Best dog ear cleaner – we’ve got you covered

Best dog ear cleanerHow often do you check your dog’s ears? If the answer is rarely, you could be missing out on an essential part of your dog’s healthcare. Not only do routine checks of your dog’s ears keep them clean, but it could prevent a nasty ear infection from taking hold.

Cleaning your dog’s ears doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a little bit of know-how and the best dog ear cleaner, it’s a quick and simple job that you can do yourself.

Our top choice of ear cleaning solution is the VetOrganics Ear Cleaner but for more options, read on.

In this article, we’re going to review the following best dog ear cleaners;

Should I clean my dog’s ears?

The simple answer is yes! Regularly checking and cleaning your dog’s ears can help prevent infections. Some dogs need very little in the way of ear cleaning. However, dogs with drop or pendant ears like Labradors, Beagles, and Dachshunds may require a weekly clean to keep their ears healthy.

A lot depends on airflow. Floppy ears cover the ear canal, limiting air circulation. This leads to trapped moisture and dirt, which creates a perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. But it’s not only dogs with hanging ears that need special attention. Many breeds like Poodles grow hair inside the ear canal that further prevents the air from moving.

Bacteria and yeast infections aren’t the only things that can cause problems, though. Ear mites, allergies, and trapped debris can also lead to nasty infections. Regularly checking your dog’s ears can go a long way to help prevent serious issues. Not only will you be able to address any concerns promptly, but you’ll also save your dog a lot of pain.

When to seek medical advice

Never attempt to clean your dog’s ears if you think they already have an ear infection. Once a dog’s ear is infected, it needs veterinary treatment and, most likely, anti-biotics. Any delay can lead to permanent damage and potential hearing loss.

So, if you notice any of the following symptoms of infection, contact your vet immediately.

  • Swollen or inflamed ears – are they hot to the touch?
  • Discharge
  • Unusual or unpleasant smell
  • Redness
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive scratching
  • Scabs or crusty skin
  • Signs of pain when the ear is touched

Ear infections can be excruciating, and they won’t go away on their own. But with prompt treatment, your dog should recover quickly, and you can resume regular cleaning.

How to clean your dog’s ears

Ear cleaning is a messy job, so it’s best done outdoors or in the bathroom. As most dogs don’t enjoy having their ears cleaned, it’s useful to have someone to help you too. You’ll need lots of tasty treats, cotton pads, gloves, and your chosen ear treatment.

There are two types of dog ear cleaning jobs when you deal with your dog’s ears. The first is just a regular clean and the second is a flushing of the ear canal.

Regular clean

This is the simpler and less messy of the two options and is basic ear care. All you need to do is to soak a cotton ball in your chosen ear cleaning solution and focus on removing dirt and grime from the ear flap and ear folds around the ear canals.

Essentially you are just wiping any areas that you can easily see. This type of routine cleaning prevents dirt and debris from falling into the ear canal.


The second type of cleaning is to flush the ear canal with dog ear cleaner. This is useful if your dog has a build-up of wax, or you can see dirt further in the ear than you can easily reach. However, this type of cleaning should only be done on your vet’s recommendation.

It would be best if you didn’t push anything in your dog’s ear to clean it. Don’t be tempted to use cotton buds, fingers, or anything else to reach further into your dog’s ears, as you can do permanent damage to the delicate structure of the ear.

Flushing the ear is by far the safest way to remove a build-up further in the ear canal. Lift your dog’s ear up and slightly out from their head to open their ear canal. Place the cleaner’s nozzle towards, but not in your dog’s ear canal, and squeeze gently. As soon as the liquid is in your dog’s ear, begin to massage the ear’s base gently. If you’ve done it correctly, you should hear a gentle squelching sound.

Continue for around twenty seconds, and then let go. Let your dog shake its head, and any excess liquid will come shooting out. Use a fresh cotton wool ball to gently wipe away any debris and cleaner from your dog’s ears.

