Best Dog Ear Cleaners Review & Buying Guide

Seeing your furry friend in any sort of pain or discomfort is always difficult, no matter how small.

And out of the most annoying inconsistencies in your dog’s health, ailments originating in the ear are probably the worst. We’re talking about ear infections, odor from ears, or wax accumulation—all very frustrating.

That’s why it’s of utmost importance to regularly clean your dog’s ears.

While it’s not impossible to use regular Q-tips to clean your dog’s ears, it can still be hugely inconvenient. That’s why, today, we want to introduce you to the best dog ear cleaners currently available on the market, along with a little more insight into the item.

So let’s get started!

In a Rush? – Check Our Top 5 Picks of Best Dog Ear Cleaners

ProductRatingCheck Price
ZYMOX Pet King Otic Pet Ear Treatment4.7 Check on Amazon
EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaner4.5 Check on Amazon
Zymox Ear Solution4.7 Check on Amazon
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner3.8 Check on Amazon
Burt’s Bees for Dogs4.5 Check on Amazon

Best Dog Ear Cleaner Reviews

After much research and analysis, we have selected the following 6 dog ear cleaners for your consideration. Let’s have a closer look at each in turn.

  1. ZYMOX Pet King Otic Pet Ear Treatment

ZYMOX Pet King Brand Otic Pet Ear Treatment with HydrocortisoneThe first dog ear cleaner we’ve brought for your consideration is from a long-standing brand of widespread fame, Zymox. This cleaner, in particular, is a #1 best-selling product—let’s find out how that came to be.

Sold in liquid form, this is a highly effective ear cleaner; from the moment you apply it, it starts taking action. It does an impressive job of clearing away debris and wax accumulation with very little hassle to you.

In fact, that’s probably one of the top reasons why this cleaner is so popular: how easy it is to use. There’s no need to pre-clean your dog’s ears and freak him out; all you have to do is apply the solution liberally inside your dog’s ear, and you’re good to go.

In fact, the manufacturers suggest not cleaning your dog’s ears before you apply the solution. The natural enzymes found in the solution can do the job by themselves just fine.

What’s more, this solution comes with a hydrocortisone component; this chemical works to reduce swelling, itching, and redness that your dog might be suffering from. However, if your dog is already suffering from an infection, this cleaner probably won’t be powerful enough to handle the issue. So purchase accordingly.

Highlighted Features

  • Can be used with both dog and cat ears—double the benefits
  • Includes hydrocortisone to reduce itching and swelling
  • Has a pleasant smell that won’t irritate you or your dog
  • Does not contain antibiotics that some dogs might respond negatively to
  • Dog ears do not need to be cleaned before application

  1. EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaner

EcoEars Natural Dog Ear CleanerIf you haven’t researched dog ear cleaners before, you might be surprised to learn that not all of them are made using chemicals or medicinal components. No—some, like this highly-rated one from EcoEars, are completely natural.

So how do they work?

Well, EcoEars are obviously not going to tell us their trade secrets, but they promise a complete lack of artificial chemicals in their product. There are no antibiotics, solvents, or even hydrocortisone, which makes this a perfect choice, especially if your furry friend has sensitive ears.

Most users of this cleaner have been completely wowed by its fast-acting ability: although the manufacturers say it’ll take 7-10 days for the solution to take effect, in reality, many owners have seen results in only 2-3 days. Now, that’s impressive.

From yucky odors to itchy and red ears, this cleaner can take care of it all. Most of the issues your dog might face will be effectively and completely taken care of by this cleaner. All you have to do is fill your dog’s ear canal with the liquid—easy.

While it’s true that this cleaner is noticeably more expensive than others, we’d remind you to consider the fact that it’s all-natural. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cleaner that has absolutely 0 chemicals that work so efficiently, so we think it’s worth it.

Highlighted Features

  • Can be used to treat most symptoms of ear issues in dogs
  • Does not include any drugs or chemicals; completely natural
  • Effectively combats odor, discharge, and head-shaking issues
  • Shows positive results within only 2-3 days of using
  • Eliminates the risk of added complications due to a lack of chemicals

  1. Zymox Ear Solution

Zymox Ear SolutionYep, Zymox is enough of a good brand that they warrant 2 out of 6 spots on our list of cleaners for your dog’s ears. This particular cleaner is geared towards fighting inflammation in infected dog ears, so it’s a bit more potent than the last one we reviewed.

Equipped with gentle, yet highly effective enzymes, this cleaner will begin its work as soon as you apply it to your dog’s ears. Not only will it get rid of accumulated smelly debris and wax, but it is also a one-stop solution for other infection symptoms like inflammation and itchiness.

And on that note, doing so is super easy, thanks to the accessible design. All you have to do is fill the ear canal with the liquid and massage the base of the dog’s ears. The best part is that you only need to do this every day for a week before you start seeing results. In fact, some users have reported seeing results even earlier.

