The 15 Best Dog Ear Cleaners (Vet Approved Review)

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    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki Smirnova is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. She has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

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    Dr. Michele King
    Dr. Michele King

    Veterinary review
    by Dr. Michele King

    Michele has been worked for 20 years as a small animal veterinarian. Michele provides advice for an online community in the veterinary industry on a variety of topics.

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  • Updated on: 02/18/2021

Dogs have a complex structure of the ear canal, and as a result, can develop problems and diseases.

Dogs with long hanging ears (breeds like Bassets, Beagles and Spaniels) are susceptible to certain conditions more often than other dogs, but dogs with short and straight ears are often diagnosed with various ear canal inflammatory processes.

To reduce the risk of pathology, it is necessary to regularly take care of the pet’s ears using cleaners to keep the ear canal healthy. Hygiene procedures, such as cleaning, are of great importance.

best ear cleaners for dogsPhoto by @tortugadatacorp from Pixabay

Proper care can prevent the occurrence of diseases at any age. Other products, such as cleaning wipes, antimicrobial sprays, ointments, and lotions, can be very effective in caring for the ear. Ear drops for dogs are used not only in the treatment of diseases but also as a prevention of infection and ear mites, which are very dangerous for the pet. Treatment of these infections is becoming problematic because of the increasing number of multi resistant bacterial strains.[1]

The Best Ear Cleaners for Dogs (Review)

Cleaning should be carried out very sensibly, so as not to harm the pet. It is also necessary to carefully select cleaning products so that they do not cause irritation or allergies in the dog. Some cleaner may be sold non-prescription. We have reviews some brands and selected some of the best products.

1. Zymox Ear Cleanser With Bio-Active Enzyme   

zymox ear cleanser with bio-active enzymes
Our Top Pick

This most popular product is available in three different sizes and contains 1% hydrocortisone for effective treatment of acute and chronic external otitis. This liquid is not only suitable for cleaning ears but also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that help keep your pet’s ears in perfect condition.

Key features:

  • An effective and non-toxic ear cleaner.
  • Regular use helps to improve the health of the ears.
  • Helps reduce itching and inflammation.



  • No aggressive chemicals.
  • Ease of use.  
  • Requires just one daily treatment.
  • Relatively expensive.

2. Beaphar Ear Drops for Cats and Dogs   

beaphar ear drops for cats and dogs
Runner Up-Pick

This drops for cleaning ears specially designed to treat various conditions, including ear mites, accumulation of wax, and many more.

Key features:

  • The product contains natural pyre thrum.
  • Helps soothe irritation and promotes healing.
  • Formula helps soothe irritation and promote healing.



  • Easy to use.
  • Easy-to-use drop dispenser.
  • An effective and non-toxic.
  • Some owners report that this product is less effective.

3. MISTER BEN’S Original Ear Tonic with Aloe for Dogs

mister ben's original ear tonic
The Best #1 Liquid

This tonic contains five ingredients that eliminate the main pathogens of ear infections. This is the best choice to get rid of itching and scratching in the dog’s ears. It will provide immediate relief from infections, inflammation, swelling, redness, and irritation in the dog’s ears.

Key features:

  • It contains five active ingredients to treat and protect the ears.
  • The pipette will help you control the amount of tonic.
  • Strong enough to treat various ear problems.



  • Aloe helps soothe irritation.
  • No aggressive chemicals.
  • Not expensive.
  • Formula includes alcohol that may not be suitable for dogs with sensitive ears.

4. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner

virbac epi-otic advanced ear cleaner
The Best #2 Liquid

Virbac Epi-Otic is a non-alcohol containing ear cleaner that does not contain antibiotics. A low pH formula designed to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. This contains salicylic acid to protect the dog’s ears from infections. The product also dries your pet’s ear canals, protecting it from pathogenic fungi and bacteria.

Key features:

  • Recommended for pets with chronic otitis externa.
  • The solution is not irritating prevents microbial action.
  • The product can be used for normal cleaning of sensitive ears.



  • The solution reduces irritation.
  • Prevents the harmful effects of microbes.
  • The liquid removes dirt and dries the ear canal.
  • It cannot be used to treat ear infections.

5. Pups & Pounce, Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner

pups & pounce
The Best #3 Liquid

This product quickly eliminates irritation associated with ear infections caused by bacteria, yeast, mites and fungi. It also eliminates the smell that accompanies infections.

Key features:

  • Made from safe and eco-friendly products.
  • It doesn’t contain alcohol.
  • Quickly soothes irritation and itching.



  • This moisturizes delicate ears.
  • Made in the USA.
  • No sulfate, no phosphate.
  • It may clean but not treat the infection.

6. Miracle Care R-7M Ear Mite Treatment

miracle care r-7m
The Best #4 Liquid

This ear cleaner effectively neutralizes ticks due to the presence of pyrethrin. It can be used to treat the ears of dogs older than 12 weeks. This eliminates itching and inflammation caused by pests.

Key features:

  • Liquid neutralize spinose ear ticks and mites.
  • Help get rid of the pesky parasites.
  • This liquid is available in two different sizes.



  • Made in the USA.
  • 4-ounce size.
  • Suitable for all dog breeds.
  • Not suitable for puppies.

7. Burt’s Bees Care Plus+ Charcoal & Coconut Oil Dog Ear Rinse

burt's bees care plus+ charcoal & coconut oil dog ear rinse
The Best #1 Cleaner

Clean your favorite pet’s ears with Burt’s Bees Care Plus. The formula of this product copes even with heavy dirt. The lotion gently cleanses the ear canal, removing excess moisture and dirt.

Key features:

  • It consists of completely natural ingredients.
  • It does not contain sulfates or dyes.
  • Helps prevent infection.



  • The extract of charcoal to neutralize acidity.
  • The solution reduces irritation.
  • Made from 99.7% natural ingredients.
  • The drug is not intended for the treatment of infection.
  • It contains alcohol.

8. MalAcetic Otic Cleanser

malacetic otic cleanser
The Best #2 Cleaner

This product is designed to maintain the healthy skin of animals with bacterial and/or fungal skin diseases. Thanks to a patented formula based on acetic and boric acids, this tonic helps balance the skin surface’s pH, which makes it unfavorable for excessive growth of fungi/yeast.

Key features:

  • It helps to balance the pH of the skin surface.
  • Antimicrobial — for mild to moderate bacterial/fungal infections.
  • Helps balance skin surface pH.



  • Protects the skin from a fungus.
  • Organic medicine.
  • It cleans and dries the ear.
  • Some dogs don’t like the smell.

9. Vetoquinol Vet Solutions

vetoquinol vet solutions
The Best #3 Cleaner

Vetoquinol Ear Cleaning Solution is a complex formula for dogs that cleans, dries, and deodorizes the ears. This product is gentle enough for everyday use.

Key features:

  • This creates an environment that helps maintain ear health.
  • Suitable for the prevention of external infections.



  • Aloe Vera extract makes the skin soft.
  • It can be used to prevent ear infections.
  • Gentle enough for routine use.
  • Some dogs don’t like the smell.

10. Vet Organics EcoEars

vet organics ecoears
The Best #4 Cleaner

It helps reduce itching, discharge, and odor caused by bacterial, fungal, and yeast ear infections. This product creates an environment in the dog’s ear that is unsuitable for the organisms that cause most common diseases. This tool is also quite easy to use.

Key features:

  • Cleans the ears of bacteria, fungi, yeast and mites.
  • The composition does not contain antibiotics, steroids or negative enzymes.
  • Aids in the treatment of acute and chronic odor, itching and discharge.



  • 100% free of aggressive chemicals.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Renders to ear infections.
  • Fragrance may be too strong for some dogs.

11. PPP Pet Aroma Care 100 Count Ear Wipes

ppp pet aroma care 100 count ear wipes
The Best #1 Wipe

These wipes help keep your puppy’s ears in perfect condition and can prevent ear infections. The wipes are suitable for use by both puppies over 12 weeks old and adult dogs. This product can be used regularly.

Key features:

  • Suitable for adult dogs and puppies.
  • Regular use will help prevent ear infections.
  • Contains soothing aloe vera.



  • Convenient disposable napkins.
  • Contains 100 wipes.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Not intended to treat infections.

12. PetMD Ear Wipes

petmd ear wipes
The Best #2 Wipe

These wipes make it easy to clean your dog’s ears from dirt and excess wax. The ingredients contained in the napkins prevent the growth and spread of yeast and mites. PetMD reduces painful itching and scratches in addition to eliminating unpleasant odors.

Key features:

  • Suitable for puppies and dogs older than 12 weeks.
  • Soothes with aloe vera.
  • USDA and FSIS regulated manufacturing facility.



  • These wipes are safe for daily use.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Easy to grab.
  • Not intended to treat ear infections.

13. 21st Century Essential Pet Clean Ear Pads for Dogs

21st century essential pet clean ear pads for dogs
The Best #3 Wipe

Wipes help keep your dog’s ears clean for a long time. These wipes help remove dirt build-up of wax in the ears. These napkins are made in the USA and have been tested in a laboratory.

Key features:

  • Suitable for regular use.
  • Helps prevent common ear problems.
  • Helps reduce head shake.



