Home Reviews Top 5 Best Dog Ear Infection Treatments (Over the Counter)

Top 5 Best Dog Ear Infection Treatments (Over the Counter)

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A dog's ears have to be in tiptop condition not only for proper hearing and sense but for general coordination.

When they're infected, the dog's overall health declines. Prescription and antibiotic ear treatments aren't always the best option for various reasons. Having the otic best dog ear infection treatment on hand will help you quickly take care of ear infections.

The Best Dog Ear Infection TreatmentDog ear care products and medication don’t need to be complicated or expensive or come only with a veterinarian prescription.

Some of the best ear infection treatment products for otitis externa or related infections from a few well-known brands are easy to use and can be somewhat affordable.

They are also safe for the dog and effective at clearing up the infection quickly.

That said, even with these over-the-counter dog ear infection treatments (particularly those with a high concentration of hydrocortisone), you must discuss them with your veterinarian.

If you use an unsafe treatment or a product that does not treat the condition as it should, it continues to worsen, which could cause permanent hearing loss for your pet.

Please consult your vet about these five best dog ear infection treatment products before using them, and follow the vet's advice for severe cases of ear infections.

What to Know About Ear Infections Before Looking at the Best Dog Ear Infection Treatments

Before you start exploring our suggestions for the best dog ear infection treatments, familiarize yourself with the symptoms of ear infections and other things you should know about them. 

Dog Ear Infection Causes and Risk Factors 

Most of the time, a dog’s ear infection will be because of yeast, bacteria, or a combination of the two. Puppies may also get an infection from ear mites. 

Your dog may have a higher risk of ear infections if it has any of the following: 

  • Allergies
  • Excess moisture
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Wax buildup
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Excessive cleaning
  • Ear canal injuries
  • Foreign bodies in the ear

Dog Ear Infection Symptoms

Sometimes, your dog may not show any signs of an ear infection. Other times, it may have some of the following symptoms: 

  • Discharge or wax buildup in the ear canal
  • Itchiness
  • Head shaking
  • Scratching his ear
  • Odor
  • Swelling or redness of ear canal
  • Scabs or crusting in the ears
  • Pain

Dog Ear Infection Diagnosis

Your dog’s vet will look at your dog’s symptoms and ask you a few questions about its ears and overall health.

You’ll want to tell him about any symptoms and your dog’s diet, medications, allergies, recent activities (including swimming and baths), underlying medical conditions, ear infection history, and recent ear-related activities, such as trimming the hair or cleaning the ears. 

Expect the vet also to give your dog a physical exam.

He’ll look at your dog’s ear with his eyes and with the help of an otoscope to see the eardrum and otoscope.

He’ll also gently palpate the ear to check for pain.

The vet may also examine samples from the ear under the microscope, take x-rays, or take biopsies. 

How to Prevent Dog Ear Infections

The most important step to preventing ear infections is to ensure that your furry friend’s ears are always thoroughly dry after a bath or swim.

Cleaning the ears regularly and properly also helps prevent infections. As with humans, you shouldn’t use cotton swabs to clean your dog’s ears, as this can send debris into the ear canal.

You should also be aware of any allergies that may make your dog more susceptible to ear infections.

A Quick Glance of Our Top 5 Ear Infection Treatment Recommendations

Preview
Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution for Dogs and Cats to...
ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent...
BEXLEY LABS Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment -...
Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner. Natural...
Pet MD Cat and Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes - Advanced...
Brand
Zymox
Zymox
Curaseb
EcoEars
Pet MD
Active Ingredient
Hydrocortisone 1.0%
Hydrocortisone 0.5%
Ketoconazole 0.1%
All-Natural
Salicylic Acid
Price
$$$$
$$$$
$$
$$
$$
Customer Rating
Preview
Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution for Dogs and Cats to...
Brand
Zymox
Active Ingredient
Hydrocortisone 1.0%
Price
$$$$
Customer Rating
Details
Preview
ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent...
Brand
Zymox
Active Ingredient
Hydrocortisone 0.5%
Price
$$$$
Customer Rating
Details
Preview
BEXLEY LABS Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment -...
Brand
Curaseb
Active Ingredient
Ketoconazole 0.1%
Price
$$
Customer Rating
Details
Preview
Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner. Natural...
Brand
EcoEars
Active Ingredient
All-Natural
Price
$$
Customer Rating
Details
Preview
Pet MD Cat and Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes - Advanced...
Brand
Pet MD
Active Ingredient
Salicylic Acid
Price
$$
Customer Rating
Details

* Click on the best ear infection treatment for dogs for more information and prices, or scroll down below for details.

