9 Best Ear Drops for Dogs 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

dog ear drops

Ear health is one of the most important aspects of dog health and wellness, with around 20% of dogs suffering from some kind of painful ear condition.

Because of how common ear problems are, there are a lot of products aimed at treating or cleaning out your dog’s ears. It can be difficult to find the right product, with companies offering multiple treatments and formulas to keep ears clean and odorless.

Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. We put each product through tests and reviews to find the best ear drops for dogs on the market.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
ZYMOX Ear Treatment ZYMOX Ear Treatment
  • Patented enzyme formula
  • Helps fight buildup and infections
  • Non-invasive and no pre-cleaning needed
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Vet’s Best Dog Ear Wash Vet’s Best Dog Ear Wash
  • Gentle and soothing
  • Inexpensive compared to other brands
  • No pre-cleaning needed
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Mister Ben’s Ear Care Kit Mister Ben’s Ear Care Kit
  • Two-part system for extra relief
  • Gentle solution with natural ingredients
  • Doesn’t require a pre-cleaning
  • BEXLEY LABS Dog Ear Infection Treatment BEXLEY LABS Dog Ear Infection Treatment
  • Prescription-grade formula
  • Aloe vera for extra relief
  • Can also be used topically
  • Virbac Ear Cleaner Virbac Ear Cleaner
  • Can be used daily
  • Gently cleans ear
  • The 9 Best Ear Drops for Dogs

    1. ZYMOX 1000 Ear Treatment – Best Overall

    ZYMOX

    If you’re looking for the best way to clean your dog’s ears, the Zymox 1000 Otic Pet Ear Treatment is easy to use and has one of the strongest solutions on the market.  The patented enzymatic solution naturally cleans and disinfects your dog’s ears without having to do the dreaded pre-clean that some drops require. Otic Pet Ear Treatment is also strong enough to help fight against and prevent conditions that lead to ear infections. With no pre-cleaning needed, applying Zymox is simple and non-invasive for your dog like other treatments can be. The only thing we noted with Zymox is that it is not strong enough to successfully treat advanced ear infections, which should be treated with a prescription from the vet. Otherwise, Zymox is the best overall ear drop solution compared to other top brands.

    Pros
    • Patented enzyme formula
    • Helps fight buildup and infections
    • Non-invasive and no pre-cleaning needed
    • Best overall ear drop solution
    Cons
    • May not be strong enough for advanced ear infections

    2. Vet’s Best Dog Ear Wash – Best Value

    Vets Best

    For dogs with itchy, dry or stinky ears, Vet’s Best Dog Ear Relief Wash uses all-natural ingredients for gentle, soothing relief. Using natural herbs like chamomile and aloe vera, Vet’s Best is gentle to use daily to keep your dog’s ears clean and pain-free. This solution also doesn’t require a pre-cleaning before administering, which makes your life easier. It’s also one of the most affordable dog ear solutions on the market compared to other brands. Vet’s Best Ear Wash is suited for dogs with minor ear irritation, but it’s not strong enough to fight against or prevent ear infections. This wash also has a scent to it that may be strong to some people and dogs, which is why we kept it from the #1 spot. If you’re looking for a simple to use wash for minor ear irritation, Vet’s Best Ear Relief Wash is the best ear drops for dogs for the money.

    Pros
    • Gentle and soothing
    • Inexpensive compared to other brands
    • No pre-cleaning needed
    • Great for dogs with minor ear irritation
    Cons
    • Not strong enough to fight ear infections
    • May have an overwhelming odor

    3. Mister Ben’s Ear Care Kit – Premium Choice

    MISTER BENS

    Mister Ben’s Original Ear Care Kit is a two-part cleaning system providing immediate relief for your dog’s ears. The kit contains one bottle of ear wash for morning application and one bottle of tonic for nighttime application for extra relief. While this kit is on the expensive side, the ingredients are high quality and 100% natural for gentle and soothing relief. Although Mister Ben’s doesn’t require a pre-cleaning before treatment, the two-step process can be a pain to keep track of. If your dog’s ears are irritated with no serious infections, Mister Ben’s Original Ear Care Kit is a premium choice for dog ear care.

    Pros
    • Two-part system for extra relief
    • Gentle solution with natural ingredients
    • Doesn’t require a pre-cleaning
    Cons
    • More expensive compared to other brands
    • Requires two steps instead of one
    • Not strong enough to fight infections

    4. BEXLEY LABS Dog Ear Infection Treatment

    BEXLEY LABS

    Bexley Labs Curaseb Ear Infection Treatment is a prescription-grade solution to fight ear mites, infections, and foul ear odors. The patented formula has aloe vera for extra soothing relief for swollen and irritated ears. This ear wash can also work topically as a treatment for dry, irritated skin. The main issue we found is that this solution contains a fragrance to help mask scents, which can be really irritating for some dogs with sensitive skin. While it may be stronger than some solutions, it can’t replace a prescription-strength solution from the vet’s office. If your dog’s ears aren’t badly infected, Bexley Labs Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment is a good dog ear drop solution to try.

    Pros
    • Prescription-grade formula
    • Aloe vera for extra relief
    • Can also be used topically
    Cons
    • Contains fragrance that can cause irritation
    • Not as effective as prescription from vet

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    5. Virbac 3108 Ear Cleaner

    Virbac

    Virbac Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner is a daily rinse for dogs to keep their ears clean and odorless. This solution prevents wax and debris buildup while gently cleaning out the ear canal.  Virbac Ear Cleaner is great as a daily cleaning for healthy ears, but this won’t help if your dog has irritated ears. While it won’t interfere with other ear treatments, Virbac won’t treat any kind of ear infection. This solution is best for dogs who need a little cleaning but otherwise have clean and healthy ears. If you want preventative ingredients and more value for your money, we recommend trying other dog ear cleaning solutions first.

