This may sound a bit strange, but you should make it a habit to give your pet's ears a smell test. And, while you're smelling his ears it's also a good idea to look around inside them. Regular observations like these paired with frequent cleaning with the best dog ear cleaner will ensure Fido's ears stay clean and healthy.
Typically, healthy canine ears won't have a noticeable odor. You also want to look for signs of unhealthy ears like:
- abnormal wax buildup
- lacerations or other open wounds
Grooming your dog is time consuming. You may think that your time is better spent focusing on your pet's skin, coat or dental care. The truth is, all of these tasks are equally important to keep your pet in optimum health. Proper ear care is no less important than any other dog grooming task.
If you're new to dog ear care, you can find out how to clean a dog's ears by watching our helpful video guide here.
I've noticed that dog owners who fail to keep up with regular ear cleanings of their pets, will often see their dogs have excessive wax buildup and ear infections. Remember that it's important to clear your dog's ears regularly. Left untreated for long periods of time, these things could ultimately result in permanent hearing loss for your pooch.
As with all dog grooming products, dog ear cleaners are not all created equally. Some of the cheap pet grooming supplies that you'll find on pet store shelves include harmful (and sometimes toxic) ingredients to dogs. Often, alcohol is found in dog ear cleaning products and it shouldn't be there because it can cause irritation and dry skin.
If you follow our YouTube channel and read Top Dog Tips, you know that we always try to find the best dog supplies that are worth the price and works well with dogs.
So in my efforts to find the best dog ear cleaner, and share those findings with you guys, I’ve gone through many different dog ear cleaning brands. Eventually, I was able to narrow it down to these three best options for the final test video and review.
When you're shopping for the best dog ear cleaner, you can set your personal preferences aside. Unlike other pet supplies, like dog jackets and travel carriers, dog grooming products you buy need to meet certain criteria if you want them to be safe for dogs.
I evaluated the three products in this best dog ear cleaner comparison based on:
- Safe ingredients;
- An effective product;
- Ease of use;
Three dog ear cleaners I'm testing today
You're probably wondering which three dog ear cleaning products I chose. First, I chose 2 ear cleaning solutions. This is the traditional method for cleaning a dog's ears.
Vet Organics and Vet's Best have created safe and effective dog ear cleaning solutions. They have been called some of the best dog ear cleaner products by pet owners of both dogs and cats alike. Not only are they effective, but they're gentle on your dog's ears too.
I also chose ear cleaning wipes from Earthbath. I love Earthbath products, and this one offers the same effective cleaning of debris wax in your dog's ears; plus, there's also the convenience of a wipe that comes with it. They pop out of a container like baby wipes, so you can clean Fido's ears with a few gentle swipes and don't need to buy anything else.
So which of these best dog ear cleaner products is my top selection? Let's see!
MY PREVIOUS TEST: Best Car Seat Cover for Dogs Comparison
Comparing Top 3 Best Dog Ear Cleaner Products
Vet Organics vs. Earthbath vs. Vet's Best
Similarities Between the 3 Best Dog Ear Cleaner Products
Obviously, all three of these products are effective at cleaning the wax and debris out of your dog's ears. I've tried all three of these dog ear cleaners on our dogs multiple times. They help to break up the wax, and I notice wax and debris on the cloth (or Earthbath wipe) every time I wipe out the ear after rinsing with one of these solutions.
I also selected these products because they are all safe and made with natural ingredients. As I mentioned previously, this is a very important feature to look for when shopping for the best dog ear cleaner. The skin inside your pup's ear is very sensitive, and harsh chemicals can irritate the skin or cause a stinging sensation that will be unpleasant for your pet.
All of these products are made in the United States. That means you don't need to worry about the safety of the facilities these products were made in, and you can feel good about helping the economy of our country.
Two of the products that I chose – Vet Organics EcoEars and Vet's Best Ear Wash Relief – are solutions that you will apply directly to the inside of your dog's ears. You just dump a small amount into the ear and massage the base of the ear to work the solution around. This is the most common type of canine ear cleaner that you'll find on the market.
RELATED: How To Groom A Dog At home By Yourself
Differences Between these Best Dog Ear Cleaner Products
I picked these ear cleaning products because they are all safe, effective and affordable. I had to do quite a bit of research before making my selections, and I've been testing the products with my girls over the last 3 months.
