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A Handy Guide to Choose the Best Dog Ear Cleaner in 2021

Ear Cleaners for dogs best dog ear cleaner for dogs
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    If you’ve been looking for the best dog ear cleaner, you’ve come to the right place.

    Dogs are the world’s best snuggle buddies for sure.

    But sadly, bad things like soiled-up ears and offensive smell coming from your dog’s ear can ruin your snuggle fun.

    Just like you, your pet’s ears, too, release smelly discharge.

    What’s worse?

    Their ears give out a bad smell because of gathered dirt, debris, wax, mites, and other such build-ups – All scary stuff!

    That nasty accumulation doesn’t only smash your cuddle plans but is also harmful to your doggie’s health.

    So, before the problem gets hard to solve, you must introduce an ear cleaner to your dog to keep his ear as clean as a whistle.

    To find the best ear cleaner for dogs, I’ve spent a 2 days researching, thoroughly analyzing most of the customer reviews at the biggest online dog stores, and studying the various products’ specifications, one by one.

    In this buying guide, we’ll explore different top-rated products to help you decide what suits your pet.

    Let’s get started.

    What are dog ear cleaners?

    Dog ear cleaners are solutions that have cleansing and deodorizing attributes.

    Usually, they combat:

    • Inflammation
    • Microbes
    • Mites

    Texture-wise, you can find them in liquids and prescription creams. They also come in the form of foam.

    And, sometimes, some cleaning wipes are treated with ear cleaning solutions as well that act as dog ear cleaners.

    The purpose of ear cleaners for dogs is to remove dirt, debris, and ear discharge or treat existing and recurring infections and prevent ear problems.

    Why do dogs need their ears cleaned?

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    Whenever we talk about dog ear cleaning, a question that might confuse you is why is dog ear cleaning important?

    What’s the need?

    Well, dogs are like any other creature on the planet.

    They interact with dust. Their ears produce wax. And they catch up with mites. All are problematic!

    Besides, the dog ear canal structure makes it hard for all that trapped stuff to discharge. These substances gather deep inside the horizontal canal.

    There, they need assistance to clean up.

    Else, these substances lead to itchiness, inflammation, and severe infections.

    When should dog ear cleaners be used?

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    Dog ear cleaning has to be a regular part of your pet’s grooming. However, it depends on your dog’s breed, skin conditions, allergies, activities, and how susceptible he is to ear problems.

    To determine the frequency of ear cleaning, you must examine your pet’s ear. Regularly!

    Suppose you see any debris, flakes, and substances oozing through your dog’s ear.

    That’s a high time to put some best dog ear cleaner into service.

    There’s another strong sign that can tell you something is wrong.

    Yes, you guessed that right. That bad smell!

    In extreme cases, you might notice swelling and redness. If so, wait no further; consider paying a visit to your vet for an accurate diagnosis.

    Ask your vet for guidance – that’s the best favour you can do to your canine friend.

    Remember to go for a clean-up session when the need arises. Otherwise, don’t perform unnecessary cleaning. Excess use of dog ear cleaners can also pose a risk to your dog’s ear health.

    However, cleaning your dog’s ear with an ear solution as a part of grooming, and to avoid infection risks, once a month is permissible.

    Types of dog ears cleaning solutions

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    There are two types of dog ear cleaning solutions.

    1.  Dog Ear Cleaning Liquids:

    As the name of the category implies, this type of solution is liquid in form. They drip inside the dog’s ear canal and soften the accumulated dirt or wax build-up. As you squirt the liquid in your dog’s ear, massage it a little.

    Your dog will shake off the unnecessary solution along with the dirty discharge later.

    Liquid ear solutions can be grubby, and with them, you have to buy gauze pads for the clean-up.

     

    2.  Dog Ear Cleaning Wipes:

    These are chemically treated wipes that help to eliminate ear exude. With wipes, you don’t need to invest in gauze pads for cleaning, and they are less messy than liquid ear cleaners.

    But the downside is, wipes don’t support a deep cleaning.

    Top 7 Best Dog Ear Cleaner Reviews

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    No matter if you are looking for wipes or for liquid solutions, we looked upon all.

    We have reviewed some of the best ear cleaners for dogs keeping multiple options in mind.

    Here’s our list of the best dog ear cleaners. It includes both liquid solutions and wipes so that you can choose what goes perfectly with your pet’s health conditions.

    Read on to explore all the picks one by one.

    1. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone

    Are you tired of spending hundreds of $$$ on your pet’s ear infection treatments?

    It’s time to give a Zymox Otic a shot. It’s a broad spectrum ear treatment with an exclusive formula that aids in maintaining ear health.

    And guess what?

