I’m sure you’ll agree that a dog ear cleaner must clean to prevent common infections, and be gentle on your precious pup. That was our top criteria for selecting the best dog ear cleaner. If you want to get those ears cleaned right away, the Otic Pet Ear Treatment, is a combination of all these features and was selected the “Best Overall” pick from our editorial team.
Dog Ear Cleaner Buying Guide
What is Dog Ear Cleaner?
Dog ear cleaner is a special product that helps dog owners get rid of acute or chronic ear infections. Many dogs are prone to ear infections due to the breed, the conditions and the cleaning routine that their owners do with them. Dog ear cleaner is something that does not need a prescription to buy as it does not contain any antibiotics.
Ears can frequently be a problem for dogs for many reasons. Things like ear mites, wax buildup, itching and infections are not uncommon at all. Cleaning the ears on a regular basis can prevent these problems but if you own a dog that currently has an ear infection, the good news is that using a good quality ear cleaner can get rid of the current ear infection and prevent your dog from getting another one.
The Dog’s Ear
A dog’s ear is made up of three zones just like a person’s ear. These zones are:
- Inner ear
- Outer ear
- Middle ear
The external flap that you can grab is called the pinna. Another part of the outer ear is the ear canal that will extend all the way down to the ear drum. A dog’s ear canal is much longer and there is a sharp turn inside which means that the eardrum is much harder to see.
Common Ear Problems in Dogs
Most of the problems that dogs have with their ears can be taken care of fairly easily. Things like yeast infections, bacterial infections, ear mites and allergies to outside stimuli are all common reasons for dogs to need a good quality ear cleaner. If the problems are not dealt with they can become very severe and require veterinary treatment.
Dogs that have long, droopy ears or dogs that have a lot of fur at the opening of the ear are the most prone to ear problems along with dogs that live in warm areas or that swim a lot. Outer ear inflammation is the most common symptom that shows up. This is not a dangerous condition but it can cause a lot of pain to the dog, left untreated. The good news is that treatment is easy.
There are several symptoms that sill present themselves when your dog is suffering from ear infections or other problems. We have listed these symptoms below.
- Ears have a bad odor
- Discharge present
- Dog shakes his head a lot
- Scratches the ears almost continually
- Redness or swelling
- Unusually quiet
Preventing Dog Ear Problems
You should not try to treat your dog on your own if there is a serious problem, so if your dog is exhibiting the symptoms listed above, it is better to consult your veterinarian to make sure that they don’t need to be seen.
There is a lot a dog owner can do to prevent ear problems from recurring or showing up in the first place. Using a good quality ear cleaner is a great defense against your dog developing ear infections and problems.
When your dog’s ears are clean and dry, there is a lot less room for problems to develop. When you clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis, you will know what they are supposed to look like when they are healthy. This enables you to spot potential problems at their earliest onset which is much better than letting them become red, inflamed and infected and then trying to treat it.
Commercial Ear Cleaners vs. Homemade Remedies
When it comes to a good ear cleaner, there are many sources that say you can make a home remedy. It is always better to use a commercial ear cleaner due to the fact that it has been tested for that use and has been found to be safe and effective. Home remedies may or may not work and the dog could have reactions to some of the ingredients used in the home remedy.
Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
The majority of dog groomers and vets offer dog cleaning to dog owners. For a groomer, it may be done as part of the grooming process or it may be a separate service that they will perform. Ear cleaning doesn’t hurt the dog and it is not difficult.
You can even do it at home if you choose. Most of the time, the dog will need to be lightly and gently restrained while their ears are being cleaned. This is not because it hurts but because it actually tickles when the dog’s ears are healthy and they can shake their head a lot or move around.
If your dog is prone to ear infections, cleaning them weekly or after they have been swimming will reduce and prevent recurring infections. If they rarely ever have problems with their ears, cleaning them once a month is usually more than sufficient.
Use cotton balls or cleaning pads on the outer part of the ear. Never stick anything down into the ear. This should never be done unless it is being done by a licensed vet that is experienced in how to do this safely and properly.
Use a special ear cleaner for cleaning the ear canal and eardrum. The cleaner, like the ones reviewed above, will clean the ear, dry it, remove wax buildup and get rid of any bacteria that is present. If your dog has a lot of hair at the opening of their ear will need to be trimmed a little.
Do not ever put alcohol in the dog’s ears. If there are any tiny cuts or scratches in the ear, the alcohol will burn and that will make them afraid of ear cleaning.
Ear Cleaning Steps
The steps to cleaning your dog’s ears are very simple. We have provided them for you below so you can start performing this valuable cleaning routine on your dogs on a regular basis. Your dog will be much better off from this addition to their care routine.
- Have a person help you by holding the dog gently
- Hold the dogs ear flap, if he/she has one, up and out of the way
- Using your other hand, turn the ear cleaner bottle over and gently insert just the tip of the bottle into the ear opening. (warm the cleaner before using by placing in a warm water bowl)
- Squeeze cleaner into the dog’s ear until you see the cleaner at the opening of the ear
- Continue to hold the ear up and massage the base of the dog’s ear for 15 seconds
- Take a cotton ball, wrap it around your finger, stick your finger into the dog’s ear and wipe up and out as much of the cleaner, debris and wax as you can get.
- Continue the step above, wiping up and out, until as much debris and cleaner is removed as possible.
- Move out of the way when you let your dog’s ear go because he will shake his head from the tickling and the remainder cleaner will fly all over.
- Repeat on the other ear once the first ear is clean. You can repeat the entire sequence as often as needed to get the ear properly cleaned.
Many times dog owners may not ever think about dog ear care, not because they don’t care about their pets but simply because unless something is going wrong with the ears, it’s an easy place to overlook. Using a good dog ear cleaner to keep your dog’s ears healthy and clean is one of the best preventative steps you can take with your dog to prevent problems from developing.
The information in this buyer’s guide helps you learn how to properly care for your dog’s ears and how to clean them as well. The three dog ear cleaners that have been reviewed here are all excellent products that have been proven to reduce the problems that dogs can have with their ears. Use one of them on a regular basis and see the difference in your dog’s ear health.