How to Clean Shih Tzu Ears; Basic Guide for Dog Owners.

Man cleaning Shih Tzu ears

If you’re a Shih Tzu parent, you know that keeping your pup clean isn’t just a matter of bathing her now and then. Grooming your dog is an integral part of her overall health and well-being. While some aspects of dog grooming are more challenging than others (like trimming those tiny nails), cleaning your Shih Tzu’s ears is relatively easy – as long as you have the right supplies and know what to do. In this article, we’ll teach all you Shih Tzu lovers everything you need to know about how to clean Shih Tzu ears safely and effectively.

Shih Tzus have drop ears, which are characteristic of small breeds. However, since their ears droop down and do not get proper ventilation, debris and water can become trapped in the ear canal over time. The Shih Tzu’s warm ear canal is the perfect place for breeding bacteria and ear mites. Additionally, the hair that grows in their ear Canal combined with wax can cause a disgusting smell.

Shih Tzu park9

Maintaining hygiene is very important for the health of your four-legged friend. As a puppy parent, you must keep your dog clean and well-groomed. Bathing your Shih Tzu regularly is only one aspect of hygiene. Many Shih Tzu owners overlook the need to clean their dogs’ ears when it comes to pet care. Bad hygiene is one of the dogs’ most common causes of ear allergy and infection.

Not to mention, Shih Tzu is more prone to ear problems than other dogs. The ailment causes discomfort and pain; you may observe a dog shaking his head, scratching his ears, or rubbing his head on the carpet.

Do Shih Tzus need their ears cleaned?

All dog breeds need their ears cleaned regularly, and Shih Tzu is no exception. If left unchecked, the build-up of ear wax and debris can lead to painful ear infections.

Fortunately, Shih Tzu’s ear cleaning is a simple process that only requires a few minutes of your time. Start by using a cotton ball to wipe away any visible wax or debris from the outer ear.

Then, using a dog-safe ear cleanser, gently massage the inside of the ear before wiping away any remaining residue.

Finally, give your dog’s ears a once-over with a dry cotton ball to absorb any excess moisture.

These simple steps can help keep your Shih Tzu ears healthy and free of infection.

JasperArt Shih Tzu with a toy

How often should you clean Shih Tzu’s ears?

Shih Tzu’s ear cleaning is integral to grooming and should be done regularly.

If the dog has a lot of hair in their ears or is prone to ear infections, it may need to be cleaned more often. When cleaning the ears, use a gentle cleanser and avoid inserting anything into the dog’s ear canal.

Use cotton balls or pads to clean the outer ear lightly, and cotton tip applicators should remove any wax or debris from the inner ear.

What can I use to clean my dog’s ears at home?

Dogs are naturally inclined to shake their heads and scratch their ears when they feel something is off, but this isn’t always enough to eliminate whatever irritates them.

When you’re ready to begin, start by gently rubbing your Shih Tzu tummy or back to soothe and relax him. After he calms down, you start with the ear cleaning process.

Commercial ear cleaners remove any excess moisture from the ear canal, which is critical because yeast and bacteria love warm and damp environments. If those aren’t cleared out, they can create havoc in your dog’s ears. Unlike other ear cleaners, vinegar(diluted or not) prevents the ear from drying by adding moisture. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria or yeast to multiply.


To effectively clean your dog’s ears, you’ll need to use a solution specifically designed for the task. The most important thing to look for is a safe product for use in dogs’ ears. This means it should be free of alcohol and other harsh chemicals. Once you’ve found a safe solution, use cotton balls and gently wipe away any dirt or debris inside your dog’s ear.

Be careful not to go too deep, as this can cause pain or damage to the ear. If your dog’s floppy ears seem particularly dirty, you may use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn dirt or wax.

Just be careful not to push too hard, and only brush in the direction of the hair growth.

How do I know if my dog has an ear infection?

If your dog is exhibiting any of the signs of an ear infection, it’s important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Some common symptoms include:

  • Excessive scratching or head shaking
  • Redness, swelling, or discharge from the ears
  • A foul odor coming from the ears
  • Pain or sensitivity when touched

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, they likely have an ear infection and will require treatment.

Untreated infections can lead to long-term damage to the ears and even deafness, so it’s important to check with your veterinarian immediately as soon as you notice something is wrong.

Shih Tzu old eyes

What happens if you don’t clean your Shih Tzu ears?

Several things could happen if you don’t clean your Shih Tzu’s ears.

For one, the build-up of wax and debris can cause deafness. Additionally, it provides an ideal environment for bacteria and yeast to grow, leading to an infection or ear mite infestation.

The symptoms of ear mites include shaking the head, scratching at the ears, and holding the head tilted to one side.

In short, keeping your Shih Tzu ears clean and free of debris is essential to prevent serious health problems.

