Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Dog Ears

Did you know that dogs can hear a range of sounds over three times greater than we can? So, it’s safe to say that your dog’s ear health is incredibly important to their wellbeing.

Unfortunately, many dogs are also prone to health problems affecting the ears, including infection and debris buildup. Without proper care, your dog could be left with pain and itching that requires a trip to the veterinary clinic.

While at-home dog ear cleaning won’t prevent 100% of your dog’s potential ear problems, it can go a long way in keeping your dog healthy. To help you narrow down the best dog ear-cleaning solution, we’ve compiled reviews of some of the top formulas currently available.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 3

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaner EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaner
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Works in 7 to 10 days
  • Washes away multiple symptoms
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Cleans and deodorizes
  • Removes dirt
  • wax
  • and more
  • Best for Yeast Infections
    Third place
    VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaner Solution VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaner Solution
  • Specifically designed for yeast
  • bacteria
  • and mites
  • Made in the USA
  • Relieves pain and itching symptoms
  • Zymox Ear Cleanser Zymox Ear Cleanser
  • Gets rid of foul odors and dirt
  • Uses gentle ingredients
  • Safe to use on cats
  • Virbac Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner Virbac Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner
  • Neutral pH
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial
  • Versatile uses
  • The 10 Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions

    1. EcoEars Natural Ear Cleaner for Dogs – Best Overall


    If your vet has recommended cleaning your dog’s ears, you probably want to jump straight to the best overall ear cleaner for dogs. The EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaning Solution is our top pick for over-the-counter dog ear cleaning solutions. This formula uses all-natural ingredients to clean away dirt and irritants.

    Along with washing away dirt or bacteria that may have found its way into your dog’s ears, this cleaner will also manage the wax buildup and odor. For clearing away mild symptoms, including bad smells, itching, or visible buildup, EcoEars recommends using this product for at least 7 to 10 days.

    Because this dog ear cleaning solution contains alcohol, it’s not the best option for dogs with sensitive skin or open wounds around their ears. Some owners also disliked the smell of this solution.

    • Contains natural ingredients
    • Works in 7 to 10 days
    • Washes away multiple symptoms
    • Helps maintain healthy ears
    • Contains alcohol
    • May have an unpleasant scent

    2. Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse – Best Value

    Nutri-Vet 1001044

    Oftentimes, we find ourselves needing the best products for our dogs that also won’t break the bank. Our pick for the best dog ear cleaning solution for the money is the Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse. Veterinarians design the formula to be gentle on your dog’s ears.

    Using this dog ear cleaning solution will clean and deodorize your dog’s ears, alleviating itching and foul odors. It can wash away dirt, natural wax buildup, and other debris that’s found its way into your dog’s ears. Whether your dog is big or small, this solution will work fine.

    While this formula is gentle to an extent, it does contain some ingredients that may irritate sensitive skin or open wounds. Some dogs are also afraid of the spray bottle design.

    • Formulated by veterinarians
    • Cleans and deodorizes
    • Removes dirt, wax, and more
    • Works on all sizes of dogs
    • Contains alcohol and other harsh ingredients
    • Not all dogs are fans of the spray bottle

    3. VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaning Solution – Best for Yeast Infections


    Because of the shape of dogs’ ear canals, yeast infections are surprisingly common. The infections can lead to pain, itching, and other discomfort. Along with veterinarian-prescribed medications, the VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaning Solution is an option for treating your dog’s discomfort.

    This ear cleaner for dogs helps wash away yeast, bacteria, and other fungi that might irritate your dog’s ears. Using the VetWell cleaner can relieve symptoms and get your dog feeling better. Every bottle of the solution is made in the United States.

    Despite the active ingredients in this formula, many dog owners reported zero results after using it to treat their dog’s yeast infection. Some also reported that while the solution helped alleviate signs and prevented the infection from worsening, it did nothing to eliminate it.

    • Specifically designed for yeast, bacteria, and mites
    • Made in the USA
    • Relieves pain and itching symptoms
    • Not as strong as veterinarian-prescribed medications
    • Has a strong odor

    4. Zymox Ear Cleanser

    Zymox 006PKB-4OZ

    The Zymox 006PKB-4OZ Ear Cleanser is a simple, non-toxic formula that can prevent dirty ears, especially if your dog’s breed is prone to them. It helps deodorize your dog’s ears without leaving behind a strong odor.

    This liquid ear cleaner for dogs is made without harsh chemicals and won’t leave residue after use. It can also safely be used on cats. While this formula relies on gentle ingredients, some owners reported seeing redness or an allergic reaction in their dogs after using it.

    Zymox can also become sticky and create mats in dogs with long hair around their ears.