How to Treat Dog Ear Infections

If you're looking for the best dog ear infection treatment, then you already know that your pooch has an infected ear or any of the other common problems, such as dog ear mites or dog ear yeast infection.

After consulting with a vet, if prescription dog ear treatment with antibiotics is not the right option (for example, there are antibiotic-resistant bacteria), using an over-the-counter product can be a great alternative.

Ear infections in dogsOn average, it takes anywhere from 7 to 30 days to treat the most common ear infections in dogs. When cases are very complicated, the treatment can take several months.

The treatment itself is not very complicated, and if your veterinarian has already done the initial review, all you need to do is follow their plan as well as for instructions on the label of the best dog ear infection treatment that you've picked out.

If you choose to do your own research, consult your vet about the treatment product you choose.

You can keep the product on hand for use when needed AFTER you've cleared it with your vet. This is especially beneficial for dog owners whose pet suffers from frequent ear infections.

How to Choose the Best Dog Ear Infection Treatment

Unlike with many other dog supplies, there's a clear choice for over-the-counter best dog ear infection treatment, as you'll quickly find out if you do your own research.

Studies have shown that hydrocortisone is perfect for clearing up infections in dog's ears, and the most popular product with this type of solution is Zymox from Pet King Brands.

Their two best-selling products, the 1% hydrocortisone, and 0.5% solution, are the first two best dog ear infection treatment choices listed below.

The company has recently released their published studies on the effectiveness of hydrocortisone against otitis externa in dogs and related ear infections in dogs. Here they are in PDF:

  • Antimicrobial Activity Assessment of Zymox Otic Solution Against a Broad Range of Microbial Organisms (Atwal, 2003; PDF)
  • Antibiofilm Efficacy of Advanced Formula Zymox Otic Plus with 1% Hydrocortisone (Oson et al. 2012; PDF)
  • Antimicrobial Activity Assessment of Zymox Otic Solution Against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (Atwal et al. 2009; PDF)
  • Antimicrobial Activity Assessment of Zymox Topical Cream Against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (Smitha et al. 2010; PDF)

Granted, these studies were funded by the Pet King Brands themselves.

Still, they're worth looking into as well as considering the fact of their long-standing reputation as the best dog ear infection treatment brand since the late 1990s, according to vets and pet owners.

That said, we've also picked a few alternatives for dog owners who'd like to stay clear of hydrocortisone solution and use something more gentle on their dogs.

It appears that these products aren't as effective for dog ear yeast infection treatment, otitis externa, dog ear mites, or as general otic dog ear treatment, but they did work for some pet owners.

What Is Hydrocortisone and How Does It Work?

We've talked a lot about hydrocortisone and its effectiveness for dog ear infections, but what exactly is it?

Medline has an extensive page on hydrocortisone here, but in short, this is hormone cortisol supplied as a topical medication.

It's used both in humans and animals for treating infections, skin irritations, swelling, itching, and other skin conditions.

It also works well as a dog ear mite treatment and dog ear yeast infection treatment for dogs.

Zymox did not invent hydrocortisone, but they are the most popular hydrocortisone dog ear infection treatment in the USA. They have a proprietary formula that they call Zymox LP3 Enzyme System.

This formulation works specifically as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial solution for different skin conditions in dogs.

Hydrocortisone in Zymox, while it has no antimicrobial properties in itself, reduces inflammation and swelling in the dog's ear.

The proprietary antimicrobial enzyme system then does the rest by destroying the bacteria and clearing up the ear infection.

How to Use Dog Ear Infection Treatments?

The process is quick and simple. It's identical to most of the best dog ear infection treatment products in liquid form (wipes will work differently and self-explanatory). How to use dog ear infection treatmentHere are the quick steps to follow:

  1. Shake the bottle well.
  2. Apply the solution to the uncleared ear.
  3. Generously fill the ear canal (see the photo).
  4. Massage gentle to work it into affected areas.
  5. Remove the excess with a wipe.

The whole procedure doesn't take long, but many dogs will now allow you to drip liquid into their ears that easily.

Some help may be needed to hold the pooch. For a complete picture of how to do this, read this guide from VetMed.

  • For regular dog ear infection cases, do this once a day for 7 days.
  • For chronic dog ear infection cases, do this once a day for 14 days.
  • For any severe ear infections in dogs, consult the vet and follow the vet's advice.

That said, here are the five best dog ear infection treatments and what you should know about them.

Remember to check with your veterinarian before using any of these.

