Dogs need their ears to be cleaned and taken care of just like humans need to take care of theirs. Many dogs have sensitive ears and you need to take extra care in cleaning their ears. Dirty ears can lead to a variety of ear infections and problems. Ear cleaning should be a regular part of your dog grooming, to prevent bad odor, wax build-up and infections you need to clean your dog’s ear with a good dog ear cleaner.
What are dog ear cleaners?
Dog ear cleaners are liquid, foamy or creamy solutions that contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. They are used for a variety of reasons from removing excess ear wax or debris to preventing or curing ear infections and other ear problems.
Buying guide for dog ear cleaners
Dog ear cleaners like other products are produced by a variety of companies each with different features, if your dog has sensitive ears or has an ear problem then you should consult with your veterinarian before buying any ear cleaner.
Ear cleaners for regular use should be able to remove excess wax or debris and still prevent ear infections, which is what we expect but some ear cleaners fall short of that expectation.
When shopping for dog ear cleaners, you have to what type you want, is it the one that works best at removing excess ear wax and debris or the one with advanced properties to prevent or cure ear infections. Some features to consider before buying a dog ear cleaner are:
• Formula: Dog ear cleaners come in different formulas, some are designed to tackle a particular issue like yeast infection while others are multi-purpose cleaners with many functions like cleaning, drying, and deodorizing your dog’s ear. You need to be aware of the needs of your dog’s ear and select a dog ear cleaner that will be best suited. If your dog is prone to ear infections then you would need to get a dog ear cleaner that addresses that issue but if your dog gets a lot of wax and debris in its ear then you should get a dog ear cleaner that can take care of that.
• Type: There are ear wipe cleaners and there are liquid ear cleaners, liquid ear cleaners are best for deep cleansing, preventing or curing ear infections and removing excess ear wax while ear wipe cleaners are suitable for removing debris and dirt.
• Ingredient: An important feature to consider before buying a dog ear cleaner is the ingredients used to manufacture the product, you should go for products that feature high-quality ingredients that do not cause irritation. You should also make a mental effort to always avoid products that contain harsh chemicals as it can be dangerous to use harsh chemicals on your dog’s ear.
• Ease of use: Cleaning your dog’s ear should be a regular affair, so you will need to purchase dog ear cleaners that are easy to use, make sure that you always read the instructional manual that comes with the product before use to prevent accidents during use.
If you are a beginner groomer, you may want to opt for an ear cleaner with a drop style design as it will be easier for you to drop it into your dog’s ear.
Best Dog Ear Cleaners
- Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner
This ear cleaner is great for dogs with sensitive ears, it prevents microbial growth, removed excess wax and debris from the ear, keeps the ear dry and even relieves chronic ear inflammation.
• Nice smell (citrus)
• Prevents reoccurring infections
• Vet recommended
- Vetwell Dog and Cat Ear Cleaner
This cleaner is gentle on ears, it is a great choice for dogs with yeast and mite infections. You can use it daily because it is a gentle cleaner and it rinses out debris, wax and dirt from your dog’s ear.
• Great odor with pleasant scent
• Deep cleanses ear
• Prevents infections
• Manufactured in USA
• Gentle cleaner
- Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone
This cleaner consist of a blend of enzymes that naturally cleanses, rinses and disinfects the ear canal. It relieves itching, inflammation and it cures fungal, bacterial and yeast infections.
• Enzyme blend with hydrocortisone
• Cures infections
• Prevents infections
• Vet recommended
- BotaniVet Natural Ear Cleaner
This cleaner is a great eco-friendly product, it uses natural ingredients and it is great for dogs with sensitive ears and skin.
• Vet and vet dermatologist recommended
• Formulated for dogs with sensitive skin and ear
• Made in USA
• Pleasant berry mix scent
• Contains organic oils that fight against bacteria and yeast growth
- Vet Solution Ear Cleansing Solution
Vet Solution is an effective cleaner that can be used regularly, it prevents microbial growth, cleanses, deodorizes and dries the ear.
• Great for daily usage
• Prevents microbial growth
- EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaners
This is another eco-friendly dog ear cleaners, it is made with natural ingredients that makes it safe to use on dogs with sensitive ears and skin. It relieves inflammation, redness and it also removes excess wax from the ear.
• Natural formula
• Great for dogs with sensitive ears and skin
• Relieves inflammation and reduces redness
- Zymox Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent Hydrocortisone
This ear cleaner is a budget friendly option, it is works quickly and gets rid of debris and wax build-up. It also relieves inflammation and cures infections.
