Last Updated: November 23, 2020

Best Dog Ear Cleaner

Best Dog Ear Cleaner

When your dog has an ear infection, excessive earwax, or other ear problem, you may be tempted to buy an ear cleaner to help them out. How should you choose? Hands down, our choice for the best dog ear cleaner of 2020 is Pet MD’s Ear Wipes.

Best Products Best Dog Ear Cleaner

Choose a charity on Amazon Smile on Spots.com then purchase
via links on this page to donate a portion
of your purchase. Learn more »
Best Overall
Pet MD Ear Wipes
Pet MD Ear Wipes Best Overall
$13
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Alcohol-free, disposable wipes
  • Soothing aloe and eucalyptus helps your dog with excessive itching
  • What we Dislike
  • Separating pads can be a pain
  • Pads are rather thin
Product Details
Size 100 wipes
Type wipes
Organic

Main Ingredients Aloe Vera and Eucalyptus
Our Review

These ear cleaning wipes from Pet MD work well, smell good, and may put an end to your dog’s chronic ear infections. These wipes feature a gentle cleaning solution paired with soothing aloe vera to stop itching, and eucalyptus to help heal broken and irritated skin. Together, these ingredients allow you to help your dog when it matters most.

The pads are somewhat small and might stick together. Still, the advanced veterinary formula can help your dog’s ears smell better, prevent dirt and debris built-up, and help prevent infections and yeast infections. Cleaning your dog’s ears is essential, and these wipes make it easy.

Best Liquid Drops
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser Best Liquid Drops
$17
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
9/10
  • What we Like
  • Works well as a regular cleanser
  • Removes debris, wax, and more from your dog’s sensitive ears
  • What we Dislike
  • May not smell pleasant
Product Details
Size 8oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Salicylic Acid
Disodium EDTA
Docusate Sodium
Our Review

Virbac’s Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser is a solution-based cleanser that comes in a 4oz or 8oz size. It works well to combat inflammation and infections while cleaning your dog’s ear and removing excess debris and dirt. If your dog has too much earwax, this solution can also help remove the wax and prevent irritation.

This solution is recommended for dogs with chronic ear canal inflammation, so ask your vet about it if that’s a problem that your dog often faces. The pH level is fairly low, so you can still use more aggressive treatments during periods of extreme infection without worry. If you want your dog’s ears to be clean, soothed, and smell great, this is the solution for you.

VetWELL Dog and Cat Ear Cleaner
VetWELL Dog and Cat Ear Cleaner
$13
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Works on dogs and cats
  • Can help with mites, yeast infections, and excessive itching
  • What we Dislike
  • May not work on all pets
  • Some bottles come with a noticeable smell
Product Details
Size 8oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Aloe Vera
Salicylic Acid
Our Review

VetWELL’s Dog and Cat Ear Cleanser comes in one of two scents: cucumber melon or sweet pea vanilla. While some users said these smells were awful, most seemed to like them. It’s also worth noting that this cleaning solution may not work for every pet. However, when it works it works extremely well! This solution has been known to work on extremely tough cases to clean the ear canal and soothe the skin.

This VetWELL solution can be used to treat mites, excess wax, fluid and dirt build-up, yeast infections, and excessive itching. With your vet’s approval, you can easily help your pet’s irritation and discomfort with a few simple applications. Plus, your dog’s ears will smell great after using this solution!

Best Antiseptic
Curaseb Chlorhexidine Wipes
Curaseb Chlorhexidine Wipes Best Antiseptic
$13
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • A powerful wipe that can be used on skin infections
  • A pleasant, fruity odor on all of the wipes
  • What we Dislike
  • Not exclusively for the ears
  • Must allow the solution to try before letting your pet roam free
Product Details
Size 50 wipes
Type wipes
Organic

Main Ingredients Chlorhexidine and Ketoconazole
Our Review

These Chlorhexidine Wipes from Curaseb can help your dog’s skin irritation, ear infections, and more. These wipes aren’t made exclusively for your dog’s ears, but they can work on any area on your dog (or cat’s) skin to help reduce inflammation, irritation, and remove dirt and discharge. If your pets have frequent infections, these wipes can help keep them clean and prevent future infections.

The one drawback is how you use these wipes. Because of the active ingredients, you have to wait until any moisture dries before letting your pet go again. This may be difficult for cats or skittish dogs, but it’s essential so that the ingredients don’t make them sick. Afterward, they will have a pleasant odor hanging around on their fur and great skin underneath!