Top 5 Best Dog Ear Infection Treatment Brands
Over-the-counter remedies

1

Enzymatic Ear Solution with 1% HC
by Zymox

Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution for Dogs and Cats to...
4,513 Reviews
Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution for Dogs and Cats to...
  • Ear care for dogs and cats -...
  • Gentle no-sting formula helps...
  • Solution provides a safe,...
  • No pre-cleaning of painful...
  • Patented antimicrobial LP3...

The first best dog ear infection treatment solution is already known to most pet owners as the most effective option out there, with no other brand coming close in comparison.

The Pet King Brands’ Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment is vet-recommended as a great alternative to prescription antibiotic dog ear treatments.

Studies have been shown to work even more effectively against certain types of ear infections in dogs, particularly as a dog ear mite treatment and dog ear yeast treatment.

This formula contains natural enzymes and 1.0% hydrocortisone, and no antibiotics. It treats and prevents otitis externa and other infections due to viruses, yeasts, bacteria, and antibiotic-resistant microbes.

For acute cases, administer this stuff daily for 7 days. For chronic cases, daily treatment for 14 days should do it. Zymox Otic is available in 1.25-oz, 4-oz, and 8-oz sizes.

INGREDIENTS: Hydrocortisone (1.0%), Benzyl Alcohol, Dextrose, Glucose Oxidase, Glycerin, Hydroxy Propyl Cellulose, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme, Potassium Iodide, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water.

The Zymox otic dog ear infection treatment has earned its name among pet owners and veterinarians alike.

Still, it may not be suitable for every case due to how harsh the 1% hydrocortisone solution can be. Nevertheless, dog-ear itching is quite common in dogs that pet owners are in constant search of the perfect and long-lasting solution.

They’ve tried everything their vets prescribed and have even resorted to herbal remedies to no avail.

The most that these remedies do is provide temporary relief for a week; then, the malady recurs again. They heard about Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone, started using it on their dogs, and soon enough, the itching and other ear-related woes disappeared.

best dog ear infection treatmentIt’s with a feeling of awe that dog owners now recount how well this ear medication has worked for their dog and other pets.

That’s understandable, especially that they’ve tried countless drops, pills, and shots before, which all have failed to treat the irritation in their pet’s ear.

With just this best dog ear infection treatment and none of the costly vet bills, their pets’ ears are now pink, healthy, itch-free, and odor-free, and they really can’t be happier for that.

PROS:

  • It contains natural enzymes and 1.0% hydrocortisone
  • No antibiotics
  • Made in the USA
  • Treats and prevents infections due to viruses, yeasts, bacteria, and antibiotic-resistant microbes
CONS:

  • As with any of the best dog ear infection treatment products, there are claims from pet owners who said this did not work to clear up their dog's ear i.ssue
  • Some buyers were not happy that this product contains hydrocortisone.

Dog calming collar reviews from pet owners: “I was hoping this eat drop was everything everyone said it was. Thankfully this drop has been life changing for us. My 1 yr old has had ear infection after ear infection for at least 7 months. Just like.

 

2Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent HC
by Zymox

Sale
ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent...
7,833 Reviews
ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent...
  • Ear care for dogs and cats -...
  • Gentle no-sting formula helps...
  • Solution provides a safe,...
  • No pre-cleaning of painful...
  • Patented antimicrobial LP3...

The second best dog ear infection treatment comes from the same company and brand – Zymox.

The only difference between this choice and the above-mentioned best dog ear infection treatment is the amount of hydrocortisone included.

This option is more gentle and having only 0.5% HC (half of the above-mentioned product).

Dogs’ ears are susceptible and sometimes may not require a strong solution with 1% hydrocortisone while very prone to infections.

Whether there are symptoms of infection or none, it’s a basic hygiene practice to regularly clean a dog’s ears to prevent one from developing, but when it's too late, using the best dog ear infection treatment is the only way to solve dog ear yeast infections, itching, ear mites, and other problems.

INGREDIENTS: Hydrocortisone (0.5%), Benzyl Alcohol, Dextrose, Glucose Oxidase, Glycerin, Hydroxy Propyl Cellulose, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, Lysozyme, Potassium Iodide, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water.

The majority of dog ear cleaners will not solve ear infections in dogs because it's already too late, and a stronger solution is required.

Using these products, the liquid is squirted into the ear or onto the wipes, where you can proceed to clean the dog's ear.

This second-best dog ear infection treatment is alcohol-free and has a neutral pH. It contains 0.5% hydrocortisone – a strong solution to fight off ear infections in dogs. The active ingredient with anti-adhesive properties has been proven to help ward off germs from attaching to the ear canal surface and is particularly an effective dog ear yeast infection treatment, as well as perfect for treating dog ear mites and itching.

It’s available in several sizes, and only small doses are required. The antiseptic formula does not work for everyday cleaning and should only be used as an ear infection treatment for dogs.

Zymox otic dog ear infection treatment works immediately to loosen gunk in the ears, rid of bacteria and infections, so it helps to have a dog towel handy to wipe off any debris coming out of the dog’s ears.

While some pet owners have claimed that it was a bit late for that, the Zymox has actually worked better than antibiotic dog ear treatments prescribed by veterinarians for many pet owners. So owners had noticed headshaking in their dogs first before they discovered this cleanser.

It has a drying and antiseptic quality, which aids in the healing of an infected ear.

PROS:

  • Non-invasive solution
  • No antibiotics
  • 0.5% Hydrocortisone 
  • Made in the USA
  • Most effective but gentler best dog ear infection treatment for puppies or smaller dogs
CONS:

  • As with any of the best dog ear infection treatment products, there are claims from pet owners who said this did not work to clear up their dog's ear i.ssue
  • Some buyers were not happy that this product contains hydrocortisone.

Dog calming collar reviews from pet owners: “I applied the drops once a day and after three days, his ears were normal. I continued to apply for three more days, just to kill off any lingering nasties. That was about a month ago, and so far, so good. No more

 

3Curaseb Ear Infection Treatment
by Bexley Labs

BEXLEY LABS Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment -...
8,875 Reviews
BEXLEY LABS Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment -...
  • Treats Ear Mites, Yeast...
  • Flushes Away and Gently...
  • Perfect for Routine Ear...
  • No Sting Veterinary Formula is...
  • Made in the USA in Federally...

The third best dog ear infection treatment is substantially less popular, mostly due to its solution. This is a new company that will have difficulty establishing itself alongside an effective treatment like Zymox.

The Curaseb ear infection treatment for dogs is formulated as both a cleaner and a remedy for dog ear mites, dog ear yeast infection, and itching.

This is a much gentler, non-toxic solution that effectively cleanses dirty ear canals to keep them healthy and smelling fresh, with the main active ingredient being 0.1% of ketoconazole. While the company advertises itself as a much cheaper alternative to Zymos (which is true), ketoconazole isn't effective for treating serious dog ear infections like hydrocortisone.

Nevertheless, some pet owners looking for a gentler solution have found this third best dog ear infection treatment perfect.

Delving deeper into this dog ear infection treatment review, dog owners and repeat buyers claim that this formula works great on dogs and cats. It's a perfect alternative to a harsher and more expensive option that is Zymox.

Curaseb's best dog ear infection treatment has kept their pets safe from ear problems, especially the elderly and frail ones. It has helped to solve already infected areas, according to further reviews.

They were surprised at the amount of gunk, puss, wax, and filth removed on this solution's first use.

The dirt removed on succeeding applications was noticeably less, which shows how effectively the cleanser works when used regularly.

Dog owners value the wisdom of maintaining ear hygiene in their dogs even long before they notice headshaking, ear-scratching, or other indications that the dog is bothered by something in its ears.

A few drops of Curaseb administered as directed would be more than enough to deal with current ear infections in dogs and use it as a regular dog ear yeast infection treatment or as a dog ear mites treatment.

That said, this solution pales in comparison to Zymox, which was proven to be the most effective treatment thus far, beating out even antibiotic dog ear treatments.

PROS:

  • Non-toxic
  • Made with bioactive enzymes
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Compatible with all other Zymox ear care products
CONS:

  • Only cleanses the ears, does not remedy the infection
  • Some disappointed reviews say that this formula left their dogs' sticky and matted

Dog calming collar reviews from pet owners: “Product works great for my dog's ears. His ear had some much debris and gunk in it. After the first use, i could see a noticeable improvement. After 3 uses, his ear looks really clean now! Would recommend this

 

4EcoEars Dog Ear Infection Formula
by Vet Organics

Sale
Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner. Natural...
8,875 Reviews
Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner. Natural...
  • 💗 #1 MULTI-ACTION DOG EAR...
  • 💗 ALL NATURAL | MADE...
  • 💗 TOP-RATED PRODUCT -...
  • 💗 FAST HELP WITH SMELL,...
  • 💗 100% NO-HASSLE MONEY BACK...

As the fourth best dog ear infection treatment and a good alternative to harsh products like Zymox, this is an all-natural solution for pet owners looking for something gentle and less invasive.

You already know how the constant head shaking, foul smell, and ghastly ear discharge are obvious giveaways of dog ear infection.

