sensitive skin. So, before you break out the ear cleaning solution, ensure they need cleaning. Familiarize yourself with what a healthy ear looks like. If they are pink, not dirty or inflamed, and odorless, they probably don’t need a thorough cleaning.
How Often Should You Clean Your French Bulldog’s Ears?
If your Frenchie produces more wax than average or is shaking their head more frequently, or you notice a mild odor or a general change in their ears, it’s time to break out the ear solution. You should clean your Frenchie’s ears at least once a month. If the wax is excessively building up between cleaning times, you might need to clean them more frequently. If this is the case, it’s best to seek vet advice just in case an underlying issue needs treatment.
Signs that their ear is infected are inflammation, a yeasty odor, or discomfort. Which means it’s time to visit the vet. Cleaning an infected ear often makes it worse. Ear mites often cause infection, but they usually cannot be seen by the human eye. Regular vet health checks help prevent problems before treatment is required.
You must prepare yourself for this new experience. Do this by getting all the products you need to hand and ready to use. Understand how to do it so that you are confident. Dogs pick up on their owner’s emotions, so they are likely to be scared if you’re nervous. It might seem obvious, but first impressions are important, so it’s crucial to get it right.
Choose A Location
Choosing a quiet and calm location is key to success. For example, if your Frenchie hates bathtime, the worst place to clean their ears is in the bath as they’ll instantly hate it. Choose somewhere your dog feels calm. If you expect your Frenchie to struggle, it’s wise to choose somewhere where you can clean up easily with wipeable floors, such as the kitchen. Ear cleaning is a messy business.
Ask For Help
Once you are confident cleaning your Frenchies ears, you’ll be able to do it on your own. But for the first few times, at least, it’s sensible to ask for a helping hand. If possible, ask someone your Frenchie is familiar with, such as a family member or a close friend. Ask them to sit your Frenchie on their lap or by their side. If your Frenchie is likely to wriggle, ask them to gently and safely restrain them. It means you can get on with the cleaning without focusing on holding them still.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Cleaning your French Bulldogs’ ears is a new experience, and it will likely be a strange feeling for them. It’s essential not to punish them for not complying straight away. Let them get used to the experience and sniff all the products and your hands. Make this new experience positive with lots of positive verbal praise and belly rubs, and reward good and compliant behavior with tasty treats.
Set aside a chunk of time so that you can take this new experience slowly and calmly because it’s important not to rush it. Give your dog time to relax with you and your ear-cleaning assistant. Once they are settled, start by cleaning the outer ears to get them used to you cleaning their ears. If they are happy to continue, clean the inside of one ear. And if they are not phased, continue onto the other ear. If they are not sure or resisting, try again later. Eventually, they’ll become used to it and let you clean their ears in one sitting.
Make A Routine
Cleaning your Frenchie’s ears regularly is essential to their health. Making ear cleaning a part of their regular grooming routine and brushing their teeth and coat is important. The more you clean their ears, the more comfortable they become with it. And eventually, with positive reinforcement and tasty treats, they might enjoy it.
What You Need
You only need a few supplies to clean your Frenchies ears. Firstly you need cotton wool balls, gauze, or doggy-friendly ear wipes. Do not use cotton-tipped swabs (Q-tips) or anything pointy. You risk pushing the dirt further down the canal, causing infection or damaging the inner structure of the ear. It would help if you also had a clean, dry towel and plenty of yummy treats.
You also need an ear-cleaning solution. There are many DIY ear-cleaning solutions listed online. However, it is much safer to use a veterinarian-approved solution. Many homemade ear-cleaning solutions contain harmful chemicals or ingredients that irritate dog skin, and others don’t clean the ear.
How Do You Clean Your French Bulldog’s Ears?
Here is how to clean your French Bulldog’s ears in five easy steps.
Check The Ears
Make sure that your Frenchie is comfortable and relaxed. Look inside the ear and check for redness, excess discharge, and foul odor. If you can see or smell any of these, it’s time to take Fido to the vet. A small amount of light-colored wax is normal and healthy. Take the ear-cleaning wipes and gently wipe around the ear entrance to remove any dirt and wax before cleaning the ear canal.
Apply The Ear Cleaning Solution
Insert the tip of the ear-cleaning solution bottle into your dog’s ear, taking care not to insert it too far. Do not let the bottle touch the ear because this can introduce bacteria. Squeeze the bottle into the ear canal to release the solution. Waiting until you can see the ear canal full is important. Otherwise, you might not have enough for an effective clean.
Massage The Ear
Once the ear canal is full, gently massage the base of the ear for around 30 seconds. This will allow the solution to break down any excess wax and remove dirt and debris. It’s normal to hear a sloshing sound, as this is the solution for breaking down all the wax.
Head Shake & Clean Up
Next is the messy bit, and you need your towel ready. Your Frenchie is likely to shake their head as soon as you stop massaging the ear. If you can, use the towel to catch the excess liquid and gunk that is shaken out. Next, use a wipe to remove excess solution and wax from inside the ear. Do not insert your fingers too far down the canal. The American Kennel Club recommends no further than one knuckle deep.
Reward Your Frenchie
Last and definitely not least, is to reward your Frenchie with tasty treats, a belly rub, and positive praise for being brave. Next, repeat the steps for the other ear.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Easiest Way To Clean French Bulldog Ears?
Making ear cleaning a calm and gentle experience is necessary. It’s also essential to reward them if you want to be successful. Don’t be afraid to use tasty treats to sweeten the deal. Some owners find smearing dog-friendly peanut butter on a surface helps to distract them while you groom them. Take extra care when cleaning the inside of their ear if you resort to this method.
Can I Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean My Dog’s Ears?
No, you should never use hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog’s ears. Some people use this commonly used household product to clean their ears. But dogs’ ears are more sensitive than humans, and it can damage their healthy skin cells.
What Should You Do If Your French Bulldog Won’t Let You Clean Them?
It’s understandable if your Frenchie won’t let you near their ears. It’s a strange experience letting someone shove cleaning equipment down your ear canals. Slow and steady wins the ear-cleaning race. Rewarding them with something they love to create an enjoyable experience is also important. If they put up a real struggle, speak to a professional groomer or a veterinarian who can show you how to overcome it.
Cleaning your French Bulldog’s ears is integral to their grooming routine. Start checking and handling their ears from a young age to desensitize them, making the ear-cleaning process much more manageable. If you notice inflammation, a yeasty or strong odor, or a general discomfort around your dog’s ears, you must see a vet for a thorough ear examination.
Some Frenchies might not need their ear canals thoroughly cleaned, but many do. It’s important to know when they need a thorough clean rather than a general wipe. But by checking them every week, you’ll know what they need and how often. With the five easy steps and the product recommendations, you’ll be a Frenchie ear-cleaning pro in no time.