Your dog’s hearing is much stronger than your own. Not only can he hear you crack open that can of dog food, but he can pick out faint noises from a surprising distance. Part of keeping your dog’s hearing healthy is keeping his ears healthy which means keeping them clean.
Depending what type of dog you have, he may have a higher risk than other breeds for developing ear infections. Dogs with long, pendulous ears have the highest risk so you need to be careful to keep your dog’s ears clean and free from moisture.
The best way to keep your dog’s ears healthy is to check them on a weekly basis and to use a dog ear cleaner as needed. Keep reading to learn more about keeping your dog’s ears clean and to see our top picks for the best dog ear cleaner products.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Dog Ear Cleaners:
#10 PetMD Otic Dog Ear Cleaner
This PetMD Otic Dog Ear Cleaner is formulated by veterinarians and scientifically designed to clean, deodorize, and dry your dog’s ears. It is safe and gentle, made with natural ingredients like aloe vera to sooth and moisturize your dog’s skin without any harsh additives – it is even safe for puppies.
This formula is guaranteed not to sting, burn, or aggravate your dog’s skin and it has a pleasant sweet pea scent. PetMD Otic Dog Ear Cleaner helps eliminate dirt and debris that can accumulate in your dog’s ears and it also works against wax buildup. Plus, it is made in the USA for guaranteed quality and safety.
Pros: Formulated by veterinarians, cleans and deodorizes, gentle enough for daily use, safe for puppies, pleasant sweet pea scent, made in the USA
Cons: Some dogs dislike the odor, won’t kill mites, not intended to treat ear infections
#9 Pups & Pounce Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner
If you’re looking for a safe and gentle product to help you keep your dog’s ears clean, try this Pups & Pounce Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner. It is easy to apply and safe for use up to two times a week to ensure healthy ear maintenance. This formula contains no sulfate, alcohol, or harsh chemicals and it is all-natural and completely safe for dogs and puppies. It features soothing and cleansing ingredients to keep your dog’s ears clean without drying them out.
This ear cleaner provides instant relief, soothing and hydrating skin and eliminating the odor that comes with ear infections. Simply put, Pups & Pounce Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner provides fast relief and stops irritation associated with ear infections caused by bacteria, yeast, mites, and fungus. It’s the only ear cleaner you really need.
Pros: Safe and natural ingredients, provides fast relief, tackles multiple causes of ear infections, no harsh chemicals, cleans and deodorizes, non-irritating formula
Cons: Some dogs dislike the scent, may only clean but not treat the infection, no instructions on bottle
#8 Burt’s Bees Ear Cleaner for Dogs
If you’re looking for a dog ear cleaner made with only the safest natural ingredients, consider this Burt’s Bees Ear Cleaner for Dogs. This dog ear cleaner is designed to soothe and cleanse, leaving your dog’s ears clean and dry to help protect against infection.
It is made with natural ingredients like peppermint and witch hazel, so it does have an aroma to it, but most customers find it mild and pleasant. Burt’s Bees Ear Cleaner for Dogs can be used up to twice weekly and it is pH balanced to help keep your dog’s ears free from infection. Plus, it is sulfate-free with no colorants and made in the USA.
Pros: All-natural ingredients, safe for use twice weekly, no sulfates or colorants, pH balanced, soothes and cleanses, helps prevent infection
Cons: Not designed to treat infection, contains alcohol
#7 AromaCare Ear Wipes with Aloe and Eucalyptus
Most dog ear cleaners come in liquid form, requiring you to squeeze the solution into your dog’s ears. These AromaCare Ear Wipes with Aloe and Eucalyptus are an alternative to traditional ear cleaners and they are a great option for pet parents looking for a quick and easy way to keep their dog’s ears clean.
These ear wipes are presoaked in a soothing, moisturizing formula that cleans and deodorizes to leave your dog’s ears feeling fresh. The formula is safe to use up to twice weekly and can be used for dogs and puppies over the age of 12 weeks. Simply lift your dog’s ear and use the wipe to cleanse away dirt, debris, and discharge then let them air dry.
Pros: Easy-to-use wipes, cleans and deodorizes, made with natural ingredients, contains aloe to soothe skin, presoaked in formula, safe for use up to twice weekly
Cons: Not intended to treat ear infections, not for puppies under 12 weeks
#6 Doggie Dailies Pet Ear Cleaner
If your dog suffers from dirty, itchy ears then Doggie Dailies Pet Ear Cleaner may be just what you need. This formula is made with tea tree oil so it controls odor and leaves your dog’s ears fresh and clean. It is guaranteed not to sting or burn, and it is safe for use up to 3 times per month.
This formula tackles everything from ear wax and debris to dirt, itching, ear odor, and irritation. It can be used on dogs of all sizes and is also safe for use in cats. This Doggie Dailies Pet Ear Cleaner features an easy-to-use applicator tip and the ingredients are all safe and natural.
