The Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions for 2022

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Published: April 11, 2022
© TCreativeMedia/Shutterstock.com

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

If you’ve ever noticed dirt and debris in your dog’s ears, then you probably need an ear cleaning solution. Some dogs are more prone to dirty ears than others. For instance, if your dog has floppy ears, then dirt is much more likely to get trapped. However, most dogs will benefit from an ear cleaning solution at least once, even if they have pointed ears.

Keeping your dog’s ears clean is vital for their health. Dirt and grime can lead to ear infections and other ear problems, which can be expensive to treat and painful for your dog. Checking and cleaning your dog’s ears should be a regular part of your routine.

While you can just use water for this step, it is often better to use a specially-made formula, especially if your canine is prone to ear infections.

Let’s take a look at some of the top-rated ear cleaning solutions so that you can choose the best option for your canine.

  1. Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Ear Flush Cleaner
  2. Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Ear Flush Cleaner
    • Contains Clorhexidine and Ketoconazole to help prevent ear infections, bacteria, yeast, and funguses
    • May help clear existing minor ear infections
    • May help prevent recurring ear infections
    • Contains aloe to soothe itchiness
    • Used regularly, it can help prevent dry ears and scaly irritation
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs
  4. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs
    • Removes wax and debris
    • Reduces bacteria and reduces microbes that can cause ear infections
    • Non-irritating
    • Low pH won't interfere with other ear solutions
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Zymox Otic Dog Ear Infection Drops with Hydrocortisone
  6. Zymox Otic Dog Ear Infection Drops with Hydrocortisone
    • Highly medicated to treat reoccurring ear infections
    • Contains three enzymes to reduce microbes in your dog's ears
    • Clears current infections and helps prevent future infections
    • Hydrocortisone provides fast pain relief and reduces inflammation
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Pet MD Aloe Vera & Eucalyptus Dog Ear Wipes
  8. Pet MD Aloe Vera & Eucalyptus Dog Ear Wipes
    • Premoistened wipes are easier to use than drops or cleaning solutions
    • Veterinary formulated to help prevent ear infections and other ear issues
    • Alcohol-free so they won't cause stinging or pain
    • Quick-drying
    • Contains aloe for soothing moisture
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. TrizULTRA + Keto Flush for Dogs
  10. TrizULTRA + Keto Flush for Dogs
    • Designed to flush dogs' ears, not treat infections
    • Fragrance-free
    • Soothing
    • Provides near-instant pain relief
    • Gentle formula can be used daily
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  11. Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs
  12. Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs
    • Designed to cleanse ears, not to treat ear infections
    • Formulated to prevent and eliminate itchiness
    • Contains aloe vera to moisturize your dog's ears
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Reduces smelliness from dogs' ears
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  13. Zymox Veterinary Strength Dog Ear Cleanser
  14. Zymox Veterinary Strength Dog Ear Cleanser
    • Contains enzymes to help eliminate microbes from your dog's ears
    • Gentle surfactants remove wax and dirt
    • Easy-to-use bottle
    • No harsh chemicals or artificial cleansers
    • Non-medicated
    Check Chewy

1. Best Overall Dog Ear Cleaning Solution – Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs

Our #1 Best Overall choice for a generalized ear cleaner is Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs. It is non-irritating and prevents microbes from growing in your dog’s ear, which can prevent ear infections and similar problems. However, it is also gentle enough to use routinely.

This solution works primarily by helping remove debris and excessive wax from your dog’s ear canal. However, it also helps reduce bacteria and similar microbes from your dog’s ears as well.

You can use this solution on just about any dog. However, it may work best for dogs that have regular ear infections and inflammation.

We also like that this formula has a low pH, so it does not get in the way of other ear solutions and medications.

#1 Best Overall
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs
  • Removes wax and debris
  • Reduces bacteria and reduces microbes that can cause ear infections
  • Non-irritating
  • Low pH won't interfere with other ear solutions
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial – Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Ear Cleaner

For those that need something a bit stronger, you may want to try this ear flush. It features both Clorhexidine and Ketoconazole, which help combat ear infections, bacteria, yeast, and funguses. If your dog has regular ear problems, these cleaners may help prevent them from occurring.