However, do keep in mind that since this product is specifically geared towards fighting infections, it’s not suitable for daily use or for regular cleaning. So unless you’re dealing with an infection, you can skip this one.

Highlighted Features

  • Has an instant, fast-acting capability
  • No need to prep or clean the dog’s ears before use
  • Can be used on both dogs and cats
  • Only needs to be used once every week
  • Has a gentle and safe formula suitable for all breeds
  • The solution includes hydrocortisone for irritation and itching

  1. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear CleanerFor many experienced users of otic cleaners for dogs, one of the most important features their selected cleaner can have is simply: gentleness. Often times, even if the cleaner succeeds in cleaning out the dog’s ears, harsh chemicals in it can cause further unwanted complications.

Such is not the case with this cleaner from Virbac, who is doing a pretty good job of proving that a dog’s otic cleaner doesn’t have to be organic to be gentle. With a neutral pH and included monosaccharides, this cleaner promises to be as soothing as soothing can be.

At the same time, its extremely efficient cleansing action will surprise you. It works by emulsifying wax and debris before breaking it down and removing it. Furthermore, it sets the stage for better ear health by drying out the ears so that there is no longer a possibility of infection.

And it does all of this without irritating your fur baby’s skin. Not just that; it’s gentle enough that you can use it frequently without worrying about the effect on your dog’s ears.

All of that being said, there have been some reports of dogs ending up with inflamed ears after having this used on them. This really depends on your dog’s breed, though, and also his or her ear shape—so do your research thoroughly before making your purchase.

Highlighted Features

  • Effectively emulsifies accumulated wax and disintegrates it
  • Dries out the dog’s ears so as to prevent moisture build-up
  • Is particularly suited to dogs with sensitive skin
  • Has a neutral pH to eliminate adverse reactions with other ear solutions
  • Has a gentle formula that can be used regularly

  1. Burt’s Bees for Dogs

Burts Bees Ear Cleaner with PeppermintThere’s very little chance that, as a user of consumer goods (as we are assuming you to be), you haven’t ever come across the name of Burt’s Bees. While they specialize in manufacturing products for humans, their pet products are widely recognized as being great natural alternatives to those with harsh chemicals.

So what does it use instead? Witch hazel and peppermint! That’s right; Burt’s Bees are here to disprove the idea that only chemicals like hydrocortisone can help you contend with issues in your dog’s ears. While the witch hazel works to do away with yucky build-up, the peppermint has a soothing effect which keeps buddy relaxed and disinclined to scratch his ear off.

We’re also a big fan of the bottle design, which is super easy to use. All you have to do is place the bottle near the opening of the ear canal and squeeze a few drops in. And you only need to do this up to 2 times a week.

There’s not much we have to complain about with regards to this product; however, you should know that if you’re dealing with an infection or symptoms thereof, then it might be a better idea to use a cleaner with a more medicinal make-up.

Highlighted Features

  • Has an almost completely natural make-up, with very little chemicals
  • The witch hazel in the composition eliminates wax and debris build-up
  • Added peppermint oil has the effect of soothing your dog’s irritation
  • Has a balanced pH, making it suitable for dogs of all ages
  • Has a user-friendly and convenient design

  1. Pet MD – Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

Pet MD - Dog Ear Cleaner WipesAnd the train filled with great natural treatment products for your dog just keeps on moving. We’re ending our list of the top dog ear cleaners with a highly rated set of wipes from Pet MD, infused with eucalyptus and aloe vera.

Yes, those plant names sure do sound fancy, but to what effect?

The aloe vera, as you can probably guess, speeds up the healing process while also providing gentle, non-pervasive moisturization. Why shouldn’t it? It is, after all, packed with a host of beneficial minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

On the other hand, the eucalyptus works by adding a special antiseptic effect. Furthermore, it has the effect of destroying mites. Together with the aloe vera, it effectively combats inflammation and itchiness, as well.

But the best part? Not only do these wipes do everything you might possibly ask for, from a dog ear cleaner, they also smell amazing, with a fresh and revitalizing scent.

As these are wipes, these are super easy to use and gentle enough that you can use them regularly. However, they may not be an effective form of treatment for an ear infection, especially if it’s in an advanced stage. If that’s not what you’re dealing with, though, don’t hesitate to consider this product for daily/regular use—it’ll do the job extremely well and easily!

Highlighted Features

  • Convenient wipes can be used on a daily basis
  • The perfect choice for routine cleaning
  • Keeps away mites and halts yeast production
  • Effectively reduces or eliminates icky ear odor
  • Dries out the ears to reduce the chance of infection
  • Infused with aloe vera and eucalyptus with several benefits

 

What to Look for in a Dog Ear Cleaner

Before choosing the best dog ear cleaner for your fur baby, there are two things to take into consideration: the makeup of the cleaner, and also what form you want it in.