  • Made from natural products.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Perfect for quick clean.
  • Not intended to treat infections.

14. Pet MD Advanced Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner Wipes

pet md advanced dog & cat ear cleaner wipes
The Best #3 Wipe

Advanced pet MD wipes are great for regular ear cleaning. These wipes are alcohol-free, reduce irritation, and help prevent microbial activity. Wipes gently clean and dry the ear canal, as well as eliminate odors.

Key features:

  • Aroma of cucumber and melon.
  • May prevent infections.
  • Wipes help reduce head shake, and scratching.



  • Perfect for quick clean.
  • Made in the USA.      
  • Not intended to treat ear infections.

15. Miracle Care Ear Care Solutions

miracle care ear care powder
The Best Gel & Powder

Ear powder is often used for quick and painless hair removal. This powder is effortless to use. Miracle Care ear powder for dogs contains zinc oxide, silicon dioxide, methyl salicylate, rosin, and bentonite. These ingredients help to quickly and easily remove excess hair from the ear. The powder also creates a protective layer that will help protect your dog’s ears from fungal and bacterial infections.

Key features:

  • Helps prevent infections.
  • Helps maintain dryness of the ear canal.
  • Helps remove dirt.



  • Helps remove ear hair painlessly.
  • Reduces sulfur emissions.
  • Doesn’t replace other care methods.

*Ratings are formed by the author of the article based on own research and combined with customer reviews.

Importance of Cleaning your Dog’s Ears

Regular cleaning of the ears of dogs and cats is one of the necessary conditions for proper care of your pets, it is one of the hygiene procedures that the owner should conduct regularly and can do it yourself at home. Most often, dogs with hanging ears (Dachshund, Spaniel, Basset hound) and with a narrow ear canal (Sharpei) need regular care. For hygienic purposes, clean the ears as required (every 1-2 weeks). If the ears’ discharge appears regularly in large quantities, then take the pet to a veterinarian. For therapeutic purposes, clean your ears only as directed by a doctor.

  • Accumulation of dirt and earwax can lead to the development of infection, which can bequite challenging treating in animals. Regular cleaning of the ears will help prevent the disease’s risk or detect it at an early stage.
  • It is essential to know that the animal’s ear canal is not straight, but has a bend, so cleaning the ears of dogs and cats has some features.
  • To begin with, remove the secretions that are visible on the inner surface of the ear and in the initial part of the ear canal. To do this, you can use a cotton swab or a cloth. Most of the discharge is hidden from the eyes and is located in the depth of the ear canal. Do not try to get these secretions with a cotton swab, as you can damage the skin.  Only use swabs to take away the debris on the outside of the ear canal. 
  • Do not use irritating liquids, such as hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, to clean the ears. This can harm the dog: cause pain or irritation to the ears’ delicate skin.[4] Water can also add to disease, and should not be used for cleaning ears.

For regular preventive cleaning, it is necessary to choose the most suitable tool for the animal. Now on the market represented a considerable amount of great products.

Types of Ear Cleaners: Pros&Cons

In the animal products store, there are many veterinary drops for cleaning and treating ears.

In general, there are two groups medications:

  • Medicinal — have antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic properties. They help you quickly get rid of ear mites or superficial external infections. 
  • Preventative.

The most popular cleaning agent is veterinary ear drops. They are available in glass or plastic containers with a small volume dispenser. The best ones must be hermetically packed. Designed for the treatment and prevention of diseases.

Ear washes for dogs are used for hygienic procedures. It is not possible to use it as a treatment since it does not contain active antifungal substances. It has no harmful additives in the composition and therefore is safe to use as prevention for the disease. The best wash has a pleasant smell and refreshes the ear for a long time.[2]

READ MORE: How to Tell if My Dog Has Fleas?

most popular types of dog cleaning productsPhoto by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Ear drops, lotions and sprays have in their composition such active components as:

  • antibiotics;
  • natural extracts of medicinal herbs;
  • essential oils;

Wipes for the daily care of dogs ‘ ears often have anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antimicrobial effects, and well-soften and moisturize the skin. Aloe extract, which is often added to napkins’ composition, has not only all the above properties, but also leaves a pleasant refreshing smell. Wipes gently clean the skin without leaving a waxy layer and sticky film on it. Painless for the skin.

Ear cleaning powders are designed to neutralize the unpleasant smell of sulfur. This tool can keep the ear canal dry and clean. The Powder-an useful tool for cleaning the ears eliminates mites and helps remove hair and other foreign objects from the ear. These products have a disinfecting effect. The powder also increases the sensitivity of pathogenic microflora to antibacterial drugs.[3]

Thanks to its rich composition, cleaning and treatment products can fight not only bacteria, there are the best dog ear cleaner for yeast, mites, and fungi, but also heal wounds, cracks, and ulcers faster. However, only a veterinarian is competent to choose a safe and highly effective medicine, as well as to prescribe the exact dosage timing. Before you buy the medicine for dogs, be sure to visit a specialist.

