In a rush and just want my recommendation?  I think the VETNIQUE LABS Oticbliss is a great choice.

Some dogs have naturally clean ears their whole lives, while others need regular ear cleaning to maintain a healthy, fresh, allergy-free ear canal. A good cleaning regime will prevent the build-up of dirt and debris that can cause infections and irritation. 

In this article, I’m reviewing the following ear cleaners for dogs.

Why Do Dogs Need Their Ears Cleaned?

Ear infections in dogs can be common. If left untreated, inflammation can spread to the inner ear and may put your dog at risk for deafness, facial paralysis, eye issues, and intense pain.

Unless your hound actually needs their ears cleaning, they’re best left alone. Cleaning when it’s unnecessary can cause irritation, and infection.

However, if you notice an unpleasant odor or discharge from your dog’s ear, you should definitely check both ears, and clean them. If you’re unsure, or see redness and inflammation, take your dog to your local vet. Remember that dogs are very stoic, and may not readily demonstrate that they are in pain.

A sign that there is something amiss is when they tip their head to one side and shake it a lot. The shaking is an attempt by your dog to get rid of an irritant.They may also scratch at their ears, or rub the sides of their head on the ground to try and get rid of the pain.

How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Ears?

Definitely once a month, and more if your hound is prone to ear canal issues and allergies. If they’re a breed with floppy ears or lots of long or thick hair, or your dog spends a lot of time swimming, they will need to have their ears cleaned weekly.

Regularly using a trusted dog ear cleaner can help prevent your dog from getting an infection in the first place, and a weekly dose helps keep allergies away which can cause ear irritations.

Should I Clean The Wax Out of My Dog’s Ears?

Normal amounts of earwax are beneficial to your dog. The wax acts as a garbage collector, picking up dirt, debris and dead cells. The wax then works its way through the ear canal to clean it naturally.

Excessive, or smelly wax needs to be removed before it causes further problems. Talk to your vet about what is a normal amount of wax for your particular breed.

How Do I Clean My Dog’s Ears?

Your dog’s ear canal is quite long, and changes direction as it goes deeper. This can make it quite difficult to clean with a wipe. As with humans, you should never insert Q-tips, cotton buds or any other long object into your dog’s ears. This can push dirt and foreign bodies deeper into the canal. It can also cause a rupture of the ear-drum.

The best cleaning solution is a veterinary approved liquid, which you can just squirt down the ear canal. You then massage the base of the ear to work the fluid down. Your dog will probably violently shake their head, and this action helps to get rid of dirt and debris.

What To Look For In A Dog Ear Cleaner

Vet-approved liquids are by far the safest substances for your dog’s delicate ears. There are many home-made solutions you could make yourself, but remember these particular liquids have not been tested and approved for use. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as a home-remedy, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) advises against this practice, as it can cause skin irritation.

Before you buy anything to put in your dog’s ears, check the ingredients list. “One of the big ingredients to watch out for, in my experience, is tea tree oil,” says Dr. Carol Osborne, author and doctor of veterinary medicine at Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic. “I have seen dogs have all kinds of adverse reactions to that.”

Checking the active ingredients will also give you an idea of what the cleaner does:

  • Salicylic acid and lactic acid are antimicrobial, meaning they work best at preventing yeast or mild bacterial infections. 
  • Hydrocortisone helps combat itchiness.
  • Ketoconazole is an antifungal treatment.

Your dog will need a solution based on their specific needs. Some cleaners are just for removal of excess wax, and others are great just for after swimming, to dry the ear properly.

Some are also medicated to prevent yeast, bacteria, or fungi from growing in the ear.

What Is The Best Ear Cleaner For Dogs? 

I’ve had a close look at these five popular products, and come up with my favorite all-rounder. My dog, Jinks, suffers from allergies so I need to put a solution in her ears every week. When you’re administering something that often, it has to be effective, safe and of good value. 

Virbac EPIOTIC Advanced Ear Cleanser

This is a popular, vet-approved, all-round solution for dogs with ongoing ear problems. It’s been around for a long time, and with good reason. It comes in two bottle sizes, 4 Fl Oz, and a cost-effective 8 Fl Oz.

