Shih Tzus, with their flowing locks and endearing eyes, are the epitome of canine charm. However, beneath those luxurious coats lie responsibilities, particularly when it comes to their ears. Shih Tzu ear cleaning is not just a grooming ritual; it’s a crucial aspect of their health care. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore effective ear cleaning tips that ensure your furry friend stays happy, healthy, and infection-free.

Understanding Shih Tzu Ear Health

Shih Tzus are predisposed to ear issues owing to their ear structure and hair growth. Their floppy ears create a dark, warm environment – an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Regular cleaning and inspection are paramount in preventing infections and ensuring their well-being.

The Importance of Regular Ear Cleaning

Frequent ear cleaning prevents the accumulation of wax, debris, and the growth of microorganisms. It also offers an opportunity to check for any signs of infection, irritation, or parasites, enabling early detection and treatment.

Preparing for Ear Cleaning

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Before you start, ensure you have the right tools. You’ll need a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner, cotton balls or pads (never use Q-tips as they can damage the ear canal), and treats to reward your pup for their patience.

Creating a Calm Environment

Choose a quiet, comfortable space for ear cleaning. Your Shih Tzu should be relaxed. If they seem nervous, spend some time cuddling or playing to ease their anxiety before you begin.

The Ear Cleaning Process

Inspecting the Ears

Start by examining your Shih Tzu’s ears for any redness, discharge, bad odor, or swelling. These could be signs of an infection and warrant a visit to the vet.

Applying the Ear Cleaner

Gently lift your dog’s ear flap and fill the ear canal with the cleaning solution. Be careful not to insert the bottle tip into the ear canal. Massage the base of the ear for about 20-30 seconds to help the cleaner dissolve wax and debris.

Wiping Away the Debris

After massaging, let your dog shake their head. Then, using a cotton ball or pad, gently wipe away loosened wax and debris. Never insert anything deep into the ear canal.

Aftercare and Monitoring

After cleaning, offer your Shih Tzu a treat and praise. Monitor their ears for any signs of irritation or infection post-cleaning, especially if it’s their first time undergoing such a procedure.

Dealing with Ear Infections

If you suspect your Shih Tzu has an ear infection, it’s critical to consult a vet. Symptoms include excessive scratching, head shaking, foul odor, and discharge. Early treatment can prevent more severe complications.

Preventative Measures

Prevention is always better than cure. Regular cleaning, coupled with keeping the ears dry and trimming the hair around the ears, can significantly reduce the risk of infections.

When to Seek Professional Help

While regular home cleaning is beneficial, there are times when professional help is needed. If you notice any signs of infection or if your Shih Tzu exhibits pain during ear cleaning, it’s time to visit the vet.

Looking for more ways to care for your beloved Shih Tzu? Check out our articles on ear cleaning for Shih Tzus, feeding tips for Shih Tzus, nail trimming for Shih Tzus, and health checkups for Shih Tzus to ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy!


Shih Tzu ear cleaning might seem daunting at first, but with patience and practice, it becomes a routine part of your grooming activities. Remember, the goal is to keep your furry friend comfortable, healthy, and happy. By following these tips and maintaining regular ear care, you can prevent potential health issues and enjoy the company of your Shih Tzu for years to come.

Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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