dog ear cleaner

The Best Dog Ear Cleaner: Our Top 7 Picks Reviewed

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What Is the Best Cleaner for Dog’s Ears?

Vets Preferred Dog’s Ear Wash Solution
  • Our Vets Preferred dog ear cleaning solution is both gentle and effective, so you can be sure you're providing your beloved pet with the best irritation relief for dogs.
  • With our Vets Preferred Dog ear cleaning solution, you're their savior! Provide irritation relief for dogs immediately by following the simple dog care instructions.
  • We formulate everything with safety and efficacy in mind, so your dog is always in optimal health.

Can I Clear My Dog’s Ears By Myself?

Yes, you can clean your dog’s ears with a dog ear cleaner.

However, it is important to know when your dog’s ears need to be cleaned. Some breeds, more than others, require regular ear cleaning as they could be more susceptible to ear infections. For example, dogs with long droopy or floppy ears are more likely to have ear mites and infections.

Similarly, dog ear cleaning will also depend on their activity. Dogs who are swimmers or those who love to play in the mud must get their ears cleaned regularly. Clean, healthy dogs will have pink, odorless, dirt-free, and non-inflamed ears.

In contrast, dogs whose ears give off a mild odor and have visible dirt in and around their ears will need to have their ears cleaned.

When unsure, it is best to take your dog to the vet and ask them for ear care. Over-cleaning can cause irritation and even dog ear infections.

What Are the Benefits of Cleaning My Dog’s Ears?

From maintaining ear hygiene to keeping odors at bay to preventing ear problems – using a dog ear cleaner comes with several benefits. Here is a closer look at those benefits.

  • Prevents Infections. Regular cleaning of your dog’s ears will help prevent extremely painful infections. Dirt and wax build-up creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Also, if there is excessive dirt and ear wax, it will be difficult for an infection treatment to reach the inner ear canal. If your dog gets an infection, ear wax will make it harder for the medicine to take effect quickly, prolonging its cure. Therefore, effective cleaning will lead to your dog’s faster recovery.
  • Removes Organic Matter. Most dogs love to run around in the dog park, roll in the mud, or jump into heaps of leaves. This can lead to small particles such as leaves, weeds, twigs, and dirt entering their ears. Checking your dog’s ears after a fun day at the park or regularly to remove the dirt and small particles will help to prevent serious health problems.
  • Prevents Ear Mites. Frequent cleaning of your dog’s ears will kill or prevent ear mites from infesting in your dog’s ears. Ear mites are tiny parasites that feed on ear wax and can lead to ear infections. They are not visible to the naked eye, but the infestation of ear mites can be seen if your dog has white specks on its ear wax. Antibacterial cleansers should be used regularly to eliminate ear mites until the white specks disappear.
  • Maintains Bacteria Balance. There are healthy bacteria that are present in a dog’s ears to fight against yeast and other organisms that pose a threat to your dog’s health. Maintaining a healthy bacteria balance is significant to your dog’s health. To do so, avoid over-cleaning your dog’s ears. Too much cleaning will kill these bacteria and destroy the ears’ natural defense against ear infections.

The Best Dog Ear Cleaners Reviewed

Finding the right dog ear cleaner can be overwhelming – after all, there are many cleaners on the market. To make things easy, we have reviewed the best ear cleansers for dogs.

Vets Preferred Dogs Ear Wash Solution

Vets Preferred Dog’s Ear Wash Solution

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Summary: This quality dog care product made in the USA will make your dog’s ears clean and healthy. It is manufactured in a GMP-certified facility under strict supervision to ensure maximum quality control, optimal efficacy, and safety.

This ear wash solution by Vets Preferred dissolves the ear wax and aids its removal from the ear canal. The product keeps the dog’s ears clean and healthy and is suitable for use in dogs of all life stages, including puppies.

