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Top 5 Best Ear Cleaners for Dogs

Most effective solutions to keep your dog's ears clean on a daily basis.

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Cleaning your dog's ears is a very important part of regular dog grooming. A lot of owners overlook using dog ear cleaning treatments, but this quick task may save you money on vet bills over time. If you pick an effective, best ear cleaner for dogs, it may prevent excessive wax build up and decrease the likelihood that your dog will suffer an ear infection.

Let's briefly discuss cleaning dogs' ears:

Top Best Ear Cleaners for DogsWhen you're cleaning ears of your dog, you mustn't only focus on the inside of the ear flap. This is your chance to inspect dog's ear flap, check for any growths or lesions, and even smell the ear. A stinky ear can be a sign of an infection or other problems.

Not all dog ear care treatments are effective, but the best ear cleaner for dogs will ideally break up waxy build up and remove any debris inside the dog's ear. Pet ear cleaners must not only be effective, but also safe to use on dogs. Some common dog ear cleaning products contain chemicals, alcohol and other harmful ingredients which may irritate your dog's inner ear and cause complications.

Below we'll discuss more on how to pick the best ear cleaner for dogs and what type of dog ear care treatment may fit your pet's situation. We've researched and will cover the five options for pet owners looking for an effective and safe product, which are:

Ear Cleaner for DogsPriceQualityRating
Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone$$A-4.8/5
Zymox Ear Cleanser with Bio-Active Enzymes$A4.5/5
EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner and Dog Ear Infection $A+4.5/5
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner$B4.7/5
Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes$C4.5/5

* Click on the best ear cleaner for dogs brand for more information and prices, or scroll below for more details.

How to pick best dog ear care treatmentChoosing the best dog ear care treatment

Ideally, you want to look for dog ear cleaners made with natural, soothing ingredients. But note that some natural treatments are simply not effective. You should also pick a dog ear cleaner that doubles as infection remedy. If you catch an infection early, one of these types of pet ear cleaners may clear up the issue and save you a trip to the vet.

New to cleaning dog ears? We've created a detailed guide and step-by-step video How To Clean Dog Ears 101 that shows you how to clean your dog's ears using these dog ear care treatments, and mentioned which supplies you'll need. It also discusses how often you'll need to perform this grooming task and signs of dog ear infections.

“Treatment for canine ear infections depends on the underlying cause of the infection as well as the specific type of infection involved. Ear cleaners or topical medications, such as ear drops or lotion, are common in soothing canine ear infections.” – Dr. Alison Diesel, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences [full article]

The most common type of dog ear cleaner is a liquid solution that you dump into the ear, massage gently for a few moments, and then wipe out. These are typically the most effective dog ear cleaners which majority of dog groomers and veterinarians use; they can work deep down into all the nooks and crannies of your dog's ears.

You can also find dog ear cleaning wipes – these may not be as effective as liquid solution, but are much more convenient to use. Dog ear cleaning wipes are made with gentle materials, so as not to scratch the ear or irritate your dog's delicate skin.

It's important to remember:

If your dog has an ear infection, it's best to seek veterinary care instead of trying to treat it yourself with an over-the-counter remedy. When left untreated for too long, dog ear infections could worsen and cause permanent hearing loss, more serious infections or permanent damage to your dog's ear.

TOP 5: Best Ear Cleaner for Dogs
Most effective dog ear care treatment options

What are the Best Ear Cleaner for Dogs?

1Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone

Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with HydrocortisoneEar infections, whether acute or chronic, are quite common among dogs. Infections can be caused by bacteria, virus or fungus. When the cause is not readily identifiable, the infection can be pretty tricky to treat. This Zymox pet ear treatment contains three natural anti-microbial enzymes – namely, lysosome, lactoferin, and lactoperoxidase.

This product also contains 1% hydrocortisone to address itching, which commonly presents with infections. It comes in a 4-ounce bottle but is also available in 1.25 and 8 ounces. When applied once a day for 7 days in an acute infection and 14 days for chronic cases, improvement is usually observed 2 or 3 days after the treatment.

Pet owners are happy that they need not worry about their dog developing antibiotic-resistance because this product contains no antibiotics. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone is not a drug-based treatment, so it will not disrupt the vital body systems of your pets. Dog owners have long used and trusted this product for the treatment of common cases of external ear infection, or otitis extrema (swimmers ear), in their dogs. It’s known to have worked on ear mites and other ear woes common to pets too.

best ear cleaner for dogsZymox has been regarded by pet owners as the first line of defense when it comes to inflammation in their pet’s outer ear. One buyer claims that the hydrocortisone in this best ear cleaner for dogs worsened her pet's cataracts and renal problems. There are also reviews from owners who say that this formula did not clear up their pet's ear infection.