Mister Ben’s Ear Care Kit for Dogs
Mister Ben’s Ear Care Kit for Dogs
$40
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Comes with wipes, tonic, and an ear wash
  • All-natural with great natural ingredients and organic aloe
  • What we Dislike
  • May have a strong smell
  • A herbal formula may not work for all dogs
Product Details
Size 4oz/8oz
Type Solution and Wipes
Organic

Main Ingredients Aloe
Our Review

Mister Ben’s Ear Care Kit includes three choice products for your dog’s ears: ear wipes to maintain cleanliness, an ear tonic for touch cleaning, and an ear wash for regular washing. If your dog has chronic problems with itching, odor, yeast, or mites, this kit may work very well for you. The herb-based formula may not work for all dogs, but when it works it works well.

Everything you get with this set is effective and all-natural. The aloe used as the main ingredient is organic, while the rest of the ingredients are natural herbs that help soothe and heal your dog’s ears. The best part is that each of the included components is available for purchase individually if you need to refill!

Gladog 6-inch Professional Cotton Buds
Gladog 6-inch Professional Cotton Buds
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Cotton buds can help you remove stubborn gunk from your dog’s ear
  • Large buds with plenty of holding space
  • What we Dislike
  • Need to be used with a solution
  • Size may not work for smaller dogs
Product Details
Size 100 buds
Type Swabs
Organic

Main Ingredients Cotton and bamboo
Our Review

Cotton buds are meant to be used with a solution, so getting these alone to clean your dog’s ears likely won’t yield great results. However, when you pair these with the right cleaner, they can help tremendously. These cotton buds are large enough for your medium-sized dogs and work well with larger dogs as well. There’s plenty of room on the bamboo stick to hold the bud and move it around.

The cotton bud itself is thick enough that you won’t poke your dog while you’re cleaning out their ears. With the help of the right solution, these cotton buds will keep your dog’s ears clean and fresh, free of excess wax and debris.

Vet Organics Dog Ear Cleaner
Vet Organics Dog Ear Cleaner
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • Completely natural formula
  • Soothes and relieves pain associated with ear infections and other problems
  • What we Dislike
  • Not alcohol-free
  • The aggressive formula may not work well for some dogs
Product Details
Size 8oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Tea Tree Oil
Our Review

The Vet Organics Dog Ear Cleaner uses a natural formula (that includes alcohol) to help clean and soothe your dog’s skin. Since it isn’t alcohol-free, it’s recommended that you use this formula only when your dog’s ears do not have broken skin, blood, or eardrum problems. Otherwise, this solution may make the problem worse.

However, this can be a great cure for the itching, infections, mites, and ear problems of many dogs. Some dogs will have problems that can’t be cured by this solution, so make sure to ask your vet if it will work for your dog’s specific issue.

Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment
Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Comes in 8 oz and 12 oz sizes
  • Works for dogs and cats
  • What we Dislike
  • Dogs may not sit still for application
Product Details
Size 8 oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Ketoconazole
Our Review

This solution by Curaseb works for a variety of ear infections and other issues that your pets may have. The solution works well for dogs and cats, and even on puppies and kittens so younger animals can become more comfortable as well. The solution boasts that it can take care of ear infections, excessive wax, fungus, yeast, and bacterial infections, mites, and regular inflammation.

The main ingredient in this solution helps clear up just about any ear problem that your dog or cat may have. It won’t sting your dog’s ears, though you will want to be careful using it over broken skin. Use it routinely to clean out your dog’s ears and eliminate excessive pain and itching.

VetWELL Dog Ear Wipes
VetWELL Dog Ear Wipes
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Great for preventative care
  • Easy to use
  • Soaked with cleaning formula
  • What we Dislike
  • Wipes are very small and may not be suited for larger dogs
  • Unpleasant smell
Product Details
Size 100 wipes
Type Wipes
Organic

Main Ingredients Aloe and Eucalyptus
Our Review

Some ear cleaning wipes don’t have nearly enough product on them. With VetWELL, you don’t have to worry about that. These Aloe and Eucalyptus ear cleaning wipes provide all the solution you need and more! While some have complained that the smell is unpleasant, it’s entirely objective. The only real issue with these pads is that they are rather small and may not work for larger dogs’ ears.

However, they are easy to use if your dog’s ears are suitable for them. You can use them every day to prevent build-up or infection if your dog regularly has very dirty ears. Because they don’t require much poking around in your dog’s ears, he won’t mind you cleaning him up after playing outside all day!

Zymox Ear Solution
Zymox Ear Solution
$18
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • The solution doesn’t have to be washed out of ears after application
  • Works quickly to remove inflammation and build-up
  • What we Dislike
  • Must not clean ears before applying the product
  • Is a medication more than an ear solution
Product Details
Size 1.25 fl. Oz.
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Natural Enzymes
Our Review

This ear solution is not made to be washed out of your dog’s ear. Instead, you must apply it to your dog’s ear and rub it in, allowing the medication to work and clear up infections, yeast, bacteria, and more. This solution has very strong antibacterial and antifungal properties to make your dog’s ears healthy for longer. It can also be used as preventative care for your dog’s ears, particularly if they are prone to these types of infections.

This particular version of their cream does not include hydrocortisone, so it is not an antibiotic-based treatment. If your dog is sensitive to hydrocortisone or you’ve had bad results with this type of cream in the past, try the non-hydrocortisone version and see if your dog’s skin is better off for it.

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs
Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • The fast-acting formula removes wax and dirt quickly
  • Can help reduce excessive ear itching
  • What we Dislike
  • Does not help ear infections or conditions
  • Contains alcohol, so don’t use on broken skin
Product Details
Size 8oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Aloe Vera
Salicylic Acid
Our Review

If your dog is itching their ears a lot, it may be because of a build-up of wax and dirt. Nutri-Vet’s Ear Cleanse for Dogs can help soften, loosen, and purge your dog’s ears of these things. This can help reduce irritation and prevent infections. If your dog has long ear hairs or larger ears, his ears likely need cleaning.

However, this product is not used to treat ear infections, inflammation, or different conditions that your dog might have. If your dog has serious pain or symptoms, this is not the product that will help you find a solution. On the other hand, this is the perfect product if your dog’s ears require frequent cleaning.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Ear Therapy
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Ear Therapy
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
6/10
  • What we Like
  • Works to prevent itching and clear up infections
  • Helps with odors and prevention as well
  • What we Dislike
  • Can be harsh on irritated ears
  • More useful for prevention than treatment
Product Details
Size 4oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Salicylic Acid
Our Review

Veterinary Formula’s Clinical Care Ear Therapy treatment is a popular alternative to vet-prescribed ear drops, and there is a reason for that. This solution may be difficult to use on cats and dogs with already irritated ears, but it works to prevent bacterial infections, yeast infections, bad smells, and can even work on mites.

While this product might work a bit on active infections, it shines when it comes to prevention and itch control. If your dog already has chronic ear problems, this solution can help reduce how often those problems occur. It’s alcohol-free so there is no burning, though be careful when using it on your pet’s ears if they are already inflamed.

BotaniVet Natural Ear Cleaner
BotaniVet Natural Ear Cleaner
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
5/10
  • What we Like
  • All-natural ingredients with no chemicals
  • Hypoallergenic for pets with bad allergies
  • What we Dislike
  • Strong smell
  • May not work for some dogs
Product Details
Size 8oz
Type Solutions
Organic

Main Ingredients Coconut oil
aloe vera
silver
Our Review

This ear cleaner by BotaniVet is all-natural, made with organic ingredients that won’t harm your dog or cat’s ears. There are no alcohols or acids in this mixture, making it perfect for dogs that are prone to allergies or reactions to other ear treatments. The solution itself has a fresh berry scent, but it can be a bit strong and your dog may not like it.

Aloe Vera and silver lend their soothing and healing properties to this solution. It can help prevent yeast, bacteria, and other infections, while gently scrubbing away dirt and ear wax. Your dog and cats’ ears will smell better than ever with this formula. It’s easy to use and eco-friendly.

Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone
Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Hydrocortisone helps with itching problems
  • The cream can help treat bacteria, fungi, and yeast, as well as inflammation
  • What we Dislike
  • May be difficult to use on pups with ear sensitivities
Product Details
Size 1.25oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Hydrocortisone
Our Review

Zymox’s Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone can help soothe itchy ears and treat the underlying conditions that cause them. If your dog or cat sometimes has too much earwax, this solution can help. Bacteria, fungi, and yeast infections are no match against Zymox.

Dogs and cats with sensitive ears may not be able to stomach using this solution, as it has to be put directly into their ear. If their problem is bad enough, you may have to fill their ear canal with the solution. Keep that in mind. Zymox’s hydrocortisone solution also comes in 4oz and 8oz bottles.

Vet Solutions Ear Cleansing Solution
Vet Solutions Ear Cleansing Solution
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
8/10
  • What we Like
  • Helps prevent microbial growth
  • Works for both dogs and cats
  • What we Dislike
  • The salicylic acid solution may be too strong for some dogs
Product Details
Size 16oz
Type Solution
Organic

Main Ingredients Salicylic Acid
Aloe Vera
Our Review

The last solution on our list is from Vet Solutions, and it works like a charm for most dogs. If your dog has sensitive skin or sensitivity to salicylic acid, this is perhaps not the product for you. It can be a bit harsh for some pups and leave behind unpleasant rashes. However, most dogs will find that this solution does a great job of cleaning out their ears, leaving behind a pleasant scent.