Let’s look at each of the factors in closer detail in turn.

 

Ingredients and Formula

This is the most important component, as it will determine the effectiveness of the cleaner. A dog ear cleaner most worth your money is always the one made from the highest quality ingredients.

Check with your vet to ensure that you know what goes into a good dog ear cleaner. But as a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid those with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide in it as that might actually cause further irritation in some dogs’ ears.

The formula of the cleaner can also vary according to the desired function. While most are multi-purpose and can be used to clean and deodorize your dog’s ears, others are geared towards fixing infections.

On that note, if you’re dealing with an ear infection in your dog, then go for a cleaner with antifungal or antibacterial ingredients.

 

Ear Wipes vs. Liquid Cleaners

You may already know this by now, but dog ear cleaners can take the form of either ear wipes, or as a liquid. Each type has separate benefits.

As you can imagine, wipes are much more convenient and easy to use. Plus, they tend to have a less potent formula. All these features make them ideal for daily or regular use.

On the other hand, the liquid kind is suitable if you want to deep-clean your dog’s ears. Plus, liquid formulas also tend to be more powerful, which makes them good for treating debris buildup and infections.

Ultimately, it depends on the particular problem your dog is facing, so choose accordingly.


How to Use a Dog Ear Cleaner

Here’s the step-by-step process on how to use a dog ear cleaner.

  • Make Sure Your Dog is in A Good Mood

… or at least not a bad mood. If the buddy is anxious or scared, it’s going to be a much longer and more frustrating process. A good idea is to involve treats so that your dog associates ear-cleaning time with good times! Also, you can use the dog cooling mat to make him sit down comfortably.

  • Have Everything Nearby

Whatever you’re using for the operation –be it wipes or a liquid solution–make sure that everything is within arm’s reach. This is especially important if your dog is antsy during the process: one false move and she’s going to run off and hide under the nearest surface.

  • Cleaning the Dogs’ Ears

This is a process that requires you to be gentle and cautious. Start on the outside of the ear and slowly work your way inside.

Be very deliberate. If you sense any resistance inside the ears, that means you shouldn’t go any further—otherwise, you risk damaging the inside of the ear.


Who Should Buy a Dog Ear Cleaner?

The answer to this is quite obvious: every dog owner! It’s highly unlikely that, in the course of your dog’s life, there will never come a time when you have to clean her ears. In fact, ear infections in dogs of all ages are fairly common.

Even if it’s just for routine cleaning, you should buy a dog ear cleaner. Cleaning your dog’s ears not only gets rid of debris or accumulated wax but also lowers the risk to her of developing irritating ear infections.

All of that being said, it’s good to know that some breeds are more likely to develop issues pertaining to ear health. If your dog has very large ears or is very furry, then he’s more likely to develop an ear infection. Also, senior dogs that are on vitamin supplements, tend to suffer from ear health issues.

So, if you own any kind of hound or spaniel, you should be especially concerned with buying a dog ear cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do dogs’ ears need to be cleaned?

Accumulated wax and debris build-up in your dog’s ears can lead to a range of complications, such as a yeast infection. Left unaddressed, your dog might even face the risk of going deaf.

  1. Should I opt for wipes or for a liquid solution?

This entirely depends on the needs of your dog. If she’s suffering from an infection, then a liquid solution is required. But if you want a cleaner for routine ear cleaning purposes, then wipes are a much more convenient option.

  1. What are the signs of ear infection in a dog?

Symptoms of ear infection in dogs include, but are not limited to: discharge or an unpleasant odor from the ear(s), visible build-up of debris or ear-wax, bumps, and/or swelling in and around the ear.

  1. Can I clean my dog’s ears without a dog ear cleaner?

You can, but it’s not recommended, as you have to be extremely deliberate and cautious. Ultimately, it’s better just to take him/her to the vet—you don’t want to accidentally cause irreparable damage. Even better, why not go pick one out from our dog ear cleaner reviews?

  1. My dog doesn’t have large ears; do I need a dog ear cleaner?

Absolutely. Although dog breeds with large/floppy ears are susceptible to ear infections, that does not mean other breeds don’t face the same risk. It’s always a good idea to keep your dog’s ears cleaned. Prevention is better than cure!

 

Final Thoughts

Yes, there are lots of great options for the best dog ear cleaners out there. In our humble opinion, though, the ZYMOX Pet King is quite impressive even compared to all the other great options.

But if you’re not a fan of chemicals, why not consider Burt’s Bees for Dogs?

Either way, make sure that before making your purchase, you’re well-informed about the ins and outs of dog ear cleaners. And should you need it, the other sections in this articles are there to help you as well.

Good luck!