    It’s way more economical than your regular vet visits.

    Features:

    • It has a no-sting and non-toxic formula
    • Soothes painful ear infection in pets caused by fungi, yeast, and bacteria
    • Features Patented antimicrobial LP3 Enzyme System to clean ear secretions
    • Product is guaranteed Animal Cruelty-Free
    • It is a natural alternative to antibiotics with 1% Hydrocortisone 

    Pros:

    • Promotes healthy ear in cats and dogs of all ages
    • Give relief against ear infections, redness, and inflammation
    • Reduces itching with hydrocortisone
    • Gentle on pet’s skin
    • It doesn’t need any pre-cleaning
    • Easy to use
    • Works after first application
    • Helps eliminate existing infections

    Cons:

    • Not for use on pregnant or lactating females
    • It can’t be used with any other ear cleaner

    2. Virbac EPIOTIC Advanced Ear Cleanser

    Have you tried multiple ear treatments, pet visits, and DIY ear cleaning solutions?

    Still no relief?

    Probably, you need to try Virbac EPIOTIC on your pet’s ears. And let your dog enjoy clean and healthy ears.

    Features:

    • Features innovative anti-adhesive Glycotechnology to prevent microbial attachment
    • Anti-odor technology help ears smell better
    • Antiseptic formulation
    • It has a mild citrus aroma
    • PH 2.2 with anti-adhesive properties
    • Helps to prevent ear infections
    • Great for dogs with allergies

    Pros:

    • Removes debris and ear wax
    • Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive ones
    • Reduces ear canal odor
    • Ideal for regular use
    • It has a low pH

    Cons:

    • Must not interfere with other ear preparations
    • Some buyers experienced redness

    3. Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner

    Cleaning your dog’s ear after a day or two is more than a hassle.

    However, a right dog ear cleaning solution can help you keep your dog’s ear clean for a longer run. That’s where Vet Organics EcoEars comes into the picture.

    It’s a natural alternative to prescription medicine and deals with your doggo’s ear problems with a 93.7% success rate.

    Features:

    • Contains 100% natural ingredients without antibiotics, cortisone, steroids, or enzymes

    Pros:

    • Aids in the treatment of itching, discharge and odour
    • No harsh chemicals
    • Fights against fungus, bacteria, yeast, and mite species
    • Provides fast relief

    Cons:

    • It has a strong awful scent

    4. Zymox Veterinary Strength Dog & Cat Ear Cleanser

    Pet owners struggle with their dog’s ear cleaning.  All they want is an effective and non-toxic way to manage their pet’s dirty ears.

    Zymox Veterinary Strength is a dog ear cleaner that is not only fighting against microbes but is also safe to use.

    No longer ear issues!

    Features:

    • Gentle, non-toxic and non-irritating solution
    • Veterinarian recommended
    • The mild formula contains a unique blend of gentle cleansing compounds and potent bioactive properties of effective ingredients.
    • Free from harsh detergents

    Pros:

    • Controls microbe production in the ear canal
    • Safe for sensitive ears
    • Freshens up your pet’s stinky ear
    • No harsh chemicals or artificial cleansers
    • Very effective at dislodging ear build up
    • Fairly easy to use

    Cons:

    • Not suitable for treating ear infections, but only for preventive purposes
    • Caused vestibular disorder in some pets

    5. Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs

    If there is one best ear cleaner for dogs for regular maintenance, it’s none other than Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for dogs.

    Also, you don’t need to worry about its efficacy as it is vet formulated.

    Just try it out. Hopefully, you’ll see it work wonders on your dog’s soiled-up ears.

    Features:

    • It has a gentle formula that soothes the irritated ear
    • Offers the highest standards of quality and consistency with the expert vets advice
    • Made in the USA with premium ingredients

    Pros:

    • Removes dirt, wax, and other build-ups in the ear
    • Provides itching-relief
    • Suitable for all dogs and puppies
    • Effective against eczema, fungal infections, insect bites, fleas, and contact dermatitis
    • Vet formulate
    • Inexpensive

    Cons:

    • The texture of the cleanser is way too watery
    • It’s sticky

    6. Pet MD - Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

    Want to prevent your dog’s ear problems before they start?

    Every dog owner wishes so. That’s why most of the concerned dog parents trust Pet MD – Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes and consider them the best.

    Know why? It’s because they are scientifically developed. That means they are safe to use.

