How to Clean Shih Tzu Ears?

When bathing your dogs, it’s hard to miss those dirty ears, after all, there’s really not much to clean on their smaller frame. Aside from the center of their toes and their furs, the ears are one of the most important things to clean.

Furthermore, there are many complications that will arise when the ears are left uncleaned, and what’s worse is that it can get infected with parasites that will lead you to a vet visit which isn’t going to go well with your shih tzu.

Cleaning it will ensure that your dog will prevent any unwanted diseases that will pose problems in the future. For ease and comfort in a shih tzu’s daily life, you need to clean it regularly so they won’t catch any unwanted infections.

In today’s blog, you will get a complete step-by-step guide on how to clean shih tzu ears that will give your dog the cleanest ears out of a bathing session!

Table of Contents

Structure of the shih tzu’s ear

Before going into how to clean shih tzu’s ears, it’s important to learn the structure of the ears and which parts are more prone to germs and bacteria that need cleaning the most. Here are the parts of the ear that will help you clean everything inside a shih tzu’s ear:

  • Temporalis Muscle
  • Vertical Canal
  • Auricular Cartilage
  • Horizontal Canal
  • Tympanic Membrane
  • Middle Ear Cavity
  • Tympanic Bulla
  • Auditory Tube
  • Cochlea
  • Auditory Ossicles

As you can see, the ear of a shih tzu is quite different compared to the human’s, and most of the damages from external sources will go to the vertical canal and the auditory tube, two of the most exposed parts of the dog’s ear.

When cleaning, be sure to focus on these as they are the most accessible. Don’t try to push too much when cleaning as dogs’ ears are extremely sensitive to even the bluntest objects. Make sure to attain care and preparedness when cleaning their ears.

Step on how to clean shih tzu ears

Let’s get the very first thing you need to do before cleaning their ears: Make sure they are steady and calm before delving deeper into their ears. It’s incredibly important to have them relax so as not to accidentally hit the part of the ear that’s hyper-sensitive.

In terms of the materials you’ll be needing, here is a list of equipment you need to clean your shih tzu’s ears:

  • Towel
  • Lightsource (Flashlight or phone)
  • Cleaning solution
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cotton balls

First step: Apply the cleaner to the ears

After you’ve readied your materials, you need to level your dog’s ear so that you can drop a few cleansers inside. The solution should not hurt your dog’s ear since the effects are very similar to water.

The next thing to do is dip the cotton ball in the same solution and wipe the outer layers of the ear. While it’s more important to clean the insides of the dog’s ears, the outer layers to need cleaning in order for the skin not to get irritated.

Second step: Massage your dog’s ears

A slight massage on your dog’s base ears is all your shih tzu needs after having to put some cleanser that might disrupt their senses. A massage will also relax your dog further so as not to make them disgruntled after the following steps ahead.

Massaging the ears will also take off some dirt that can’t be taken off by solution alone, so better make the effort of being a personal masseuse for your shih tzu so they can get a relaxing ear rub while getting all the dirt away from their ears.

Third step: Have your dog shake

If you happen to give your dog a bath, it’s going to be extremely beneficial as they’ll be more likely to shake after adding some solutions and cleansers to their ears. It is integral that they shake to make the remaining germs and dust rub off of their ears.

Furthermore, if you are only cleaning your dog’s ears without giving them a bath, encouraging them to shake is a helpful way to remove the remaining dust that is inside the ears where you can’t normally reach.

Fourth step: Repeat the process

In all honesty, cleaning a dog’s ears is one of the most challenging things that you can do. Because of this, it’s best to repeat the process from the first step down to the third about 4-5 times in order to clean your dog’s ears thoroughly.

Be realistic that your dog won’t like you for meddling their ears, and having to do the slower method is paramount in ensuring that their ears are clean to the brim. It’s no question that this is the best way to do it, and professionals will tell you the same.

Fifth step: Dry the ears

The final step involves cleaning the ears of a shih tzu and drying them. If you have a blowdryer, you can set the heat settings to low to medium and dry them like you dry your own hair.

However, the best method is towel drying because blow-drying is too fast of a process when it comes to a dog’s ears. Remember, you want the solution and cleanser to still be intact since there are remaining germs that will keep your dog from having these irritations.

Ensure that you are towel drying so their fur is still damp. Having a little wetness on their ears will help marinade the cleanser to make the effects much more pronounced for a cleaner and squeakier ear!


Here are the best steps to take when cleaning your shih tzu’s ears. Remember to always proceed with caution as not to hurt your dog in the process of cleaning. There are so many cleansers and tools out there, but the challenge lies in making them stable and stoic the whole process.

Don’t give up and get those ears cleaned so that they’ll be spotless and free from bacteria harming your dog’s health!