Pros
  • High-quality product that works for all dogs
  • Easy to use and fit for different ear issues
  • Non-irritating formulas
  • Keeps ear wax under control
  • Has a pleasant smell
Cons
  • The scent can be unpleasant to some

Ingredient Analysis: This product has deionized water, isopropyl alcohol, glycerin USP, propylene glycol USP, salicylic acid, benzoic acid, and Phenoxyethanol. Salicylic acid is an anti-microbial drying agent that best prevents yeast or mild bacterial infection.

Review: This dog ear cleaner has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and 54 reviews. Customers have reviewed that it is an awesome product that shows great results after the first use.

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser for Dogs

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser For Dogs

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Summary: This advanced pet ear cleanser is a well-tolerated, efficient ear cleaner that facilitates the removal of cellular debris and excessive wax and drying of the ear canal. It is safe and gentle to be used as part of the everyday dog grooming protocol.

The inclusion of monosaccharides offers a soothing effect (anti-irritant) and limits the bonding of microorganisms (anti-adhesive) to the skin’s surface. Its neutral pH will ensure non-interference with other ear preparations.

Pros
  • Neutralizes bad ear odors
  • Gentle cleanser for frequent use
  • Discourages a moist environment
  • Keratolytic formula helps to remove dead cells and debris
  • Suitable for dogs with sensitive skin
Cons
  • Reports of a counterfeit product being sold

Ingredient Analysis: This cleaner contains water, ethoxydiglycol, disodium EDTA, docusate sodium, phenoxyethanol, fragrance, D-galactose, D-mannose, and may also contain lactic acid. Lactic acid is anti-microbial, which helps to prevent yeast infections and mild bacterial infections.

Review: This dog ear cleaner is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars with 12,291 reviews. Customers have reviewed that it effectively keeps their dog’s ears clean.

Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes to Stop Ear Itching, and Infections with Aloe and Eucalyptus

Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes to Stop Ear Itching and Infections with Aloe and Eucalyptus

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Summary: This cleaner comes packed with soothing ingredients like aloe and eucalyptus and is designed by veterinarians. The cleansing wipes eliminate dirt, debris, odor, discharge, and excess wax to prevent organic growth build-up and ear problems.

The aloe vera soothes sensitive skin, making it non-irritating and safe for daily use. Using wipes instead of liquid ear wash will make it easier for dogs who dislike ear cleaning.

Pros
  • Well saturated and effective
  • Helps to prevent yeast infection
  • Well textured and provide ear relief
  • Thin wipes that enter the ear canal
  • Has a pleasant smell
Cons
  • Size can be a little small for larger breeds
  • Will not be able to reach down into the ear canal

Ingredient Analysis: These wipes contain purified water, glycerin, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice, eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and sodium benzoate. Lactic acid and salicylic acid are both anti-microbial. Aloe leaf juice and eucalyptus oil are best for soothing the skin.

Review: This dog ear cleansing solution is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars with 40,739 reviews. Customers have reviewed that this product works well, and the wipes are easy to use. 

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs Cleans & Deodorizes

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanser for Dogs Cleans and Deodorizes

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Summary: Nutri-Vet ear cleanse for dogs is a combination of gentle yet effective ingredients that aid in the removal of wax, dirt, and other matter. This dog ear cleaner has several functions at the same time.

Namely, it cleans, deodorizes, and soothes the pup’s ears. It provides relief from the itching caused due to eczema, fungal infection, insect bites, and fleas. The gentle formula made by vets makes it suitable for use on all puppies and dogs.

Pros
  • A very gentle product for super sensitive dogs
  • Affordable and comes in a large bottle
  • Clears off wax effectively
  • Pleasant odor
  • Prevents infection and ear problems
Cons
  • Not effective against ear mites

Ingredient Analysis: This product contains water, propylene glycol, alcohol, aloe vera, salicylic acid, and sodium benzoate. Aloe vera is a soothing ingredient, and salicylic acid is a drying agent. However, alcohol can be quite irritating for some dogs.

Review: This dog ear cleaner has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with 7,797 reviews. Customers love this product and have reviewed that it has helped to ease their pet’s concerns.

VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Dogs Otic Rinse for Infections and Controlling Ear Infections and Odor

VetWELL Ear Cleanser for Dogs Otic Rinse for Infections and Controlling Ear Infections and Odor

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Summary: This solution is developed by veterinarians to gently deodorize, clean, dry, and acidify the ear canal. It eliminates waxy build-up along with fluid, dirt, and debris that can cause ear infections leading to painful itching, scratching, and bad odor.

The formula is gentle enough for everyday use and can prevent itchy ears. The scented nature will deodorize the dog’s ears and keep them smelling fresh for quite some time.

Pros
  • Works well against infections
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cleans well just after the first use
  • Reduces bad odor
  • Has a great smell
Cons
  • May not work for all dogs
  • The smell can be too powerful for some

Ingredient Analysis: This cleaner contains deionized water, aloe vera gel, SD alcohol 40, lactic acid, glycerine, salicylic acid, vitamins A, C, E & F, and benzyl alcohol. Glycerin is excellent for moisturizing, while at the same time, salicylic acid is great for keeping the ear canal dry.

Review: This dog ear cleaner has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 12,554 reviews. Pet parents have reviewed that this dog ear cleaning solution has saved them from multiple vet visits.

Vet’s Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit Alcohol-Free Wash & Dry Treatment

Vet’s Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit Alcohol-Free Wash & Dry Treatment

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Summary: This product helps to keep raw, itchy, and smelly dog ears clean, fresh, and dry in between baths. The two-step set uses two unique and carefully blended formulas made from natural ingredients to help control ear infections and dirt.

Both formulas are alcohol-free and non-stinging. They provide fast and effective relief with long-lasting results. Plus, they are very easy to use.

Pros
  • Helps to provide relief from irritation as it contains no alcohol
  • Cleans wax and debris effectively
  • Soothes itchiness
  • Removes bad odor
  • The set helps to clean thoroughly and absorb excess moisture
Cons
  • May cause irritation to some dogs
  • Has a very strong unpleasant odor

Ingredient Analysis: This set is made from yucca, aloe vera, chamomile, tea tree oil, silica, and echinacea. Tea tree oil is known to cause adverse side effects to some dogs. Essential oils can be quite irritating to dogs.

Review: This dog ear cleaner has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 5,820 reviews. Customers have reviewed that it’s a great product that not only cleans dirty ears but also fights well against infections.

What Should I Look for in a Dog Ear Cleaner?

When shopping for a dog ear cleaner, consider the following features:

  • Type. There are two kinds of dog ear cleaners available: dog ear wipes and liquid ear cleaners. As the dog’s ear canals are quite long and narrow and have a right-angle shape, a liquid ear cleaner reaches areas a wipe won’t be able to reach.
  • Purpose. When looking for an ear cleaner, consider your dog’s specific needs. Some cleaners eliminate the wax and dirt. Some are medically approved to prevent yeast and bacterial infections. On the other hand, others will help with drying.
  • Ingredients. Looking for the right ingredients and considering the issue you want to target will help to prevent further agitation or irritation of your dog’s ears. Salicylic acid and lactic acid are anti-microbial, which means they are best for preventing yeast or mild bacterial infections.
    Hydrocortisone helps to combat itchiness, and ketoconazole is an antifungal treatment. It is important to remember that essential oils, especially tea tree oil, can cause severe allergic reactions in some dogs.

What Can I Use to Clean My Dog’s Ears at Home?

You can use a cotton ball soaked in an ear cleaning solution or natural oil to clean your dog’s ears. When cleaning, it is important to follow specific tips and tricks mentioned below:

  • Position. To make your dog cooperative, allow it to sit on your lap in a comfortable position. Take the help of a family member or someone who is fond of your dog and vice versa.
  • Schedule. Make sure you clean both ears within the same day or at the same time. Do not push things if your dog is unhappy and not in the mood. Give it a try after some time or some other day.
  • Ear Cleaner. Do not use a Q-tip or cotton swabs to clean your dog’s ears. It is important to use vet-recommended dog ear cleansers and wipes only.