    Features:

    • Pre-moistened wipes are vet formulated and disposable – 100 in one packaging!
    • Features an alcohol-free and sting-free formula for soft cleaning
    • It contains the soothing effect of Aloe vera and refreshing effect of Eucalyptus oil

    Pros:

    • Gently removes dirt and keeps your dog’s ear wax free
    • Ideal for quick clean-ups
    • Prevents common ear problems
    • Safe for sensitive skins
    • Fast and convenient
    • Deodorizes and dries your pet’s ear

    Cons:

    • Wipes are thin and small – sizing and dimensions need improvement
    • Can cause an allergic reaction

    7. Professional Pet Products AromaCare Ear Wipes

    Snuggling with your pet and enjoying his company from close is fun.

    But that foul odour coming from his ear – it’s awful! It destroys all the cuddle pleasure, right?

    Worry not. AromaCare Ear Wipes are the solution.

    Features:

    • Wipes are pre-soaked and disposable
    • The regular use of these wipes helps to prevent ear infections
    • Formulated with natural Aloe vera and Eucalyptus oil
    • Suitable for both adult dogs and puppies

    Pros:

    • Halts ear infections
    • Convenient
    • Perfect for daily use
    • Safe for all dogs and puppies
    • Leaves doggie’s ears smelling fresh and clean

    Cons:

    • Smaller in size
    • Wipes are challenging to separate

    Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For When Purchasing Dog Ear Cleaners

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    Here are some recommendations from our side about the factors you need to consider before buying any dog ear cleaner.

    1. Consider Your Dog’s Ear Problem:

    Before you decide on any dog ear cleaner, ask yourself why you need the ear cleaner.

     For routine cleaning? Or for infections?

    In case you need a regular cleaner, a mild ear cleaner will do the trick. It cleanses dirt and removes pollen.

    For yeast infections and smelly ears, you need an antifungal ear cleaner.

    While for serious bacterial infections, you will require a vet-prescribed antibiotic ear cleaner.

    2. Active ingredients:

    Next, look for the active ingredients a dog ear cleaning solution contains. Some most common active ingredients found in-ear cleaners are:

    • Salicylic acid and Lactic acid: For resisting microbes, yeast infections, and mild bacterial infections.
    • Ketoconazole: For getting rid of yeast infections
    • Hydrocortisone: For reducing serious itchiness.

    If you want to go with natural ear cleaners, the ingredients can be aloe vera, eucalyptus oil, green tea, and turmeric.

    3. Ear Cleaner Type:

    Choose the ear cleaner according to your dog’s ear problem needs. Liquid solutions are good for deep cleaning.

    However, cleaning wipes can’t go deep enough, but they are simple to use and less messy.

     

    4. Scent:

    If a dog ear cleaner has a soft scent, that can help in masking the odour coming from the dog’s ear. While a solution with a pungent smell can be unpleasant, and your dog might hate it.

    What are the most common types of ear problems in dogs?

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    The most common types of ear problems in dogs are:

    • Bacterial infections
    • Yeast infections

    1. Bacterial infections:

    The most common reasons for ear problems in dogs are bacteria. The signs are:

    • Tilting the head to one side
    • Head shaking
    • Poor balance
    • Temporary deafness
    • Inflammation on the ear(s)
    • Unusual discharge

    2. Yeast infections:

    Yeast infections are a way stronger type of infection. Allergies – either airborne or food, cause them!

    Due to allergies, the skin produces oil in excess. Eventually, the yeast gets a chance to multiply.

    The signs of yeast infections are:

    • Stinky ear(s)
    • Unusual coloured (dark brown or yellow) or bloody discharge
    • Ear flapping
    • Hair loss around the ear(s)
    • Lack of balance

    Your dog can also suffer from some other ear ailments, such as mites.

    Mites are hard to notice with the naked eye. Dogs with ear mites are more vulnerable to developing bacterial or yeast infections.

    Some signs that tell that your dog has caught up mites can be:

    • Bad smell
    • Head shaking
    • Scratching around the ear
    • Dark and waxy discharge

    How to apply a dog ear cleaner step by step

    Keep in mind that dog ear cleaning can be a messy process as your dog might not allow you a peaceful cleaning. And the dog ear cleaning solutions are too tricky to handle because of their watery texture.

    There’s a step-by-step guide for you that can make the cleaning process a breeze.

    • Step 1: First, make sure your dog is relaxed. Then get your dog in a comfortable position – ideally, his rear end is positioned within your legs.
    • Step 2: lift your dog’s ear flap, tilt his head, and squirt the solution inside his ear canal. Avoid touching the nozzle of the cleanser with your dog’s ear. If that happens, clean it with alcohol.
    • Step 3: Leave the solution inside for at least 20-30 seconds and massage the base of your dog’s ear canal. It helps to break up any wax or discharge.
    • Step 4: Let your pet shake his head. This action loosens up the debris and allows any excess substance to get out of the ear.
    • Step 5: Use a clean gauze (not cotton balls or any Q-tips) to clean the debris from inside and outside the ear. While cleaning from inside, don’t go too deep.

