How Do I Care of My Bulldog Ears Properly?

VET’s Edition for Non-VETs!

Did you know dogs can hear frequencies up to 60,000 hertz? Which in comparison, a human with excellent hearing can only hear up to 20,000 hertz! And while a dog’s hearing is exceptional, it is not the only purpose of the ears.

Edited by Dr. Jo

Bulldogs Ears Care – Why?

Your dog’s ears have 18 different muscles in them, which makes them one of the most expressive parts of their body.

It is therefore really important to care for your Bulldog’s ears.

Are you providing your Bulldog with the right ear-care?

Find out more about Bulldog’s ears types and issues, learn how to cure them properly at home by yourself, and how to cleanse them so they stay forever healthy!

So, why should you protect your Bulldog’s ears?

Reason #1 – Deafness

Common issues that can cause deafness are easily avoidable with a cleaning routine!

Reason #2 – Bulldog dog ears are prone to infection

If you don’t pay attention to them, they will most certainly cause trouble.

Reason #3 – More Sensitive

Bulldog dog ears are more sensitive than average dog ears

Keep your Bulldog free of any type of infection or aggravated issue using our easy-to-follow tips and cleaning routine. Let’s get started!

Bulldog Ear Types

#1 – Rose Bulldog Dog Ears (Most desired)

The rose ear folds inward at its back lower edge, the upper front edge curving over, outward, and backward, showing part of the inside of the ear cartilage, known as the rose.

#2 – Standard Bulldog Dog Ears (Accepted, but not desired at shows)

This type of ear is similar to the rose ear, but does not display the inner part of the ear clearly.

Bulldog’s ears vary in shape greatly while they’re growing. One day they have standard ears and then turn into rose ears.

Unless you intend to show or breed your Bulldog, you shouldn’t worry about what type of ears your Bulldog has, as even if they are different, it will give him personality!

The ears will turn off and down to the side of the head. No ears that stand up, or tulip over like a Lab, the ears must turn down and from the side of the head. A young bulldog’s ears will look different and will not fully mature in looks until around 18 months.  

Hollywood Bulldogs breeder

Bulldog Ear Problems (and HOW to avoid or treat them)

These are some of the issues Bulldog dog ears may present:

#1 – Otitis Externa

Otitis means inflammation of the ear, and external means the outer-most part of the ear canal.

So, this condition essentially just means inflamed ears, which can happen for several reasons.

Firstly, skin allergies, otherwise known as Atopic Dermatitis, can cause an inflamed lining of the ear canal, as it is linked to the skin.

This may lead to a poor barrier to infectious organisms such as bacteria or yeast, and a secondary infection can form, although the inflammation can also be completely sterile.

Another cause of Otitis Externa is a primary ear infection. Again, this is usually bacteria or yeast, but ear mites can also cause Otitis Externa.

Bulldogs are more susceptible to ear infections when they have risen ears in comparison to bat ears, as the environment remains warm and moist from a lack of airflow.

#2 – Chronic Ear Infections

Bacterial ear infections have the potential to become chronic. These are types of ear infections that last for months or even years. The reason for this is antibiotic resistance.

The bacteria responsible for ear infections are becoming increasingly more resistant to antibiotics, and therefore they do not respond to many medicated drops.

Resistance is building due to non-compliance by owners; either stopping the course of the drops before the infection is completely healed, or because the dog is difficult to handle due to sore ears, and getting the full dose in is impossible.

Note: All of them are recognizable by a bad smell coming out of their ears, swelling, irritation, or if you see you Bulldog rubbing or scratching their ears with their paws or against surfaces.

How to avoid these issues?

Both issues, since chronic infection being caused by otitis, can be avoided by proper ear hygiene, anti-allergy medications for dogs when appropriate, and an adequate diet.

Since the pinna part of Bulldog ears are floppy, especially if they do not take on the rose shape, they retain a lot of moisture, which is the main enemy of the dog’s ears in general.

If you make sure your Bulldog’s inner ear is dry by using drying ear cleansers, you can rule out this as a cause.

How Often Should I Clean My Bulldog’s Ears?

If your Bulldog’s ears are healthy, you must not clean them every day. Once every two to four weeks is fine.

It is ok to wipe the underside of the pinna of your Bulldog’s ears with ear wipes once every few days though, as this will keep it fresh and clean.

The exception to this is if his ears have become wet from swimming or bathing.