Home remedies for ear infections in Shih Tzus

If your Shih Tzu is scratching their ear or seems to be in pain, it may have an ear infection. Left untreated, it can cause severe discomfort and may lead to permanent damage.

Fortunately, for the DIY home groomer, several home remedies help clear up your dog’s ear.

1- Apple cider vinegar

One simple remedy is to clean your dog’s ears with a solution of warm water and apple cider vinegar. This will help to break down the wax and remove any debris that may be causing the infection. Dip the cotton ball into the ear solution, then rub it into your Shih Tzu ears.

2- Tea tree oil

You can also try using a few drops of tea tree oil in each ear. Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties that can help kill the bacteria causing the infection.

3- Aloe Vera gel

Another natural remedy that can help to clear up an ear infection is aloe Vera gel. Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and helps to soothe the irritated skin in the ear canal. Apply the gel to a cotton ball and massage it around their outer ear regions. You may also put a few drops in their ear canal and give it a rub to soothe them.

4- Hydrogen peroxide

Immune chews

If your dog’s ear infection is caused by a build-up of wax, you may be able to clear it up with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide helps to break down the wax and makes it easier to remove.

According to Jenna Mahan, Director of Claims with Embrace Pet Insurance, hydrogen peroxide should be diluted before use on dogs. “While hydrogen peroxide may cause a burning sensation, it is still an effective cleanser for wounds if plain old saline is unavailable,” she says. She advises diluting hydrogen peroxide with one-part water or one-part saline.

5- Healthy diet

Finally, make sure to feed your doggie a healthy diet of high-quality dog food to help boost their immune system and fight infection.

Anatomy of Shih Tzu ear

Shih Tzu is a confident, loving dog breed that makes a great companion. They’re also known for their distinctive appearance and characteristic long ears. But what exactly is the anatomy of a Shih Tzu’s ear?

The outer part of the ear is called the pinna, and it’s made up of cartilage covered by skin. The pinna helps to collect sound waves and funnel them into the ear canal. The ear canal is a short, narrow passageway that leads to the eardrum. The eardrum is a thin membrane that vibrates when sound waves reach it.

These vibrations are then transmitted through the bones of the middle ear to the inner ear, where they’re converted into nerve impulses sent to the brain.

The inner ear also contains balance organs, which help to control the dog’s sense of balance.

Shih Tzu owners need to keep all of these parts clean and free of wax and debris to prevent infection and hearing loss.

JasperArt Shih Tzu face tongue

Symptoms of ear mites in dogs

Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in the ear canals of animals. In dogs, they are most common in breeds with long, drooping ears, such as Shih Tzus.

They feed on wax and oils secreted by the ear, and they can cause irritation and itching. As a result, dogs may shake their heads or scratch their ears excessively.

They can also cause inflammation and infections of the dog’s ear canal. If you suspect your dog has them, it is important to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment typically involves cleaning the dog’s ears and applying a topical insecticide.


How often should you bathe a Shih Tzu?

One of the most important parts of caring for a Shih Tzu is keeping them clean. However, how often you need to bathe them can vary depending on many factors. For example, if your dog spends a lot of time outside, it may need to be bathed more frequently than one who stays most of the time indoors. In general, however, it is recommended that you bathe your Shih Tzu every two to four weeks. Of course, you may also need to give them more baths if they get especially dirty or develop an odor. When bathing your Shih Tzu, be sure to use a dog-specific shampoo and conditioner to keep their coat healthy and looking its best.

Shih Tzu puppy bone 1

What causes ear infections in Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus are susceptible to ear infections for several reasons:

  • They have long ears that hang down, which prevents air from circulating correctly and traps moisture and debris.
  • They have a lot of hair in their ears. The excess hair blocks airflow and makes it difficult to clean the area.
  • Shih Tzus tend to have a higher percentage of fat in their ear canals than other dogs, which makes them more susceptible to infection.

Why do my Shih Tzu ears stink?

There are few possibilities for Shih Tzu’s smelly ears. One is that the Shih Tzu has an ear infection. Ear infections are common in dogs and can cause various symptoms, including bad breath, redness, and discharge. Another possibility is that the Shih Tzu’s ears are not being adequately cleaned. Shih Tzus have long ear hair that can trap dirt and moisture, leading to an unpleasant smell. Finally, some Shih Tzus have naturally smelly ears. This is not harmful to the dog but can be frustrating for the owner.

In Conclusion

Shih Tzu owners know that regular ear cleaning is important to overall Shih Tzu grooming. Not only is it important to keep their ears free of wax, debris, and infection, but it’s also a good way to check for any early signs of an ear infection.

If your pup exhibits any of the symptoms of an ear infection, take her to the vet immediately for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

You can check for and remove any dirt, wax, or debris at home to prevent infection and keep the ears smelling fresh.

If you have any questions about how to clean your Shih Tzu’s ears or are experiencing problems with your dog’s ears, please check out my other blogs for more grooming tips.

Thanks for reading!

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