How to choose the best dog ear cleaner

A good ear cleaning solution not only dissolves wax and removes debris but should also protect the natural oils in your dog’s skin. Choosing a gentle formula limits your dog’s exposure to irritants that can lead to further ear problems.

Most dog ear cleaners come in two primary forms;  wipes and liquid.


Wipes are perfect for everyday ear cleaning and the general maintenance of ears. They are far less messy than cleaning solutions, and they are handy to take with you if you’re traveling. However, if your dog has a build-up of wax or dirt in the ear canal, you won’t be able to remove it with ear wipes.


On the other hand, liquid cleaning solutions enable both a regular and deep clean. Not only that, but you can buy different formulations for your dog’s specific problem, like a build-up of wax, for example. While messier when used for a deep clean, they are also more versatile than ear wipes.

EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner. Natural Multi-Action Formula. for Bad Discharge & Smell. Naturally Removes Foreign Matter and Cleanses The Most Difficult...
  • 💗 #1 MULTI-ACTION DOG EAR CLEANER - Use for bad smell, dirt and gunk. Helps restore dogs' ears to their natural clean condition in 7-10 days. EcoEars helps wash away common ear problems caused by...
  • 💗 ALL NATURAL | MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR DOGS - Includes no pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemicals, hydrocortisone (steroids) or solvents. Great for sensitive ears! If you see signs of dirt, bad odor or...
  • 💗 TOP-RATED PRODUCT - EcoEars washes away crud, grime and most other matter in dog's ears. Our natural dog ear cleaner also cleans excess wax buildup, which causes inflammation and redness. If you...

We love this cleaning solution from VetOrganics. With 100% natural ingredients, it’s formulated to gently removes excess dirt, debris, and ear wax build-up, as well as eliminating odor.

Full of soothing oils of rosemary, tea tree, and witch hazel, it also contains silver which has powerful anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Completely free of genetically modified ingredients, sulfates, harsh chemicals, and detergents, this ear cleaner from VetOrganics is gentle enough for even the most sensitive dog’s ears.


  • Effective
  • Gentle on skin
  • All-natural formula


  • Strong eucalyptus smell, which is rather off-putting
  • It contains boric acid and alcohol, so it will sting if your dog’s skin is broken

Zymox Ear Cleanser With Bio-Active Enzymes, 4 oz.
  • Cat and dog ear cleaner – quickly and effectively clean non-infected ears in pets of all ages
  • Gentle, non-toxic and non-irritating solution free from harsh detergents, veterinarian recommended
  • Patented LP3 Enzyme System helps to gently maintain healthy, fresh smelling ears

This ear cleaner from Pet King Brands uses the natural power of enzymes to help break down wax and remove debris from your dog’s ears.

If you’re not sure of the benefits of an enzyme-based cleaner, know that the three enzymes Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, and Lysozyme within this product work together to form anti-bacterial, and-fungal and anti-yeast properties.

There’s no need for harsh chemicals in this dog ear cleaner as the three active enzymes do all the hard work naturally.


  • It features naturally active enzymes, so no need for harsh chemicals
  • The cleaner has almost no smell, which is perfect for sensitive noses
  • Very effective at dislodging dirt and wax, keeping ears clean


  • Leaves a greasy-feeling residue on fur
  • It can cause a bad reaction in some dogs and irritate the skin
  • It contains very drying alcohol, which may explain the above reactions

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner, 8 oz
  • Epi-Otic may be used for routine ear cleansing in healthy ear canal or prior to administration of other ear preparations
  • A mild alcohol-free cleansing and drying solution for routine maintenance of otitis externa
  • Epi-Otic has a low pH of 2.2 and contains no chlorhexidine or alcohol

This mild, alcohol-free ear cleaner from Virbac has the advantage that it dries as it cleans. Why is that a plus point? Well, this formula gets rid of excess moisture in the ear canal that would otherwise be an attractive habitat to bacteria.