The ingredients help to create an environment on the inside of your dog’s ear where bacteria won’t grow. Because of this, this cleanser can be used as a preventative wash, especially if your dog regularly has ear infections and other problems. This 16oz bottle is just one of the options available, as this cleanser is sold in quantities of up to 1 gallon.

Best Products Best Dog Ear Cleaner
Product Name Best for Rate
Pet MD Ear Wipes Best Overall 8
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser Best Liquid Drops 9
Curaseb Chlorhexidine Wipes Best Antiseptic 6

How to Choose a Dog Ear Cleaner

So what is a dog ear cleaner, and how can it help my dog? There are many answers to each of these questions, so let’s try to break it down. Below, we’ll look at what an ear cleaner can be used for, the types of conditions that prompt you to use an ear cleaner, and how you can choose the perfect one for your dog.

What is a Dog Ear Cleaner?

An ear cleaner is a product used to treat various conditions. Most of the time, a cleaner is used to prevent infection by cleaning out your dog’s ears and getting rid of any foreign bodies such as dirt and debris.

Cleaners come in a variety of formulas, application methods, and types. No matter what type of ear problem your dog is experiencing, an ear cleanser can probably help remove excess discharge and dirt. This can help your dog’s ears heal much faster.

What Conditions Do Ear Cleaners Treat?

Ear cleaners can treat a variety of conditions. Usually, the cleaners themselves will indicate which conditions they treat. Let’s look at some of those conditions so you know what you’re dealing with.

  • Ear Infections. Ear infections can be the result of foreign bodies getting into your dog’s ear. Dirt, debris, dust, and other things they might pick up outside can contribute, and there’s no way of knowing where it came from. If your dog’s ear smells foul and their ear seems red and inflamed, they might have an ear infection. Excessive itching and bloody ear discharge are also indications that your dog needs treatment.
  • Yeast Infections. A yeast infection is sometimes caused by excess moisture in your dog’s ears. A yeast infection is a type of ear infection that usually presents with a bread-like smell in your dog’s ears, lots of discharge, itching, and irritation. A yeast infection usually requires antifungal treatment to go away, so always choose a solution with antifungal properties to treat it.
  • Excess Wax. Excess wax can be caused by ear trauma, genetic conditions, or the presence of another ear issue. If your dog has excess wax, they may have trouble hearing, itch their ears a lot, or they may be extremely irritated due to the buildup. A gentle wash and patient cleaning can remove excess wax easily.
  • Dirt and Debris. Dirt and debris will naturally find its way into your dog’s ears, especially if they like to roll around in the grass or play outside a lot. Dirt and debris can be gently removed by cleaning your dog’s ears often, so make a point to use a cleaning solution regularly if your dog is prone to having dirty ears.
  • Ear Mites. Ear mites are small, parasitic bugs that feed on your dog’s earwax. They may cause pain, lead to cuts in your dog’s ear, and make them itch incessantly. If you have found a chunky ‘coffee ground’ substance in your dog’s ear, there is a chance they may have ear mites. It’s important to treat these immediately as they are extremely uncomfortable and can lead to further infections and inflammation.
  • Bacteria. Bacteria cause infections, and you don’t want your dog suffering from those. By choosing a cleaner that removes bacteria, you can prevent future infections and other issues from cropping up.
  • Inflammation. Inflammation may be a result of some irritants in your dog’s ear canal, an infection, or too much itching. Regardless, some ear cleansers can help soothe inflammation and irritation with the help of Aloe Vera and other herbal ingredients. Beware that inflammation may be a symptom of a larger problem.
  • Itching. Your dog’s ears will itch sometimes, but too much can lead to scratches on their ears. It also may be a sign of a much more serious problem, particularly if your dog is itching a lot. Some solutions contain anti-itch or soothing medications to help reduce the time your dog spends scratching at their ear.
  • Ear Odor. Finally, some dogs can benefit from frequent washes to prevent ear odors. Sometimes, dogs have stinky ears. It may be a sign of a more serious issue, but it isn’t always. Using an ear cleaner can help reduce ear odor, particularly when you clean your dog’s ears regularly.

What To Look For In a Dog Ear Cleaner

Not all dog ear cleaners work the same or target the same conditions. Here are just some of the things to take into account when shopping for dog ear cleaners.