In some cases, this ear cleaner may also help clear minor ear infections and similar problems. However, it’s primary purpose is prevention in dogs prone to this problem.

With aloe vera leaf juice, this formula also helps alleviate itchiness. Because continuous scratching can just make your dog’s ear worse, preventing this behavior is often vital to prevent further infections.

When used regularly, this formula can also prevent scaly irritation and dry ears. Plus, it is made in the USA.

Best Anti-Fungal
Vetnique Labs Oticbliss Ear Flush Cleaner
  • Contains Clorhexidine and Ketoconazole to help prevent ear infections, bacteria, yeast, and funguses
  • May help clear existing minor ear infections
  • May help prevent recurring ear infections
  • Contains aloe to soothe itchiness
  • Used regularly, it can help prevent dry ears and scaly irritation
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Ear Wipes – Pet MD Aloe Vera & Eucalyptus Dog Ear Wipes

These premoistened wipes are easier to use in some cases than drops or cleaning solutions. They are veterinary formulated to help prevent ear infections and similar problems. However, your dog may not mind these ear wipes quite as much as solutions.

Because they are completely alcohol-free, they should not cause any stinging or pain. However, the solution is very quick-drying, which helps prevent ear problems caused by moisture.

It also includes aloe vera, which moisturizes your dog’s ears. This ingredient may immediately prevent itchiness and reduce inflammation, which can prevent scratching and provide your dog with some relief.

These formulas are especially perfect for situations where you need to quickly clean your dog’s ears. You can also easily throw them in a bag for use on the go.

Best Ear Wipes
Pet MD Aloe Vera & Eucalyptus Dog Ear Wipes
  • Premoistened wipes are easier to use than drops or cleaning solutions
  • Veterinary formulated to help prevent ear infections and other ear issues
  • Alcohol-free so they won't cause stinging or pain
  • Quick-drying
  • Contains aloe for soothing moisture
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Medicated – Zymox Otic Dog Ear Infection Treatment with Hydrocortisone

For current or reoccurring ear infections, you probably want this solution. It is highly medicated, which is why it is so much better at reducing infections than other solutions out there.

While we don’t recommend completely avoiding the vet in favor of this ear treatment, it may be useful when used alongside your dog’s other medications. Your vet may also recommend this solution alone, as it is medicated.

Using this solution is pretty straightforward. You simply add some drops to your dog’s ear and then rub. It contains three different enzymes to help reduce microbes in your dog’s ears, which prevents infections and clears out current infections.

Plus, the use of hydrocortisone helps provide nearly instant relief for your dog. It also lowers inflammation, which reduces pain and can help eliminate the infection.

Best Medicated
Zymox Otic Dog Ear Infection Drops with Hydrocortisone
  • Highly medicated to treat reoccurring ear infections
  • Contains three enzymes to reduce microbes in your dog's ears
  • Clears current infections and helps prevent future infections
  • Hydrocortisone provides fast pain relief and reduces inflammation
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Simple Ear Cleanse – Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs

This formula is much simpler than formulas we’ve discussed thus far. Instead of containing medications, this formula only works as a cleanser. Therefore, it is a good option for dogs that don’t very very severe problems in the least.

It does contain aloe vera, which helps moisturize your dog’s ears. It reduces inflammation, which also helps reduce pain and redness. In many cases, it can also reduce any smelliness coming from your dog’s ear (though this is an obvious sign of ear mites and should not be ignored).

Primarily, this formula is for preventing and eliminating itchiness. Itchiness can be a sign of infection, which these drops do not treat. However, it can be used alongside another treatment for immediate relief.

Best Simple Ear Cleanse
Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs
  • Designed to cleanse ears, not to treat ear infections
  • Formulated to prevent and eliminate itchiness
  • Contains aloe vera to moisturize your dog's ears
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces smelliness from dogs' ears
Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best Keto Flush – TriULTRA + Keto Flush for Dogs

You can use this formula for dogs, cats, and horses. It helps prevent flush out your dog’s ears, which can help remove yeast and bacteria. However, it is not designed to directly eliminate any infection.