It also has anti-adhesive properties, which means that it makes it harder for bacteria to attach themselves to your dog’s skin. Combined with patented anti-odor technology, Epi-Otic is an excellent all-around ear cleaning solution.


  • Effective at removing wax and dirt
  • Cleans and dries ears which are perfect for dogs that like swimming or prone to ear infections
  • No alcohol formula making it gentler on sensitive skin


  • Some dogs are sensitive to this formula and get sore, flaky ears
  • The formula smells medicinal and unpleasant

MISTER BEN'S Original Dog Ear Cleaner - Natural, Effective Dog Ear Infection Treatment & Cleanser (Tonic)
  • [100% GUARANTEED FAST RELIEF] - The Best Way to Stop itching, scratching and head shaking within a few treatments! With this dog ear cleaner, you will notice almost immediate relief from infections,...
  • [FIVE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS TEAM UP ON INFECTIONS] - This Unique Dog Ear Cleanser has five active ingredients to treat and protects ears against the root causes of most infections. These Dog Ear Drops...
  • [ALL NATURAL] - CONTAINS 100% COLD PRESSED ORGANIC ALOE – Aloe helps soothe irritated ears, and is also a natural and effective cleaning and healing agents.

This aloe vera-based cleaner from MisterBen offers a gentle way of getting rid of wax, dirt, and debris. Not only does this cleaner get rid of wax and dirt, but it also deodorizes, leaving your dog with clean, fresh-smelling ears.

MisterBen’s offering features 5 powerful ingredients to keep your dog’s ears in tip-top shape, and as a bonus, they offer a free e-book on the best way to look after your dog’s ears.


  • It doesn’t leave an oily residue in your dog’s ears
  • Effective ear cleanser


  • It contains alcohol which is drying and will sting if your dog already has sore ears.
  • Some dogs have an adverse reaction to one of the active ingredients and end up with even more painful ears.

Pet MD Cat and Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes - Advanced Otic Veterinary Ear Cleaner Formula - Dog Ear Infection Treatment - 100 ct
  • Advanced Formulation To Clean, Deodorize, And Prevent Infections Caused By Dirt, Buildup, And Wax To Keep Your Pets Ears Clean And Fresh.
  • Cucumber Melon Scent: Reduces Foul Odor And Leaves Behind A Pleasant Scent All While Reducing Head Shake, Scratching, Pawing And Discomfort Caused By Infections.
  • No More Squirming And Fighting - Cats And Dogs Prefer Ear Wipes To An Ear Flush Or Ear Drops. Cat And Dog Ear Wipes Make Ear Cleaning Time Quick, Easy And Painless.

These ear wipes from Pet MD make it into our top 5 purely on convenience. They are so easy and quick to use and offer a handy alternative to liquid cleaners.

Designed to clean, deodorize and dry your dog’s ears, they are alcohol-free and contain aloe vera to soothe your dog’s skin. There’re 100 pads in the tub, so they’re good value for money and are perfect for taking with you if you are traveling.

The most significant advantage, though, is that they’re mess-free. Just wipe the outside of your dog’s ear canal and ear and remove potential irritants.


  • Convenient and mess-free
  • Gentle yet effective
  • Good value for money with 100 pads in the tub


  • You can only clean the outside of your dog’s ears
  • The pads are tiny and thin, so if your dog has large ears, you’ll need to use multiple pads
  • It leaves a sticky residue

Best dog ear cleaner conclusion

Your choice of dog ear cleaners will depend, in some part, on your dog’s needs. If your dog is an avid swimmer, for example, you’ll benefit from a cleaner with a drying effect to minimize moisture in your dog’s ears.

But for a good all-rounder we really like the VetOrganics Ear Cleaner. Its natural ingredients work gently to remove dirt, wax, and debris without the need for chemicals. As a dog’s skin, especially in the ears, is so delicate, we think it’s a smart choice to use natural ingredients as possible to clean ears.

Last update on 2023-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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