As a dog owner who wants a quick and easy way to keep their pet clean, you might have wondered if you can use baby wipes on dogs.
Sometimes your dogs’ paws may be dirty after a walk, or you need to clean their sanitary bits properly before letting them climb on your furniture. In either case, you want to know how to clean your dog quickly and properly.
Baby wipes are not the best option for dogs. The ingredients in baby wipes are made with human skin in mind, and can cause allergies. On top of that, dogs can ingest some of the chemicals left behind when licking themselves which can be harmful.
Baby wipes may seem like a convenient choice, but there are plenty of alternatives available that you can use for the same purpose.
We looked into all the ingredients of baby wipes that may not be suitable for dogs, as well as the alternatives you can use to clean your dog to compile our recommendations around the topic.
Are Baby Wipes Safe For Dogs?
While the occasional baby wipe to clean your dog shouldn’t cause any problems, it is best to steer clear of them when it comes to regular use.
Baby wipes will usually have ingredients that are suitable for human skin, but may end up causing problems for dog skin. In severe cases, even the smallest use can also end up causing allergies, but for the most part, the problem arises when it comes to daily use.
If you are using baby wipes to clean your dog on a daily basis, you are risking their health and exposing them to ingredients that may end up causing allergic reactions.
On top of that, dogs tend to lick themselves to clean up. Even if you’ve just washed them with water, dogs will lick their bodies to get rid of the excess. When you do so with baby wipes, which contain chemicals, you are exposing your dog to the risk of ingesting these chemicals.
Because these chemicals are safe for baby skin – which is fragile – the chances that they will severely harm your dog are low. In small amounts, your dog should be safe, even if they lick up the chemical residue.
However, in larger doses, these could be greatly problematic.
For example, propylene glycol is a chemical that is used to retain moisture, and is suitable for human skin. But their benefits for dogs is highly debated. When taken in at higher doses, it can cause trouble with the central nervous system and be dangerous.
Besides the chemicals themselves, substances like ethylene oxide are used to make these chemicals less harsh. While not as problematic for external use, this can cause cancer when ingested in large amounts.
By using baby wipes on dogs, you can end up putting them in real danger.
Using Baby Wipes on Dogs
If you really want to use baby wipes on your dog anyway, then there are certain things you can do to make sure the wipes are safe for your dog.
Check Chemical Components
The first thing to do is to check the ingredients of the wipes you’re using. Chemicals that may be safe for humans are not necessarily safe for pets and you should know which chemicals are to be avoided as well.
When checking chemical components, you should also keep an eye out for anything that may trigger allergies in your dog.
Use Hypoallergenic and Fragrance-free Wipes
Most chemicals in baby wipes that can harm your dog are those that make the wipes themselves fragrant. If you look for baby wipes that are free of these chemicals and are also hypoallergenic, you can keep your dog safe.
These wipes will usually contain safe, natural products like aloe vera which are fine for your dog and will not result in any life-threatening consequences.
Alternatives to Baby Wipes
The best way to avoid any problems with baby wipes is to not use any at all.
While you may consider baby wipes to be convenient to clean with, the troubles they cause for your dog later are not convenient at all.
There are plenty of good alternatives available for you to use instead of baby wipes.
Similar to baby wipes, you also have pet wipes. These are essentially the same as baby wipes, but are made for pets, so you don’t have to worry about things like ingredients or reactions. Dog wipes are made specifically with dogs’ needs in mind and are thus, not dangerous.
Pet wipes are free of any dangerous chemicals that can cause trouble when ingested. On top of that, since they are made for dogs, they are suitable for dog skin, which has different pH levels than humans. Therefore, you can use them all over a dog’s body – from paws to face and sensitive areas.
Microfiber Towels with Dog Shampoo
Even if you don’t have pet wipes available, you can always go for the easy method of using a towel and dog shampoo. This way, you can get the convenience of wipes, and avoid the hassle of a bathtub.
All you need to do is put shampoo on the towel and rub it over your dog’s skin or fur to get rid of the dirt. This is actually much more convenient than using wipes as well, because if your dog’s fur gets really dirty, you’d need a bunch of wipes to clean it properly.
A towel can do the job of all those wipes in one go. On top of that, you can also wash the towel and reuse it later, which will cost you much less than a lot of wipes.
With towels and dog shampoo, you also have the option to ‘rinse’ the shampoo away after you’re done cleaning, which gets rid of any residue. Therefore, when your dog licks their body afterwards, you don’t have to worry about them ingesting any dangerous chemicals.
Dry Dog Shampoo
There are also dry shampoos that can help you clean your dog when you have no access to water or wipes. While these are not as effective as a proper bath with shampoo and water, they are better than nothing.
Dry shampoos are usually only used if your dog’s fur has gotten greasy, but aren’t as great for thorough cleaning. If your dog has rolled around in the mud, dry shampoos won’t be much help. Since these have oil-absorbing ingredients, they soak up any excess oil on your dog’s skin and fur. Any dirt that is bound to the oil is also removed, but this is only true for very small amounts.
However, these shampoos also include pH altering ingredients that bring your dog’s pH to healthier levels, which gets rid of bacteria that smell bad and thus make your dog smell fresher.
Again, these are not necessarily a replacement for wipes and shampoos – they can only help in a pinch, and for very small amounts of dirt.
So, baby wipes are not safe for dogs, especially when used regularly. They include ingredients that may be harmful for dogs and should be avoided. However, there are plenty of alternatives you can go for that can do the job just as well or better, in cleaning your dog’s skin and fur.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright