Have you noticed your dog scratching and pawing at their ears lately? It may be that their ears aren’t as clean as they should be.
What causes it? It could be a variety of things… maybe they got dust in their ears while playing in the backyard or perhaps an infection might have caught up with their ears and now it’s is making them uncomfortable.
Whatever the case may be, the truth is it’s important to keep your dog’s ears clean and like anything you do for your dog, we’re pretty sure you would want to get the best dog ear cleaner possible.
First things first, let’s take a look at why ear hygiene is so important, and then we can learn about when and how to use a dog ear cleaner.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Our Recommendations for Best Dog Ear Cleaners:
- What is a Dog Ear Cleaner and Why Do You Need it?
- What is the Structure of My Dog’s Ear?
- Causes & Symptoms of Ear Discomfort:
- What Will Be the Best Dog Ear Cleaner for My Dog?
- How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears with Liquid Drops?
- What is the Best Dog Ear Cleaner?
Our Recommendations for Best Dog Ear Cleaners:
Last update on 2018-04-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is a Dog Ear Cleaner and Why Do You Need it?
Hygiene is an integral part of life, be it our own or our pets. An ear cleaner helps to keep the inside of your dog’s ear clean and infection-free; it will also help you to keep track of your dog’s ear health.
It is also important to have your dog’s ear cleaned to avoid hearing impairment.
Ear problems include wax buildup, itching, and infections; cleaning the ear will help prevent and overcome these problems.
It’s also interesting to note that some breeds like bulldogs, retrievers, pugs, etc. are more prone to ear infections than others.
What is the Structure of My Dog’s Ear?
Unlike the human ear, a dog has an L-shaped ear (vertical). Their ear is similar to a human ear in that they have three zones: the inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear.
Pinna is the external flap that you can hold on to. Your dog’s ear canal is placed way downward in the ear extending all the way below the eardrum—it’s really protected.
The truth is, if you clean your dog’s ears regularly, the wax won’t be able to reach the canal at all.
Causes & Symptoms of Ear Discomfort:
Most of the common causes and symptoms of ear discomfort for dogs are:
#1. Otitis Externa:
This the most prevalent cause of ear discomfort in dogs. In this case, there is inflammation of the cell layer that lines the external ear canal. You will know that your dog has this condition if there is redness, swelling, scaly skin and/or a lot of discharge.
Allergies are characterized by reddish itchy inner ear with excessive foul-smelling, pus-like secretions. It’s important to get rid of the allergy itself to cure this condition.
#3. Bacterial or Yeast Infection:
Any foreign decaying matter or potential irritant could lead to a bacterial infection in the ears. This could also be caused by moisture inside the ear, so be sure to dry your dog’s ear thoroughly.
Another cause of bacterial or yeast infection could be diet. How so? Well, if there’s a high quantity of carbohydrates in your dog’s diet, there will be a change in the pH levels of their skin, leading to an overgrowth.
#4. Ear Mites & Other Foreign Matter:
Ear mites will simply feed on your dog’s blood from inside the ear, leading to irritation and itchiness. It is very important to get rid of them.
Any kind of foreign matter or particles that may get inside your dog’s ear can cause irritation to him.
Now that we’ve considered the causes and consequences, we know why it’s so important to clean your dog’s ears regularly.
So the next step is to understand how to clear dogs’ ears and take a look at the best dog ear cleaners.
What Will Be the Best Dog Ear Cleaner for My Dog?
This again depends on your dog’s ear health—like you may choose an ear wax cleaner to remove excess wax or an antifungal cleaner if your dog is suffering from a fungal ear infection. Most ear cleaners need to be applied topically.
You can also choose from liquids drops or sprays—drops are the most common form of ear cleaners. You can also use ear wipes to clean your dog’s ears.
Once you select an ear cleaner, you’re ready to actually start the cleaning process.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears with Liquid Drops?
It’s very important to follow specific steps while cleaning your dog’s ears if you’re using liquid drops.
While most vets and pet experts provide dog ear cleaning services, you can also do it at home if you have the right kind of cleaning solutions at your disposal.
As we’ve already discussed, for this purpose, you will need ear cleaner and cleaning pads (for the outer ear). You may also use cotton wool or gauze in place of cleaning pads.