    • Gets rid of foul odors and dirt
    • Uses gentle ingredients
    • Safe to use on cats
    • May cause rash, redness, or swelling
    • Can get stuck in long hair
    • Hard to administer the right amount

    5. Virbac Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner for Dogs

    Virbac 3108

    The Virbac 3108 Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for dogs is an alcohol-free solution that can wash away dirt and dry up oil and other buildup. It is designed with a low pH and is gentle on your dog’s ears.

    This formula is best used as a routine ear cleaner or as preparation for administering veterinarian-prescribed ear medications. Virbac’s cleaning solution will easily remove wax, dead skin cells, and debris while eliminating bad odors. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial ingredients.

    Unfortunately, some dog owners still reported redness, swelling, and generalized irritation after using Virbac. The solution also has a bad smell.

    • Neutral pH
    • Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial
    • Versatile uses
    • May cause irritation or allergic reaction
    • Has a strong scent
    • Results are hit-or-miss

    6. Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution

    Vetoquinol 411441

    The next product on our list is safe for cats and dogs. While the Vetoquinol 411441 Ear Cleansing Solution does contain alcohol and lactic acid to dry excess oil and moisture from the ear canal, it also contains aloe to soothe and soften the skin.

    You can use the solution for routine cleaning or to alleviate itching and irritation from dirt inside your dog’s ears. It will clean and deodorize your dog’s ear canal, potentially preventing future infections.

    The high concentration of alcohol in this solution can be an issue if your dog has sensitive skin or an open wound in or around their ear. If you notice redness or irritation after using this product, your dog may be reacting to the alcohol or lactic acid. It also has a very strong perfume scent.

    • Dries oil and other moisture
    • Contains aloe to soothe the skin
    • Safe for cats and dogs
    • Drying ingredients can cause irritation
    • Overpowering scent
    • Bottle is difficult to use

    7. Pet MD Otic Clean Dog Ear Cleaning Solution

    Pet MD 840235137528

    The Pet MD 840235137528 Otic Clean Dog Ear Cleaner is veterinarian-formulated that’s made in the United States to clean, deodorize, and balance the pH of your dog’s ears. It will remove wax, moisture, dirt, and other unwanted debris from your dog’s ear canal.

    This formula also contains aloe vera to soothe redness and irritation in and around the ear. It is safe to use on adult dogs, puppies, and cats. Pet MD’s formula features a Sweet Pea Vanilla scent.

    While many owners enjoyed the scent of this cleaning solution, others were unimpressed. Because the formula contains alcohol, it can cause pain and irritation in some dogs. The applicator is also difficult to use.

    • Safe for all dogs and cats
    • Made in the USA
    • Features aloe vera and a pleasant scent
    • Not everyone is a fan of the scent
    • Hard to administer the right amount
    • May be drying or irritating
    • Not guaranteed to alleviate itching

    8. Doggie Dailies Pet Ear Cleaner

    Doggie Dailies

    The Doggie Dailies Pet Ear Cleaner contains ingredients like witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and echinacea to clean your dog’s ears while also leaving them smelling fresh. It’s designed with a mild scent that won’t irritate you or your dog. Doggie Dailies n is made in the United States and is also safe to use on your cats.

    Routine use of this formula can loosen and remove dirt, oil, and other unwanted substances from your dog’s ears. The bottle is designed to make administering the right amount of solution easier for you and your pet.

    One of the most important things to consider about this solution is its inclusion of tea tree oil. While this oil is safe for dogs and cats in small amounts, many owners are understandably uncomfortable with its use. Smaller dogs may be at higher risk than larger dogs.

    • Easy-to-use applicator bottle
    • Manufactured in the USA in an FDA-registered facility
    • Safe on cats, too
    • Made with tea tree oil
    • May trigger more severe ear infections
    • Can stain fur around the ears
    • Disappointing results

    9. Mighty Petz Dog Ear Cleaner

    Mighty Petz

    If you want to maintain your dog’s ear health, the Mighty Petz Dog Ear Cleaner may be a good solution to try. This formula is safe for dogs and cats who are prone to ear infections and need a little extra TLC to stay healthy. It can alleviate itching and irritation in just 3 days of regular use.

    Mighty Petz is made in an FDA-registered facility in the United States and goes through rigorous third-party testing. In other words, you can feel confident knowing you’re getting exactly what is advertised. Plus, the formula features a refreshing cucumber and melon scent.

    Although Mighty Petz’s scent sounds good in theory, some owners still dislike it. The formula is gentle, but the results are less noticeable than those of stronger products.

    • Helps maintain healthy ears in dogs and cats
    • Made and tested in the USA
    • Refreshing scent
    • Many owners dislike the scent
    • Results could be better
    • Requires regular use for best results
    • Scent lingers on skin after use

    10. PetHonesty Dog Ear Cleaner


    The last dog ear cleaning solution on our list is the PetHonesty Dog Ear Cleaner. It can prevent infections and generalized irritation in dogs prone to ear problems. It can eliminate dirt, wax, and itching in as little as 7 to 10 days.

    The salicylic acid and benzoic acid in this veterinarian-strength dog ear cleaning solution can fight harmful bacteria and microbes present in your dog’s ears. It also promises to balance the pH of your dog’s ears and is safe for sensitive skin.

    Sadly, some owners reported burning and redness in their dog’s ears immediately after using PetHonesty. Some dogs even developed scabs. This product works better for maintaining healthy ears than fixing irritated or infected ones.

    • Produces results in just 7 to 10 days
    • Helps fight microbes and bacteria
    • Balanced pH for sensitive skin
    • May cause irritation and redness
    • Reports of scabbing in the ears after use
    • Not the best for eliminating itching
    • May be too drying for some pups

    hepper-dog-paw-divider 5

    Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Ear Cleaner for Dogs

    As with any medical issue, we suggest consulting your veterinarian if you have any concerns. However, knowing the answers to just a handful of questions can make shopping for the best ear cleaner for dogs significantly easier.

    Is your dog at risk of ear infection?

    When bringing home a new pup, it’s important to know which health conditions they’re at an increased risk of developing. Here are some of the breeds most at risk of ear infections:

    • Golden Retriever
    • Labrador Retrievers
    • Pit Bulls
    • Cocker Spaniels
    • Poodles

    Generally, floppy-eared dogs are more likely to develop ear infections than those with erect or semi-erect ears. However, some breeds are naturally more likely to experience ear infections than others, regardless of their ear type.

    Other risk factors include the amount of fur around your dog’s ears and skin folds. Breeds with plenty of fur growing in and around their ears are more likely to develop ear problems because this fur traps dirt and bacteria inside the ear canal. At the same time, breeds with skin folds, like the Shar-Pei, experience the same problem because of their skin type.

    What do the ingredients in your dog’s ear cleaner actually do?

    Different ingredients accomplish different things, so knowing what the most popular ear-cleaning solution ingredients do can be extremely helpful.


    You may wonder why alcohol is present in your dog’s ear-cleaning solution, but it plays an important role. Because bacteria need moisture to flourish, drying ingredients like alcohol turn your dog’s ears into a less habitable home for harmful organisms.

    Of course, alcohol and similar ingredients can also dry out your dog’s skin.

    one dog licking the ears of the other
    Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shuttetstock


    Increasing the acidity of your dog’s ear canal can help prevent the growth of bacteria, which is why you often find ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoic acid, and lactic acid in these products.


    Ketoconazole is a popular choice for fighting fungal infections, especially in dog ears. Many formulas with this ingredient require a vet’s approval to purchase.

    Glycerin/propylene glycol

    These ingredients effectively break up the wax buildup in your dog’s ears. While some earwax is normal, excessive wax production can increase the risk of infections or irritation.

    When should you see a vet about your dog’s ears?

    If you notice changes in your dog’s ear health, including itching, head shaking, or visible irritation, it’s time for a vet appointment. Once your vet has looked at your dog’s ears, they can offer suggestions for managing the issue at home. If necessary, they will also provide a prescription for stronger ear medication.

    Remember that while routinely using cleaning solutions can help maintain your dog’s ear health, they’re not a replacement for veterinary care. What may look like mild irritation to you could be the start of a severe infection. It’s always best to get your vet’s opinion before attempting an at-home treatment plan.

    hepper-dog-paw-divider 3


    For many dogs, ear cleaning is a regular part of their day-to-day grooming routine. Finding the right ear-cleaning solution for your pup isn’t always the easiest task.

    After reviewing some of the best solutions, our top pick is the EcoEars Natural Dog Ear Cleaner. It’s formulated with natural ingredients and helps alleviate some of the most common ear issues. Once you add the formula to your dog’s daily care, you can expect results in 7 to 10 days.

    If you want to test out a regular ear cleaning schedule with your dog but don’t want to spend a fortune, the Nutri-Vet 1001044 Ear Cleanse is one of the best options. Veterinarians create the formula to clean and deodorize dogs’ ears.

    Last but not least, there’s a good chance you’re looking for a product that fights yeast infections. We suggest the VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaner Solution. This cleaner can help eliminate ear mites, yeast, and bacteria while alleviating pain and itching.

    If you have any questions about your dog’s ears or which cleaning solution is best, we recommend contacting your veterinarian. Otherwise, we hope our reviews have helped eliminate some of the mystery around choosing an ear-cleaning solution for your furry friend!

    Featured Image Credit: mantinov, shutterstock

    Related Articles

    Further Reading

    Vet Articles

    Latest Vet Answers

    The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database