DIY Solutions

A normal healthy dog ear has a unique self-cleaning mechanism that is provided by the epithelium. Along with epithelial cells, dust particles, hairs, excess earwax, and even bacteria and yeast-like fungi are removed.

In this case, the canal’s epithelium is very thin and delicate and can easily be damaged by improper cleaning, especially with cotton swabs or tweezers wrapped in cotton wool. Therefore, it should be carried out very carefully to not harm the pet. The procedure is not complicated but requires increasing attention and accuracy. [5]

Guide to cleaning:

  1. Fixing the animal. If the dog is restless and runs away from the owners, it is better to postpone cleaning. It is recommended to clean the ears after washing, sleeping, or eating. The dog should be held comfortably, the ear flap raised.  And all the time, praise your pet. The process should evoke pleasant associations in the animal.
  2. After an examination of the outer ear, you need to take cotton pads or sanitary napkins and clean the entire surface.
  3. Gently massage the ear. Massaging movements help to soften any debris, and remove it. Even such actions give pet pleasure, and it will be calmer.
  4. The removal of dirt. This is done using a cotton swab. When you see a clean disk or swipe, you can assume that the process is over.

Finish cleaning by wiping the ear dry.

READ MORE: Sick Puppy 101

diy dog ear cleaning solutionsPhoto by Liesbet Delvoye on Unsplash

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How to Spot an Ear Infection in Dogs

As a rule, these infections are manifested by intensive ear scratching, vigorous shaking of the head, and howling. These clinical signs may indicate an ear infection.

Also, a sign of infection or inflammation is an unpleasant smell from the animal’s ears. In severe cases, infections are complicated by hearing loss. The whining of the animal when touching the ears is also evidenced of possible infection. The progression of untreated disease and the promotion of microbes deeper is accompanied by a sharp increase in pain. There is a tendency of the animal to hold its head motionless with a tilt to one side. Involvement in the pathological process of the inner ear is manifested by dizziness, impaired balance, coordination, walking the animal in a circle, and vomiting. Use the right tools to ear infection treatment. 

Any of these signs need to be treated by a veterinarian right away.

How to clean a dog’s ears?

This procedure is suitable for any breed of dog with healthy, uninfected ears. When cleaning, you can use the best cleaning solution. A few drops of this solution are placed into the ear canal, and the ear is lightly massaged so that the solution gets as deep inside as possible. Then the outside of the ear is cleaned with a soft swab wrapped on a stick or tweezers. Also, a soft swab is used to wipe the ear. While cleaning the ears, talk to the dog in a calm, affectionate tone, praise it.

Can you put peroxide in a dog’s ear for an infection?

It is not recommended to use hydrogen peroxide, alcohol liquids, or various oils to clean the ears, this can harm the dog.

Veterinarians do not recommend using hydrogen peroxide to clean the ears of dogs, because animals are very susceptible to any unpleasant sensations and sounds. If the product gets on a small wound or scratch in the animal’s ear, it will start to emit a characteristic hissing sound and cause a burning sensation. Such feelings can lead to the appearance of anxiety and fear in the pet.

How to flush a dog’s ear with cleaner

You must do the following:

  • Gently seat the dog.
  • Fill the outer ear canal with warm cleaning solution. Use enough cleaner to completely fill the ear canal. It is normal for some solution to spill out of the ear canal. 
  • Close the ear and massage the base so that the lotion penetrates the ear canal.
  • Moisten the cotton pad with any suitable lotion.
  • Remove dirt from the outer ear with a cotton swab.
  • Repeat the procedure if necessary.

READ MORE: How to take care of dog gums?

Article Sources:

  1. Mekić, S., et al. “Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Isolates from Dogs with Otitis Externa — PubMed.” PubMed, 8 July 2020,
  2. Perry, Laura. “Epidemiological Study of Dogs with Otitis Externa in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.” PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Feb. 2017,
  3. Smith, Alison. “Usage Patterns of Carbapenem Antimicrobials in Dogs and Cats at a Veterinary Tertiary Care Hospital.” PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Aug. 2019,
  4. Stevens‐Sparks, Cathryn K., and George M. Strain. Post‐anesthesia Deafness in Dogs and Cats Following Dental and Ear Cleaning Procedures. 17 June 2010,
  5. Otitis Externa in Animals — Wikipedia. 29 Mar. 2019,

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