    Pros
    • Can be used daily
    • Gently cleans ear
    Cons
    • For healthy ears only
    • Doesn’t help fight infections
    • Not the best value

    6. VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaner Solution

    VetWELL

    VetWELL Dog Ear Cleaner Solution is an ear cleaning formula that contains Ketoconazole and tris, which fight against fungal, bacterial and yeast infections. The solution also prevents wax and dirt buildup that can cause inflammation and itchiness. While VetWELL Ear Cleaner is strong and effective, it also contains alcohol that can lead to dry skin inside the ear. VetWELL also contains a fragrance that may irritate your dog’s ears, so this is not the best method for dogs with sensitive skin. If you’re looking for a strong solution with no irritants, we recommend trying Zymox Otic Treatment first.

    Pros
    • Contains Ketoconazole to help fight infections
    • Stronger formula compared to similar brands
    Cons
    • Contains alcohol which can dry skin
    • Contains fragrance that leads to irritation
    • Stronger solutions available with no irritants

     


    7. Mighty Petz Dog Ear Cleaner

    Mighty Petz

    Mighty Petz Dog Ear Cleaner is a 4-in-1 solution that tackles the most common ear problems: itchiness/dryness, infections, odor, and inflammation. It’s an affordable solution that has multiple preventative ingredients for instant ear relief. The cucumber-melon scent is natural and not derived from fragrances that could cause skin problems, which is a big plus with scented products. We wanted to rate this solution higher, but there are ingredients in Mighty Petz Ear Cleaner that are a concern. It contains alcohol that can dry out skin and cause more irritation. Mighty Petz also contains propylene glycol, a popular additive that has caused concern throughout the food and health industry.

    Pros
    • Multiple preventative ingredients in one solution
    • Natural scent, fragrance-free
    Cons
    • Alcohol in solution can cause dryness
    • Contains propylene glycol

    8. Lively Pets Dog Ear Cleaner

    Lively Pets

    Lively Pets Dog Ear Cleaner is an antibacterial and antiseptic ear drop solution that contains EDTA, which helps disinfect and clean the ear canal. While it may have a great preventative formula, the rest of the ingredients are all considered harsh and irritating for some dogs. The scent is too strong and smells artificial. Lively Pets also contains fragrance and preservatives that may cause more irritation in your dog’s ear.  Another big concern is the presence of FD & C Blue #1, an artificial colorant prevalent in processed foods and medications. We recommend trying other dog ear drop brands like Zymox and Vet’s Best that don’t contain unnecessary additives and preservatives.

    Pros
    • Antibacterial & antifungal properties
    • EDTA helps keep ears clean
    Cons
    • Strong artificial scent
    • Contains fragrance
    • Contains artificial colorant FD & C Blue #1
    • Contains artificial preservatives

    9. PetHonesty Dog Ear Cleaner

    PetHonesty

    PetHonesty Dog Ear Cleaner has powerful cleaning and preventative ingredients as a treatment for irritated dog ears. It contains salicylic acid and benzoic acid to fight infections and wax buildup, with aloe vera to help soothe dry ears. Unfortunately, PetHonesty is another brand that has artificial ingredients that can be irritating to your dog. The scent used to deodorize your dog’s ears is derived from fragrances, which can cause further ear irritation. It also contains propylene glycol, an additive that has mixed data on long-term health effects. If you’re looking for a strong solution that is safe for sensitive skin, we recommend trying Zymox and Vet’s Best for higher quality and better value.

    Pros
    • Fights infections and wax buildup
    • Aloe vera for soothing dry ears
    Cons
    • Artificial ingredients
    • Contains propylene glycol

    Buyer’s Guide

    When shopping for dog ear drops, it’s important to know what your dog needs and how to find the best solution. Most ear cleaning solutions are not strong enough to treat full ear infections, but they may have ingredients to help prevent them.

    Check for harsh chemicals

    The most important thing to do is to read the label and check for any harsh chemicals, preservatives, fragrances and other artificial additives. It’s best to avoid brands that use harmful ingredients for your dog’s health and safety.

    Which type to use?

    Dog ear drops are usually a once-daily rinse to clean out healthy ears or a treatment used in a short period to tackle common ear problems. Depending on your dog’s ear health, you may need to have both types of ear drop solutions for preventative measures.

    Ask your vet for recommendations

    Look for dog ear drops that use all-natural ingredients and high-quality formulas for the best value. Ear drops should be soothing and relieving, so avoid alcohol and other drying agents. If you’re not sure which one is right for your pup, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

    Conclusion

    After testing and reviewing each dog ear drop brand, we found that ZYMOX 1000 Otic Pet Ear Treatment was the best overall. Zymox is easy to use and will keep your dog’s ears clean and healthy. For the best value, Vet’s Best 3165810021 Dog Ear Relief Wash is a great daily wash without overpaying for high quality. Vet’s Best is a once-daily wash with all-natural ingredients at half the cost of other more expensive brands.

    We hope we made shopping for your dog’s ear drops an easier task with this list of reviews to help you find the right ear drops. There are many dog ear drop brands available that are affordable with high-quality ingredients. When in doubt, ask your local pet shop or your veterinarian for a recommendation.


    By Jaimie Hannon

    Featured image credit: EJ Hersom, Department of Defense