PROSCONS
  • Contains three natural anti-microbial enzymes
  • Contains 1% hydrocortisone to address itching
  • Available in 1.25-, 4- and 8-ounce bottles
  • Pet owners are happy that this product is antibiotic-free
  • One buyer claims that the hydrocortisone in this best ear cleaner for dogs worsened her pet's cataracts and renal problems
  • There are multiple reviews from owners who say that this formula did not clear up their pet's ear infection

best ear cleaner for dogsMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “To get straight to the point, this stuff is amazing. If you think your animal has an ear infection such as yeast or fungus you…”

 

2Zymox Ear Cleanser with Bio-Active Enzymes

Zymox Ear Cleanser with Bio-Active EnzymesSince dog ears are prone to irritation and infection, regular ear cleaning must be a part of any dog’s grooming regimen. An ear cleaner that’s mild, non-toxic and one that works is what your dog needs. This Zymox ear cleanser contains only natural ingredients for maintaining ear hygiene, and none of the harsh components that may cause irritations or other undesirable effects.

Prevention is better than cure, and this best ear cleaner for dogs is a must-have for warding off microorganisms that may infect the ear. Most pet owners were introduced to this product when they first used it with Zymox Otic for treating already infected ears.

Zymox Ear Cleanser with Bio-Active Enzymes was the logical choice being the only cleanser that could be used in conjunction with the otic solution. After the treatment period, they’ve continued using this mild cleanser for maintenance and ear cleansing. It has since become part of their pet’s grooming kit and has significantly reduced bouts with redness, smelly discharges, inflammation, itching, and other stressful issues affecting their dog’s ears.

best ear cleaner for dogsOne Amazon reviewer claims that her hands tingled and felt almost like they were burning after having this solution spilled on them. She immediately stopped using it on her dog after that. Other reviewers noted that this product dried out their pets' ears and some claim it made their pet sick.

PROSCONS
  • Contains only natural ingredients
  • Non-toxic formula
  • Formulated to soothe irritated ears as well as clean them
  • One Amazon reviewer claims that her hands tingled and felt almost like they were burning after having this solution spilled on them
  • Other reviewers noted that this product dried out their pets' ears and some claim it made their pet sick

best ear cleaner for dogsMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “After a year of multiple and very expensive trips to the vet for recurrent ear infections in my 2 year old Labrador, I discovered…”

 

3EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner and Dog Ear Infection Formula

EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner and Dog Ear Infection FormulaWhat could possibly be more convenient than this – an ear cleaner and infection medicine rolled into one?  This formula from Vet Orhanics is made from natural ingredients – including extracts from mullein leaf, tea tree oil and rosemary – each chosen for its beneficial effect on dirt buildup and inflammation. This is best used regularly, at least once a week, to remove wax, gunk, and dirt, and to make the ear uninhabitable for mites and microorganisms.

When used to restore infected ears to their normal condition, it must be used twice daily for 7-10 days. Redness, itchiness and smell are usually gone after only 2-3 days of application. Owners of pets that have chronically suffered from ear irritations were ecstatic to have finally come across an ear cleansing product that works. This best ear cleaner for dogs not only kept pooch's ears clean, it also banished the ceaseless episodes of ear infections.

For those who’ve tried it all – changing diets, antibiotic and antifungal drugs that wrecked the dog’s system, steroids, and other known remedies – EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner and Dog Ear Infection Formula has been a saving grace. Since the same product is used for ear-cleaning after the therapeutic period, the initial success obtained is sustained and any recurrence of infection is prevented. You may want to know, too, that this product is proudly made in the U.S.A. and formulated exclusively for dogs.

One dissatisfied reviewer told the story of her two dogs, an American Bulldog and a German Shepherd, both of whom had negative reactions to this product. She said one dog was even taken to the ER because this best dog ear cleaner made his ear infection worse. Other unsatisfied costumers say this product helped to remove the odor from their pet's ears, but did not completely clear up their ear infection.