• Budget friendly option
• Deep cleanser
• Enzyme blend with hydrocortisone
- Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes
These are dog ear cleaner wipes, they are easy to use and they get rid of debris and excess wax conveniently. They keep the dog’s ear dry and they also prevent foul smell and ear discharge.
• Nice smell
• Great for cleaning and drying the ear
• Reduces itching
• Prevents foul odor
• Prevents yeast and mites build-up
- Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment
This ear cleaner is veterinarian formulated, it is specifically designed to combat stubborn and reoccurring yeast, bacterial and fungal infections.
• Alcohol free formula
• Prevents and cures infections
• Powerful and effective ingredients
- Bephar Ear Drops For Dogs and Cats
It can be used for both cats and dogs, it is formulated to treat various infections like ear mites, and it also cleanses the ear of excess ear wax.
• Natural ingredient
• Can work on dogs and cats
• Relieves irritation and itching
• Easy to use
• Drop dispenser design
• Effectively deep cleanses
Ear problems in dogs
When a dog’s ear is neglected that is when you consider and groom your dog and forget your dog’s ear, you are exposing your dog to ear problems which can lead to deafness if not properly addressed.
There are four major ear problems in dogs and they are yeast infections, bacterial infections, mites and stuck objects.
Yeast infection in dogs is a fungal infection that spreads through excess oil production, it affects dog’s skin and also their eardrums. It is characterized by a pungent foul smell, reddened appearance and a waxy feel.
• Strong foul smell
• Crusted hair flap
• Unusual ear movements
• Hair loss
• Bloody, yellowish or dark brown discharge
• Scabby, crusty or reddened appearance
Yeast infections can also be as a result of an airborne or food allergy, the best way to get accurate information about the cure for yeast infection would be to consult your veterinarian. Depending on how serious the infection is you can always use ear cleaners to cure it, there are ear cleaners that are made with anti-inflammatory and antifungal agents that can combat the infection.
Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, it is the most common ear problem in dogs. This infection is characterized by inflammation, redness and even bowel issues.
• Temporary deafness
• Grey colored bulging eardrum
• Brownish wax-like discharge
• Foul smell
For dog’s that have bacterial infections, special care should be taken when grooming then because shampoos can cause further irritation. If you notice these symptoms in your dog do not hesitate to contact your vet. Ear cleaners can also be used to cure bacterial ear infections.
Ear mites are tiny animals that are found in the ear, dog’s that live with cats are mostly prone to ear mites. It is characterized by incessant scratching of the ear and dark brown waxy discharge. Ear mites also lead to bacterial and yeast infections.
• Foul smell
• Abnormal head shaking
• Incessant scratching of the ear
• Coffee ground color and shape-like waxy discharge
Ear mites are almost too tiny to be seen with the naked eye, veterinarians make use of microscopes to view them. Ear cleaners can be used to get rid of ear mites.
While playing or not, objects like dead insects, cotton swabs, debris and others can get stuck in your dog’s ear. Water, shampoo and residues from medications can also get stuck in your dog’s ear.
In some instances you can use ear cleaners to get rid of stuck objects like debris or shampoo residues but if the objects are too big then ear cleaners cannot help, you can use clean gauze to get rid of the objects, never use cotton balls or swabs and be careful not to dig in too deep.
How to prevent ear problems in dogs
After studying the terrible symptoms above, you would not like your pet to go through such discomfort and pain. You can prevent your dog from contacting ear infections by grooming your dog’s ear and taking care of it regularly.
How to use dog ear cleaners
Regular ear cleaning should be inculcated into your grooming routine, you should know how to use dog ear cleaners for optimal results. The first step to using a dog cleaner would be to get your dog acquainted with the cleaner, if you have a dog with sensitive ears it might be a little difficult for you to pour the cleaner into its ear but by getting the dog acquainted with the process and using treats it will become an easy task.
While applying the cleaner, make sure that you hold up your dog’s ear and tilt its head then lower the bottle and pour the solution into its ear, don’t touch the bottle to your dog’s ear and if you do so make sure to sanitize the bottle mouth with alcohol.
Hold up the ear and massage the bottom of the ear to allow the cleaner sip into the ear more, allow it to sit in the ear for up to thirty seconds and make sure to calm your dog as many dogs are quite restless during this process.
Clean out the dirt and debris inside the ear with a clean gauze but be careful not to dig in too deep, avoid picking at your dog’s ear or using cotton swabs to remove ear wax or dirt.
Free your dog and allow it to shake its head to remove the remaining dirt, then clean the ear again. Give your dog a treat then move on to the next ear and repeat the same process you did with the other ear.