Keep in mind, while ear cleaning is usually pain-free, you still need to be gentle with your dog to avoid injury.
- The first step is to make sure your dog is sitting in a well-lit area. Gently calm them and make sure they stay seated. If needed, get someone to help you. Sitting is recommended because, as we talked about earlier, your dog’s ear is vertical.
- Secondly, gently raise his earflap out of the way and carefully pour little drops of ear cleaner into their ear. Usually, most brands recommend approximately 10 drops, but it may vary depending on your dog’s ear condition.
- Massage the base of the ear to loosen and break any ear wax inside the vertical ear canal. It’s best if you massage in a circular motion—this helps get better penetration into the horizontal canal.
- Finally, let go of your dog’s ear and allow him to shake off the solution. After that, gently wipe out the cleaner, wax and other unwanted agents with a cleaning pad, gauze or cotton wool.
If your dog is suffering from a heavy ear infection, apply a little bit of ear powder (for getting rid of moisture) or ointment (for bacterial infections)
And voila—you and your dog are good to go!
What is the Best Dog Ear Cleaner?
After all the discussion on ear cleaning, as promised we’ve done the research for you. So again, if you’re wondering what are the best dog ear cleaners on the market, we’ve got some information to share.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five best dog ear cleaners for your dog’s ear health.
#1. Pet King Brand Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone
How so? Well, it contains three natural anti-microbial enzymes: lactoferrin, and lactoperoxidase along with 1% hydrocortisone, which helps improve your dog’s ear health. It has antibiotic-resistant organism properties that help destroy antibiotic-resistant organisms.
The best part? It is not a drug-based treatment, so you can rest assured that the chances of your dog’s hearing being messed up is zero.
#2. EcoEars Dog Ear Infection Formula
This one is a combination of an ear cleaner and infection medication. Best for inflammation and treating dirt buildup, it can also be great when it comes to loosening and getting rid of the wax. Additionally, it helps fight against itch and odor.
The company recommends using it at least twice a week for 10 days to treat infected ears; this will also help prevent the infection from coming back.
What do we love about it?
It is made up of ingredients like rosemary, witch hazel extract, boric acid, vegetable glycerin, tea tree oil and mullein leaf, etc—without any pharmaceuticals, synthetic chemicals or antibiotics. In other words, it is completely natural.
#3. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner
This is a routine cleanser that can be used whether or not your dog has an infection or not. It does not contain alcohol and is very gentle on your dog’s ear, with only 0.2% salicylic acid. With a very light smell, it works great as a day-to-day cleanser.
Moreover, it can also be used before applying medicine to your dog’s ears.
What do we love about it? Well, it has a self-drying formula, so you don’t need to worry about moisture buildup in your dog’s ears. It’s especially beneficial for yeast infection, cleaning wax and getting rid of the odor, dirt and other ear irritants.
On the flip side, some owners have claimed that this formula was too strong for their dog’s ears.
#4. Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash Cleaner for Dogs
Again, another of our all natural ingredients favorite is Vet’s Best Ear Relief, a product that is carefully formulated with chamomile, aloe vera, yucca, clove oil and tea tree oil to bring relief and soothe your dog’s ears.
It also helps get rid of odor and heals, itchy and greasy dog ears.
The best part is because of its all-natural formula, it can be used daily without any side effects.
It is also alcohol-free and can be used for cleaning ears in between baths.
#5. Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes
This is a quick, safe and gentle dog ear cleaner for your dog. With these wipes, you can simply apply topically to wipe away the dirt, wax, and odor from the surface of your dog’s ears, discouraging further ear problems.
Each jar contains 100 disposal sheets that are moisturized and specially formulated to be gentle on your pet’s ear.
Why do we love it? Because it contains natural ingredients like purified water, aloe vera extract, and eucalyptus oil, all of which will be soothing to your dog. And also, they are very convenient to use in comparison to drops and sprays.
So, there you have it! We’ve reviewed the best ear dog cleaners for you. But, as always, you and your dog are going to be the best decision makers about not only which ear cleaner to use but, also about the usage routine.
Remember that a trip to the vet or a consultation with pet experts is of utmost importance when it comes to your dog’s ear health.
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