Any of these can be an indication of a more serious problem, so it’s unwise to shrug this off as just a minor thing.

Here’s where Vet Organics’ EcoEars Dog Ear Infection Formula can help you treat your dog’s condition before it progresses to a full-blown problem.

Its ingredients include essential oils and herb extracts, such as organic mullein leaf, witch hazel, and rosemary.

It contains no antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, steroids, or synthetic chemicals. EcoEars functions both as an ear cleanser and multi-symptom remedy.

INGREDIENTS: Denatured Grain Alcohol, Organic Mullein Leaf Extract, Witch Hazel Extract, Rosemary Extract, Ionic Silver Solution, Boric Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Tea Tree Oil, Polysorbate 20 (food grade).

This organic best dog ear infection treatment formula does not only relieve symptoms of dog ear problems – it heals.

Tea tree oil extract within the remedy has many proven benefits for dogs. Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Infection Formula has an advantage over prescription drugs because, unlike the latter, it is potent even on drug-resistant microbes.

Pet owners expressed how relieved they are that they need not worry about the adverse effects of antibiotics and steroids, especially for long-term treatment with this best dog ear infection treatment.

best dog ear infection treatmentThis solution is so easy to apply and is doable by pet owners in their own homes.

There won’t be any need for frequent visits to the vet clinic.

To many grateful buyers and pet owners, this has put an end to their seemingly endless quest for answers to nasty smell, itchiness and irritation, excessive gunk buildup, inflammation, and a myriad of other ear problems.

And since it addresses multiple issues, it easily makes it their go-to dog ear maintenance and treatment formula.

PROS:

  • Works in as little as 2-3 days
  • Contains no antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, steroids, or synthetic chemicals
  • Functions both as an ear cleanser and multi-symptom remedy
CONS:

  • There are a few reviews from pet owners who say this best dog ear infection treatment irritated their pup's ears.
  • Some reviews note that this solution has a strong smell that the pet owner did not like

Dog calming collar reviews from pet owners: “This is the first time I have ever felt compelled to write a review on a product. It is not that I have never been satisfied. It is just that this journey we have been on for an answer for a ceaseless ear.

 

5Ear Wipes for Dogs – Otic Cleanser
by Pet MD

Pet MD Cat and Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes - Advanced...
2,961 Reviews
Pet MD Cat and Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes - Advanced...
  • Advanced Veterinary Formula To...
  • Cucumber Melon Scent: Reduces...
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  • Convenient Ear Wipes: Each...
  • Made In The USA In Federally...

The last mention on the best dog ear infection treatment list is another completely different solution, with the active ingredient being Salicylic Acid (0.2%) and wipes, instead of a liquid solution.

After four ear care drops in a row, a dog ear wipe product finally makes it to our list.

This best dog ear infection treatment from Pet MD is made in the USA by MD Pet and is recommended as a cleanser, deodorizer, and general preventative for ear infections and wax buildup in dogs at least 12 weeks old.

A jar of Pet MD Ear Wipes contains 100 pieces of disposable wipes.

These wipes are alcohol-free and not medicated. The cleansing, deodorizing, and healing effects of these wipes come from aloe vera and eucalyptus oil.

INGREDIENTS: Purified Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Polysorbate 20, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Red 33, Blue 1.

Not all dogs tolerate too well liquid medicines being flushed into their ears, so a lot of dog owners were thrilled to find this last best dog ear infection treatment in the form of pet ear wipes with salicylic acid.

Pet MD Ear Wipes for Dogs – Otic Cleanser for Dogs cleans dog ears of any debris and helps dogs have dry and nice-smelling ears.

Owners of water-loving dogs say that this is convenient to bring along when they’re going for a swim because it easily wipes off ears clean and dry.

best dog ear infection treatmentAccording to the ear infection treatment review, it appears that pet owners also learned that when their dog starts scratching its ear or shaking its head, they immediately put these herb-smelling wipes into action.

Thorough cleaning with the Pet MD wipes for 4 or 5 successive days effectively stops the infection from developing into full-scale episodes.

If anything they wish improved, it would be the size they would have preferred to be bigger.

Otherwise, it’s a helpful little product as it is, and they’d surely rebuy it.

PROS:

  • Made in the USA
  • It contains 100 disposable wipes
  • Alcohol-free and not medicated
CONS:

  • Only for puppies over 12 weeks of age
  • There are reviews that state that these wipes are over-saturated with solution and very strong smelling.

Dog calming collar reviews from pet owners: “Great stuff for cleaning my labs ears. Good price. Arrived promptly. I will buy this product again..

Top 5 Best Dog Ear Infection Treatments (Over the Counter)


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