As with any commercial product, these best dog ear cleaner products are not without their faults. I chose them because they are some of the best on the market, but there are a few drawbacks to note as well.
Earthbath Ear Wipes for Pets
The most obvious difference you'll notice is that the Earthbath wipes are a completely different type of product. They are basically like a smaller version of a baby wipe, and they're soaked in ear cleaning solution.
Instead of having to dump solution into your pet's ear, you just pull out a wipe, do a few swipes inside the ear, and your dog's good to go. While they are convenient, I thought these wipes were the least effective of the three products.
That's not to say they weren't effective, I just think that the other two solutions penetrated deeper into the ear and broke up more wax and debris.
The Earthbath wipes are biodegradable and very gentle. They are pH balanced to promote overall ear health. They do contain witch hazel, which is a natural astringent and cleaner. While it's perfectly safe, some owners have found that it irritated the inside of their pet's ears.
Along with being much more convenient, Earthbath Ear Wipes can be used on both dogs and cats. That's a HUGE benefit for me, as we have a multi-pet household. Many grooming products are formulated specifically for one type of animal, and I always find it to be a bonus if I can purchase a quality product that's made for both dogs and cats.
You can buy a 25-count container of these dog ear wipes on Amazon for $7.94. That's pretty inexpensive for an eco-friendly, effective and safe product. Not to mention the convenience of the pop-up wipes! Just keep in mind that a traidional ear cleaning solution may be more effective at breaking up wax buildup.
READ THIS: Dog Grooming Schedule – How Often Should You Groom Your Dog?
Vet Organics EcoEars for Dogs
The first traditional ear cleaning formula that I want to talk about is this one from Vet Organics. As you can probably guess by the company name, this best dog ear cleaner is made with 100% natural ingredients.
Not only will this solution help to keep Fido's ears clean, the company also claims that it fights infections due to mites or other parasites, yeast, bacteria or fungal infections. Of course, I couldn't test that claim because my dog's have not had an ear infection. Their website does quote a success rate of 93.7%.
In fact, they are so confident in this product's effectiveness that they offer a 1-year full refund guarantee if you're not satisfied.
The ingredients in this formula include:
- denatured alcohol
- rosemary extract
- distillation of witch hazel
- organic mullein extract
- tea tree oil
- polysorbate 20 (human food grade)
- Ionic silver solution
- boric acid
This solution was very effective at breaking up the gunk inside my dog's ears. I was able to wipe out a whole lot of crud! While it worked great, it has a harsher smell and a more extensive ingredient list than my number one pick. You can read more about that below.
At the time of this review, the ear cleaning formula for dogs is not available on Amazon. However, the formula for cats is. You can purchase an 8-ounce bottle for $21.95 on the company's website, but of course you don't get the delivery or consumer protection of Amazon. I'll be sure to update this review when the product is available on Amazon again.
READ ALSO: Dog Grooming Supplies 101 – The Ultimate Buyers' Guide
Vet's Best Ear Relief Wash – My Personal Favorite
This ear wash is highly praised by reviewers and recommended by many professionals in the dog grooming and veterinary fields. I chose it as my top pick because it is equally as effective as the Vet Organics solution, while being much more affordable. It also only has 6 ingredients.
Unlike the other two products, this is an alcohol-free ear wash. It also does not contain witch hazel. The only ingredients in this product are:
- aloe vera
- tea tree oil
- clove oil
It was formulated by Dr. Dawn Curie Thomas, DMV. The company claims that it will control odor and itching associated with ear infections and soothe raw, red and greasy ears. Again, my dogs did not have ear infections while testing this product, so I can't say whether this claim is true or false.
However, many other pet owners who have reviewed this product say that this ear wash lives up to all its claims.
I enjoy the smell of this best dog ear cleaner, which I cannot say about the Vet Organics solution. The natural oils give it a subtle, earthy smell.
Not only did this product clean my dog's ears effectively, it's also much more affordable than the EcoEars solution. You can purchase a 4-ounce bottle with a convenient nozzle for just $4.99 or pick up the 16-ounce bottle (that I show in my video review) for just $16.98 on Amazon. Based on its effectiveness, safe ingredients and affordable price, Vet's Best Ear Wash Relief is my top pick for the best dog ear cleaner!
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