Pros: Safe and natural ingredients, won’t sting or burn, cleans and deodorizes, removes ear wax and debris, controls ear odor, perfect for routine cleaning
Cons: Some dogs dislike the aroma, not intended to treat ear infections
#5 Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser
Made with 0.2% salicylic acid, this Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser is a powerful formula that cleans and dries your dog’s ears without irritation. It features anti-microbial and anti-odor technology to not only clean your dog’s ears, but to deodorize them as well.
This formula is great for routine cleaning but can also be used to treat severe otitis externa or to clean your dog’s ears prior to using an ear infection treatment. This Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser is safe for use up to three times a week, though it can also be used daily if needed.
Pros: Contains salicylic acid as the active ingredient, non-irritating formula, cleans and deodorizes, safe for routine daily cleaning, can be used to treat otitis externa
Cons: Contains chemical ingredients, has a medicinal aroma, not intended to treat bacterial infections
#4 EcoEars Ear Cleaner & Disinfectant
If you have a dog with sensitive skin, you want a formula that is all-natural like this EcoEars Ear Cleaner & Disinfectant. This formula features all-natural ingredients without the use of pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemicals, or solvents.
Simply put, it is designed to treat persistent itch, discharge, and bad odor in dogs caused by a variety of things including mites, fungus, bacteria, and yeast. This EcoEars Ear Cleaner & Disinfectant is safe to use up to twice a day for up to 10 days to treat the symptoms of ear infection and it won’t irritate your dog’s ears. Best of all, it is covered by a 100% money-back guarantee.
Pros: All-natural ingredients, contains no pharmaceuticals or chemicals, treats symptoms of ear infections of multiple causes, safe for use twice daily, cleans and deodorizes
Cons: Contains alcohol, mouth is a little too wide for controlled application
#3 PetMD Ear Wipes
If your dog suffers from frequent ear infections or dirty ears, keep them clean with these PetMD Ear Wipes. These ear wipes are incredibly easy to use and they are safe and natural for dogs of all ages and breeds. Made with aloe vera and eucalyptus oil, these ear wipes will soothe your dog’s irritated skin in addition to cleaning and deodorizing to leave his ears smelling fresh and clean.
These ear wipes make it easy to keep your dog’s ears free from dirt, debris, discharge and wax while also inhibiting the growth and spread of yeast and mites. These PetMD Ear Wipes reduce painful itching and scratching in addition to tackling foul ear odor. These wipes are safe for daily use for puppies and dogs over the age of 12 weeks, plus it is a vet-approved formula so you can rest easy.
Pros: Vet-approved formula, easy-to-use wipes, stops painful itching and scratching, cleans and deodorizes, contains soothing natural ingredients, safe for daily use
Cons: Not for puppies under 12 weeks, not intended to treat ear infections
#2 Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash
For immediate relief from painful itching and scratching, try this Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash. This dog ear cleaner soothes dry, itchy, greasy, and smelly dog ears in a vet-approved formula that is made with safe, natural ingredients.
This cleanser features soothing aloe vera, chamomile, and tea tree oil to clean and control odor, saving your dog from the symptoms of ear infection. It is safe for daily use and it can be used to clean and to control wax buildup. Made in the USA, Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash is free from alcohol and it is a gentle, non-stinging formula.
Pros: Made from safe natural ingredients, vet-approved formula, tackles debris and odors, safe for daily use, controls wax buildup, non-stinging formula
Cons: Fragrance may be too strong for some dogs, not intended to treat ear infections
#1 Zymox LP3 Enzyme System Ear Cleanser
If you’re looking for a fast, powerful dog ear cleaning solution then look no further than Zymox LP3 Enzyme System Ear Cleanser. This dog ear cleaner contains no harsh chemicals or cleaners, but it will leave your dog’s ears clean, dry, and odor-free.
It is made with a limited list of ingredients in a powerful enzymatic formula that destroys odors while also cleansing and soothing your dog’s ears. It is not intended to treat ear infections, but it will help keep your dog’s ears clean and dry so his risk for developing ear infections is lower. It is safe for use up to twice weekly and it is easy to apply.
Pros: Powerful enzymatic formula, safe for use up to twice weekly, tackles dirt and odor, cleans and dries the ears, reduces risk for infection
Cons: Not intended to treat ear infections, contains some chemical ingredients
Your dog relies heavily on his hearing, so it is important that you keep his ears clean. If your dog’s ears get wet and stay wet, they could become a breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria and that is never a good thing.
Fortunately, keeping your dog’s ears clean is very easy – all you need is a dog ear cleaner and a few minutes of your time. Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly is the best way to prevent infection, though you should still know how to identify the signs, just in case.
Keep reading to learn how to spot the signs of ear infection in dogs, how to keep your dog’s ears clean, and other tips for maintaining your dog’s ear health.
How to Spot an Ear Infection in Dogs
Though ear infections in dogs are usually minor, they are a very common problem. Ear infections are commonly caused by bacteria or yeast that accumulates when the ears get wet and fail to dry properly.