Size

Depending on the type of cleaner we’re talking about, ‘size’ may mean different things. It can be the number of wipes in the pack, the size of the bottle of solution, or the number of swabs that come in the pack. Make sure that you buy enough to last through your dog’s current problem (and some to prevent the next), but keep in mind that these solutions have a shelf life. If you aren’t going to use it as often, buy just enough for this particular issue.

Type

‘Ear Cleaners’ is a broad topic that covers many different types of products, from wipes to solutions and beyond. These types are:

  • Solutions. A solution is a chemical wash that can be poured into your dog’s ear. It’s like soap, but much less irritating or bubbly. It won’t harm your dog or penetrate their eardrum, but it will clean out all of the gunk, dirt, and more. Solutions are usually applied either on a swab or cotton ball or poured directly into your dog’s ear.
  • Wipes. Wipes are generally a less aggressive treatment than a solution would be. However, most wipes are soaked in a solution. You can use them to manually clean your dog’s ears, targeting the areas that require the most cleaning and removing all of the excess dirt and wax with the wipe itself. Wipes usually come in packs of 100 or more and can help keep dirt from causing an infection if used regularly.
  • Swabs/Buds. Swabs or cotton buds are a rarer form of dog ear cleaner. This is because they generally have to be used with a cleaning solution.

Organic

Organic products are made entirely from organic ingredients. They are grown and handled in a special way to achieve this ranking. They must not have come in contact with artificial pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, or other chemicals. Organic foods are all-natural and untainted by chemicals or processing.

Some dog owners prefer that their dogs’ ear cleaner is organic to prevent any harsh reactions and heal the problem holistically. It’s worth noting that with most organic products, your mileage may vary.

Main Ingredients

There are several main ingredients that companies may use in dog ear cleaners. Keep an eye out for any alcohol or acid-based ingredients. While they aren’t inherently bad, they can have an adverse effect if your dog is sensitive to them.

Aloe and Eucalyptus are commonly used, as well as salicylic acid and ketoconazole. It can be helpful to know if your dog has any adverse reactions to certain chemicals. Make sure to scan the ingredients list before your purchase to ensure you won’t mind putting any of the ingredients in your dog’s ears.

Target Conditions

Above, we explained the different conditions and situations that ear cleansers are created to help. If you are treating your dog for a very specific and vet diagnosed condition, make sure that you are buying an ear cleaner that works for that condition. If a solution doesn’t take care of yeast, it isn’t going to help a yeast infection. The same is true for most conditions.

Most products will state what they can be used to treat. Some work well for all conditions, while others are more specialized. Look at the packaging and the claims that the brand makes to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.

Regulated Production

You want your dog’s medical products to be as safe as possible. Most legitimate medications and veterinary care products will mention where they are made. For best results, choose an ear cleansing product that is made in the USA, in a factory that is regulated federally. Usually, these products will include this as a selling point of their product. They do this for good reason. Solutions produced elsewhere may not have to abide by the same laws as federal US factories, so keep that in mind.

Alcohol Content

Alcohol can be a powerful cleaning agent that will help remove excess dirt and debris from your dog’s ears. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely irritating if your dog has broken the skin from itching too much.

If your dog has broken skin, blood, or a ruptured eardrum, do not use alcohol-based products to treat the problem. Go for a cleanser that is alcohol-free instead. These are often referred to as ‘no sting’ products because alcohol will hurt your dog’s open wounds. Make sure to keep your dog comfortable by being mindful of the alcohol content.

Consult Your Vet

Hands down, the most important thing you can look for in a dog ear cleaner is the approval of your veterinarian. We recommend getting a recommendation from your dog’s regular vet about what conditions they have and what type of cleaner you can get to help them out.

This is for a multitude of reasons. First, you run the risk of diagnosing your dog’s condition wrong if you don’t consult a vet. Getting an ear cleaner for a problem your dog doesn’t have can be almost as harmful as not getting one at all. Make sure that you’re shopping for the correct type of cleaner for your dog’s diagnosis.

Second, your vet always knows what’s best for your dog. They will likely have a recommendation for the exact type of ear cleaner you need. Otherwise, you’ll be able to ask their opinion on the one you choose.

Lastly, using the ear cleaners the right was is essential. Using a solution wrong can damage your dog’s ears and fail to treat the problem, so make sure that you’re taking the proper steps to learn how to use the ear cleaner. Be very careful when using it, as damaging your dog’s ears is the last thing you want. The vet can show you how to use the ear cleaner so you aren’t putting your dog at risk.

Consulting your veterinarian every step of the way can be hugely beneficial for both you and your dog. Make sure that you’re doing your due diligence and check with the medical professional who knows your dog best!