PROSCONS
  • Made from natural ingredients including extracts from mullein leaf, tea tree oil and rosemary
  • No pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemicals, hydrocortisone (steroids) or antibiotics
  • Claims to get rid of itch, odor and waxy buildup in as little as 2-3 days
  • Specifically formulated for dogs
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • One dissatisfied reviewer said both of her dogs had negative reactions to this product; one was even taken to the ER because this best dog ear cleaner made his ear infection worse.
  • Other costumers say this product helped to remove the odor from their pet's ears, but did not completely clear up their ear infection

best ear cleaner for dogsMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “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…”

 

4Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear CleanerHealthy ears must be kept clean and in tip-top condition at all times to discourage microbes from inhabiting them and causing infections. Don’t wait until there’s scratching or head-twitching – here’s an ear cleanser that should be part of your dog’s routine hygiene. This cleanser from Virbac Animal Health contains no alcohol or chlorhexidine. It contains 0.2% salicylic acid as its active ingredient and has a neutral pH.

This best ear cleaner for dogs is indicated as a maintenance cleanser for healthy dog ears or as a preparatory cleanser before the application of therapeutic drugs. It is available in bottles of 4 oz and 8 oz. It comes highly recommended by pet owners and vets for its efficacy as a routine cleanser and preventative ear care product.

It has worked well for buyers in tandem with prescription medications for otitis extrema and other common ear maladies in pets. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner has a mild scent, is simple to apply, and dries in itself. This self-drying property discourages growth of moisture-related ear irritations and onset of infections. It has worked wonders for cases of yeast infection, foul smell, accumulated wax, gunk buildup and other otitis issues.

best ear cleaner for dogsThis best ear cleaner for dogs is not without it's faults. Some buyers say that the original formula worked great on their pets' ears, but this advanced formula is too strong and irritated the ears of their dogs. One reviewer even posted pictures of her dog's ears after claiming to use this product on them. The ears are red and swollen, and the owner says the dog needed expensive veterinary care because of this cleaner.

PROSCONS
  • Contains no alcohol or chlorhexidine
  • Contains 0.2% salicylic acid as its active ingredient
  • Has a neutral pH
  • Mild scent
  • Some buyers say that the original formula worked great on their pets' ears, but this advanced formula is too strong and irritated the ears of their dogs
  • One reviewer posted pictures of her dog's ears after claiming to use this product on them – they are red and swollen, and the owner says the dog needed expensive veterinary care because of this best ear cleaner for dogs

best ear cleaner for dogsMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “I am a CVT and personally recommend this product to all of my clients. From animals that have severe otitis issues, to a routine…”

 

5Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner WipesPet MD cleaner wipes are another quick way to clear your dog’s outer ear from wax, debris and odor, and discourage the onset of infections. A jar contains 100 disposal sheets of moisturized cleansing wipes. These are a convenient way to clean your pet’s ears, deodorize, and moisture at the same time. This US-made product is alcohol-free and non-irritating.

They contain purified water, aloe vera extract, eucalyptus oil, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. This best ear cleaner for dogs is easy and quick to use – just apply topically to rub off dirt and dispose of the used wipe properly; there’s no need to mess with your fingers. Fighting ear infections has been a long drawn-out battle for some pet owners and their dogs. It could also be one that’s futile if not for products such as these wipes from Pet MD.

Dog owners say that these wipes have significantly reduced episodes with ear infections and made visits to the vet much less frequent. Needless to say, Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes have saved them hundreds of bucks and spared their dogs from pain and frustration over recurring ear trouble. These may not work for all cases, such as dogs that need a liquid cleanser that washes the ear canal.

best ear cleaner for dogsA few reviewers were not happy with the odor of these wipes, while others complained that they are much thinner they thought they would be. Even buyers that were pleased with the results of these pads were not happy with the amount of liquid they held. They say they were too wet and left a lot of solution behind in the dog's ear that needed to be wiped out after cleaning was done.

PROSCONS
  • A jar contains 100 cleaning wipes
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Contains no alcohol
  • Contain purified water, aloe vera extract, eucalyptus oil, lactic acid, and salicylic acid
  • More convenient than traditional ear cleaning solution
  • Will not work for all cases, such as dogs that need a liquid cleanser that washes the ear canal
  • Some reviewers did not like the scent of these wipes
  • Buyers found these wipes to be much thinner than they anticipated

best ear cleaner for dogsMost helpful dog owner's review (read the full Amazon review): “I feel like a sucker, having bought these. I'm usually careful to avoid products that I'm not familiar with if they have mostly…”


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