Other potential causes of ear infections in dogs include the following:
There are a number of different causes for ear infection in dogs, but most of them present with similar symptoms. The most common signs of ear infection in dogs include shaking the head, scratching the ears, and redness or swelling inside the ear. Your dog may also exhibit a brown or yellow discharge in the ear, hair loss around the ear, and an unpleasant odor coming from the ear.
If you fail to treat your dog’s ear infection, things could get worse. An untreated ear infection can develop into problems with balance and loss of coordination. You may notice changes in your dog’s yes and he could start walking in circles. If it gets very bad, he could lose some of his hearing. Treatments for ear infections in dogs usually include a professional cleaning and medication to clear up the infection, reduce swelling, and mitigate pain.
If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, take him to the veterinarian. Your vet will be able to perform certain tests to diagnose the infection and to determine its cause. Once you know what is causing the problem, you can treat it and you can also take steps to avoid it in the future.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Any dog can develop an ear infection, but they are most common in long-haired and long-eared breeds. Dogs with erect ears get plenty of airflow to the inner ear so, even if the ear gets wet, it will dry out fairly quickly. For dogs with long ears that hang down, moisture can easily become trapped in the ear and could lead to infection.
Keep in mind that most dog ear cleaners are not designed to treat ear infections, though they may help reduce some of the pain and itching. Dog ear cleaners are primarily used to keep a dog’s ears clean which may help reduce the risk of infection.
So, how do you clean your dog’s ears to reduce the risk of infection? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Choose a high-quality ear cleaner made with safe ingredients and designed specifically for dogs.
2. Have your dog sit or lie down – whatever is most comfortable for him and allows you to keep him under control.
3. Check your dog’s ears for signs of infection or injury – look for signs of redness, swelling, scratches, mites, or discharge and report any symptoms to your veterinarian.
4. Gently lift the ear to expose the ear canal and squeeze a few drops of dog ear cleaner solution into the ear – be careful not to insert the tip of the bottle too far.
5. Holding the ear flap up, massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds to distribute the ear cleaning solution and so it will start breaking up debris.
6. While continuing to hold the ear flap, use a cotton ball to wipe away the excess cleaning solution as well as any debris.
7. Use as many cotton balls as needed to remove all of the solution and to make sure the inner ear is dry.
8. Release your dog’s ear and let him shake his head – once he does, check the ear to make sure it is still clean and dry, using another cotton ball if needed.
9. Repeat on the other ear until both are clean and dry.
10. Give your dog some treats and a nice belly rub for his good behavior.
When cleaning your dog’s ears, it is important to use safe and natural ingredients. Look for a dog ear cleaner that soothes dry, itchy, and irritated skin in addition to just cleaning away dirt, debris, and discharge. In terms of the products you use to clean your dog’s ears, cotton balls or cotton pads are the best option. Avoid using cotton swabs because you could accidentally injure your dog if you insert it too far into his ear.
Every dog is different, so you may only need to clean your dog’s ears once every two to three weeks, or you might have to do it every week. The key is to check his ears often, so you can catch a developing problem as early as possible. If you notice any change in your dog’s ears, it’s safest to talk to your veterinarian just to be sure it isn’t a significant problem.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog’s Ears Healthy
Cleaning your dog’s ears once in a while is an important step in keeping them healthy, but there are other things you can do as well. Use these shampoos to get rid of fleas.
Here are some simple tips for keeping your dog’s ears clean and healthy for as long as possible:
Avoid getting your dog’s head wet when you give him a bath – always use a washcloth on his face instead of pouring water over his head.
Keep the hair inside your dog’s ears trimmed short so it doesn’t trap moisture when the ears get wet – if you don’t want to do it yourself, have the vet or groomer do it for you.
Consider plucking some of the hairs inside your dog’s ears if they are very long or abundant – if you pluck a few at a time, most dogs aren’t bothered by it.
Treat your dog with a monthly flea and tick preventive – these medications also help protect against mites that can cause ear infections.
Make sure your dog gets regular ear exams as part of his routine veterinary exam – your vet will check the inner structures of the ear as well as the ones you can see.
Check your dog’s ears for abnormal swelling, discharge, and odor on a regular basis and take action immediately if you notice a problem.
Always thoroughly dry your dog’s ears after swimming or bathing – use a clean towel rather than a blow-dryer or, if you do use a blow-dryer, keep it on the low heat setting.
Consider giving your dog supplements to combat problems like allergies or nutritional deficiencies which might contribute to his ear problems – omega-3 fatty acids are important for ear and skin health and probiotics can help keep the immune system strong to fight infection.
With the right products, keeping your dog’s ears clean and healthy is incredibly easy. If you find yourself having to clean your dog’s ears more than once a week, talk to your vet about the possibility of an underlying health problem. Otherwise, just keep using your dog ear cleaner as needed!
Since you’re here and care so much about your dog’s health (we applaud you!) check out these orthopedic dog beds to ensure your dog get the best possible sleep. Also, if you’re dog is sensitive to various foods, you might want to check out these specially made food for dogs with sensitive stomachs.