In these instances, the use of an ear cleanser, which helps dry out the environment of his ear canal, is warranted.

If he’s got an infection, your vet will prescribe an appropriate ear cleanser and medicated drops. These may require daily administration.

“Over-cleaning your dog’s ears can lead to infection and irritation…”

AKC – American Kennel Club

How to Clean Bulldogs Ears: Practical And Easy STEPS!

Cleaning you Bulldog’s ears can be a difficult task since most of them hate their ears being messed with. But following our steps will make it much easier!

Step #1 – Get what you need

Get your ear cleaning solution for Bulldogs, some cotton balls, and ear wipes for Bulldogs. You can also use soft tissues if you don’t have access to wipes.

Step #2 – Place your friend in a safe place!

You want to avoid your Bulldog escaping.

A table works great for some (it must be tall enough for his ears to be accessible), but if your Bulldog is cooperative, you can clean his ears on your lap or on the floor.

Step #3 – Apply the cleaning solution

Every ear cleanser is different, so you should read the instructions before use. Place the nozzle of the solution in the opening of your Bulldog’s ear and give a squeeze.

Flap over the pinna to cover the hole and massage the ear for 10-15 seconds. This helps the solution to work its way down the whole ear canal.

Next, stand back and let your Bulldog shake his head to remove as much as possible. Gently wipe away all the wax is has brought out with some clean cotton balls or ear wipes.

Step #4 – Dry those ears!

Make sure the area stays as dry as possible by patting away excess moisture with cotton balls.

Step #5 – Reward your friend!

Give your Bulldog some love so he learns to associate ear cleaning as a positive experience.

You can use treats for Bulldogs or just some cuddling. He’ll probably never love the experience though!

Pro tips: As we commonly recommend, you need to make this activity as regular as you can for her/him to get used to it. This will make it easier, especially if you start doing it in puppy-months.

Useful Products to Clean My Bulldog’s Ears

Not every ear cleanser or ear wipe out in the market is good quality or effective. Check out our Detailed Reviews for Bulldogs comparing the Best Useful Products in the Market for cleaning your Bulldog’s ears!

Product #1 – Best Ear Wipes for Bulldogs

They must be hypoallergenic, natural, made with soft material. Not every ear wipe complies these conditions.

Product #2 – Best Ear Cleaners for Bulldogs:

They must have natural ingredients. These products are not used on a daily basis.

How to take care of Bulldog

Frequently Asked Questions – Bulldog Ears Infections

Do all Bulldogs suffer from ear issues?

Of course not! They are just susceptible to these issues if you don’t take care of them. In fact, many of them develop these conditions due to improper care.

How much earwax is normal for a healthy Bulldog ear?

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, can be normal, so seeing a small amount is nothing to worry about. If it is not uncomfortable for your Bulldog and does not smell, it is likely to be ok. If you are concerned, ask your vet to check his ears.

What to do if my Bulldog doesn’t stop shaking his head after a bath/swim?

He may have water or something stuck inside the ears. If you think that’s the case, don’t try to remove it at home since you might cause a bigger problem… this is a job for your VET to treat.

I heard of gluing Bulldog ears. What is that?

Some people encourage the ears of Bulldog puppies to become rose-shaped by gluing them in place between 7 and 10 weeks old. This sounds like an inhumane procedure, however, when done by a professional, it causes no harm to the puppy and can result in a more open ear canal, meaning fewer ear infections. It is important to remember not to do this yourself if you haven’t done it before.


Getting your Bulldog to enjoy the cleansing of his ears can be hard work, but it will be rewarding.

After the first few weeks of following our advice, it should become easier and your Bulldog more cooperative.

The required products are easy to source; however, you must always pick quality.

We suggest that you purchase products that are tested and reviewed without any bias, which you should be able to clean your Bulldog’s ears with easily and safely.

These sorts of products, combined with your Bulldog’s favorite treats, will make ear cleaning a breeze!

Editor’s Choice – Cleaning Bulldog’s Ears

Now, are you ready to start using our practical and easy steps?

Dr. Joanna De Klerk

Dr. Jo is a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. She was one of BBC's Young Vets and experienced in telemedicine services, interviews, and public speaking about dogs and cats. Author of Harper Collins' Tales from a Young Vet and Tales from a Wild Vet, and a series of books on different dog breeds. She currently has 2 dogs at home. This article is the result of her experience not only as a Vet but also as a dog Parent.

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