This solution is extremally soothing. It can be used as a pre-treatment before your dog’s actual medication, as it provides near-instant relief. It is also completely fragrance-free, which helps eliminate the odds that it will cause a reaction in your pooch.

This formula is extremally gentle and completely non-stinging. You can use it as part of your daily routine, as it is not heavily medicated. The only active ingredient is contains is ketoconazole, which does have some anti-fungal properties.

Best Keto Flush
TrizULTRA + Keto Flush for Dogs
  • Designed to flush dogs' ears, not treat infections
  • Fragrance-free
  • Soothing
  • Provides near-instant pain relief
  • Gentle formula can be used daily
Check Chewy Check Amazon

7. Best with Enzymes – Zymox Veterinary Strength Dog Ear Cleaners

Enzymes can be used to eliminate all sorts of microbes from your dog’s ears. Therefore, while this formula is not technically medicated, it can prevent and help treat infections. Plus, it includes gentle surfactants that help remove dirt and wax from your dog’s ear.

It comes in an easy-to-use bottle. The directions are straightforward, and you can use this formula often.

This cleaner includes no harsh chemicals or artificial cleaners. It is extremely safe and gentle, which is exactly what you want when your dog is prone to ear infections. Plus, it is made in the USA, so you can rest assured regarding its safety.

Best with Enzymes
Zymox Veterinary Strength Dog Ear Cleanser
  • Contains enzymes to help eliminate microbes from your dog's ears
  • Gentle surfactants remove wax and dirt
  • Easy-to-use bottle
  • No harsh chemicals or artificial cleansers
  • Non-medicated
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Not all ear cleaners are made the same. In fact, they vary widely in formulation. Therefore, when you’re choosing a cleaner, you need to keep several things in mind. Most importantly, you’ll need to consider the active ingredients, purpose, and gentleness of the formulation.

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients in a formulation are going to have a huge role in how well it works. You preferably want active ingredients that line up with the purpose of the cleaner.

An anti-fungal cleanser should have high-quality anti-fungal active ingredients, for instance. A gentle, basic cleanser likely shouldn’t have many active ingredients at all.

Purpose

Ear cleaners are not all designed to do the same thing. Some only clean your dog’s ear and ease inflammation. Others may be highly medicated and designed to treat infections.

When shopping, be sure to purchase an option that fits what you need in a cleaner.

Gentleness

If your dog is suffering from repeat infections or ear irritation, the last thing you need is a formula that is also irritating. Therefore, the best formulas are those that act to ease inflammation and itching – not cause it.

Of course, some dogs will be particularly sensitive to cleaners, while others won’t be. Still, it is generally best to choose a gentle formula when possible.

The Different Types of Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions: Pros and Cons

There are two main types of dog ear cleaning solutions: medicated and non-medicated. Each type has their own benefits and potential consequences. Therefore, it is vital to choose the option that is best for your canine.

Let’s take a look at each option so that you’ll have a better idea of which one to get.

  • Medicated – These solutions contain medication of some sort to treat a type of infection. Often, they include various types of medication so that they can treat just about anything.
  • Non-medicated – These solutions are not nearly as strong as medication formulas. However, they are designed for dogs that just need something to rinse and flush out their ears.

Medicated

ProsCons
Treats a variety of infectionsOften more expensive
StrongCan lead to medication-resistant microbes

Non-Medicated

ProsCons
GentleCannot actively treat infections
Less expensive

Verified Review: User Experience

Dog ear cleaning solutions tend to have pretty good reviews. Most users are quite surprised by how well most of these solutions work. Many described that their dogs no longer itched their ears constantly. Some even reported visible differences in the health around and inside the ear.

The Virbac Epi Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner seems to be a good option for dogs with ear infections because of allergies. For instance, one user stated that it helped their chronically-ill pug “tremendously.”

Most ear solutions we reviewed also don’t seem to bother most canines. However, if your dog seems particularly bothered by apply liquid, you can try the wipes instead.

Many users reported that the Pet MD Dog Ear Wipes helped reduce irritation and seems to help beyond just cleaning their dog’s ears.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.