The best use for the Epiotic cleanser is for routine cleaning and drying, removing excess wax and debris. It is recommended for pets with chronic inflammation of the external ear canal (otitis externa). It’s a soft and gentle solution, which is low pH and non-irritating and can be applied daily if needed. It has a citrus odor and is not sticky.

Pros:

  • Recommended by vets
  • Effective treatment
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Well tolerated by dogs

Cons:

  • Odor can be strong

VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Dogs

This is a very cost-effective, 8 Fl Oz pack, with two scents to choose from. Made in the USA, and formulated by veterinarians, VetWELL cleaner cleanses the ear by eliminating wax, fluid and dirt build-up. 

The salicylic acid, and lactic acid helps to prevent yeast and bacterial infections. It cleans and dries the ear to prevent otitis externa. Also known as ‘swimmer’s ear’. 

Pros:

  • Extremely good value
  • Effective treatment
  • Easy to use
  • Vet formulated

Cons:

  • Unpleasant odor

MISTER BEN’S Original Ear Cleaner Kit for Dogs

This kit contains a 4 Oz bottle of ear tonic, and an 8 Oz bottle of ear wash. There’s a lot of fanfare on the labeling about being made in the USA, 100% guarantee, a free e-book and a $1 donation to an NY rescue. 

Digging in a little, the active ingredients list is:

  • Cold pressed organic Aloe 
  • Marshmallow root
  • Ginkgo leaf
  • Oregon grape root 

These are all natural ingredients which the manufacturer claims will clean, soothe and heal your dog’s ears. There is no alcohol, or other harsh agent. I do like the idea of such a natural solution, but I wonder whether it lacks the punch necessary to sort out chronic ear issues.

I’m not absolutely certain, but I think you use the wash first, followed by a few drops of tonic. 

Pros:

  • Natural product
  • No alcohol added
  • Effective for preventing wax build-up and cleaning

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Not recommended by vets
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Not effective for active inflammation

Bark 2 Basics Dog Ear Cleaner, 1 Gallon

This very affordable, huge bottle of USA-made cleanser will keep your dog’s ears fresh for months. With an Aloe Vera and Chamomile extract base, this solution is all natural, incorporating witch-hazel, which is an inflammation deterrent.

This product is made in smaller batches at a Missouri site, is not greasy, and the manufacturer stands by the quality of the product.

Taking a look at the ingredients, the label says this is an antimicrobial solution. The witch-hazel is probably the reason for this claim, and it may well work. The bottom line for me though, it’s not vet recommended. It’s possibly a nice product for cleaning ears, but it may fall down if your dog has stubborn ear problems. 

Pros:

  • Great value
  • All-natural product
  • Gentle on delicate skin
  • Natural antimicrobial potential
  • Big size is convenient for regular care

Cons:

  • Not vet recommended
  • Contains tea tree oil
  • Not effective for active inflammation

VETNIQUE LABS Oticbliss Antiseptic & Antifungal Ear Flush

This 12 Fl Oz Oticbliss fluid contains 0.2% Chlorhexidine, a disinfectant that decreases bacteria in the ears, and 0.2% Ketoconazole, an antifungal designed to treat ear infections.

The addition of lactic acid helps to prevent recurring infections.

Veterinary formulated and recommended, this product treats ear infections and removes excessive wax. The soothing Aloe Vera leaves the skin clean and healthy. All Vetnique labs products are made in the USA at an FDA certified facility.

Pros:

  • Two active ingredients 
  • Effective treatment
  • Value for money
  • Vet recommended
  • Easy to use
  • Pleasant odor

Conclusion

All these products have merit if you’re looking for a general ear cleaning fluid, but there are some that stand out for me. I want the reassurance of a vet approved product. I need to know it’s an effective, easy treatment to use. It must be safe for my dog, and work as a preventative measure, not just a cleaning solution. Value for money, although not top of the list when it comes to my hound’s health, is a factor to consider.

For all these reasons, my choice for the best ear cleaner for dogs is VETNIQUE LABS Oticbliss. The company has come up with a great all-round cleaner, preventive, and active treatment for ear inflammation. This is perfect for my dog’s ear issues.

If your dog just needs a monthly ear cleanse, or after-swim drying, the cleansing solutions in this review will do the job well.

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