    As the cleaning process of one ear comes to an end, don’t hesitate to reward your pup with a treat. Repeat the same procedure with the other ear.

    DIY Dog Ear Cleaning Solution - Homemade Dog Ear Cleaner!

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    Now, when most dog owners are well-aware of the potential hazards that pre-made ear cleaning solutions can cause, many want to opt for Homemade dog ear cleaners.

    Are they worth it?

    A big YES!! – But only for a healthy ear. You can make a homemade dog cleaner from the ingredients right from your kitchen.

    But, wait!

    The ingredients that are good for humans are NOT always good for dogs.

    Making of DIY Dog Ear Cleaner

     

    All you need is:

    • One part of distilled white vinegar
    • Two parts of room temperature water

    Mix the ingredients well and pour the solution into a squeeze bottle. Store it in a cool space.

    And there you have it…

    Your homemade ear cleaner is ready to use.

    Homemade ear solutions are convenient, economical, and easy to use.

    The best part is you have a better idea of ingredients and know what you are pouring inside your dog’s ear canal.

    Still, want to stay on a safer side?  Stick to your vet’s advice.

    Always check your DIY recipe with your vet because only he can tell you what ingredients are safe to use according to your dog’s ear health.

    Beware: Never use ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. They can cause serious skin irritations!

    Establishing an ear cleaning routine

    Some dogs are bothered by the ear cleaning process.  They might have sensitive ears, or maybe they just don’t like touching their ears.

    In that case, ear cleaning can become a tedious task for you.

    Therefore, you need to establish an ear cleaning routine first. An ideal way is to start the cleaning routine from your dog’s puppyhood.

    This way, you’ll be able to manage your pet’s ear health from the beginning, and your pet will also get used to the cleaning process.

    Makes sense?

    Another great way to set up the cleaning routine is the use of treats.

    Simply make the cleaning process a positive experience by gently petting your dog and rewarding him with his favourite treat.

    7 FAQs about dog ear cleaners for dogs

    FAQ - Frequently asked questions (1)

    It depends. Some dogs can go without ear cleaning for their whole life, but some need frequent ear clean-ups.

     

    If your dog has a healthy ear, don't bother using any ear cleaner as it disturbs the natural equilibrium.

     

    However, if your dog has moderate to extreme ear problems, cleaning his ear once a month is more than enough.

    Foul smell, wax discharge, and other ear exudes are some major symptoms that tell that your dog's ears need cleaning.

    Absolutely yes!

    Yeast infections are a situation similar to bacterial infections. Thus, you can use ear cleaners for prevention purposes.

    Yes, you can. Dog ear cleaners can help to remove allergens, like pollen.

    When your dog is not letting you apply the cleaning solution, chances are he is in pain. If you see your dog whining, stop!

    In another case, you can handle your dog with the help of positive reinforcement.

    Your dog’s ear problem can better decide.

    If you need superficial cleaning, wipes are the best. Contrarily, if you want a deep cleansing, liquid ear cleaners are the best.

    Generally, dogs with long floppy ears are more prone to developing ear problems. Long ears can tighten the inside of the ear canal and lead to infections.

    No way! All types of dog ear infections require medical help. Have a conversation with your vet and get your pet's ear examined. Also, make sure to know about the well-being of the eardrum as severe infection can cause the eardrum to rupture.

    If your dog has a blackish-brown build-up, similar to coffee grounds, that's not normal ear wax. This is a sign of ear mites – tiny insects that start residing in your dog's ear.

    It is. Ear infections cause severe pain to your pet; that's why we take them as an emergency. Seek your vet's help instantly.

    Of course, they are painful. You’ll see infected dogs shaking their heads and scratching their ears like crazy. They do so to relieve themselves from the immense pain and discomfort.

    Conclusion - Which Dog Ear Cleaning Solution Is Our Top Pick?

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    With that, we come to the end, and it’s time to reveal our top pick.

    Needless to say, the best ear cleaner for dogs is Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone.

    This product is nothing short of amazing.

    Unlike other dog ear cleaning solutions, it contains no harsh chemicals and is safe for flushing the ears after an infection. It’s fairly easy to use. Besides, it dislodges the ear build-up effectively.

    After use, it leaves no debris behind but a mild and pleasant fragrance.

    Get your pet examined by a vet, and if he has no serious ailments like a punctured eardrum, use Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with confidence.

    And yes, if it fares well, you can cancel your pricey vet appointments.

    Once your dog’s ear problems resolve, you are free to resume your cuddle fun. Yay!

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