Part of being a dog is getting messy. And part of being a dog owner is cleaning up that mess. Giving a dog a bath every day is usually not an option. Since we use baby wipes to clean up all sorts of things, can you use baby wipes on dogs, and how safe is it?
Cleaning your dog with baby wipes may be convenient, but it’s not the best solution for frequent, quick cleanups. Although baby wipes are suitable for an infant’s sensitive skin, they can cause health issues when you use them on your dog regularly. Try to limit them to occasional use.
Let’s look at why baby wipes should be avoided when it comes to cleaning dogs. We also have some tips for keeping your dog safe while using wipes for cleaning. There are plenty of alternatives for when you don’t have other option available.
Can You Use Baby Wipes on Dogs?
There’s no doubt that baby wipes are very convenient when it comes to cleaning something quickly and efficiently. When cleaning dogs, baby wipes can come in handy when you do not have access to water but need to clean your pet right away. This usually happens when you are away from home.
However, even though baby wipes are simple and easy to use, and most of the time really effective, they might not be the best and safest solution for your dog. It is known that babies have the most sensitive skin, so it may surprise you that baby wipes are safe for them, but not for dogs. This reason for this is the different pH levels present in human skin and dog skin.
Baby wipes are designed to work safely on human skin, i.e., skin that has a pH of 5.5. This is not the case with dogs, whose pH levels are much higher. That is one reason why baby wipes might have detrimental effects on your dog.
Using baby wipes is okay every now and again when you do not have access to anything else that is considered safer, and you likely won’t cause any serious problems to your pet. However, regular use can cause pH imbalances, which can lead to irritation, rashes, or bacterial infections.
Another reason why baby wipes are not safe for dogs is that they have additional chemicals that can be tolerated on human skin, but not on a dog’s skin. These chemicals are fragrance additives and can cause additional imbalances. Even if you use hypoallergenic and fragrance-free baby wipes, they still might cause problems for your dog.
Simply put, you can use baby wipes when you have no other choice, but avoid regular use.
What Are Safe Ways of Using Wipes With Your Dog?
When you do not have any other option, wipes can be quite helpful. However, it is important that you are familiar with the safest ways to use them with your dog. Below are some tips for safely using baby wipes with dogs.
Check Chemical Components Before Using Wipes
The first and the most important thing is to check the ingredients and chemicals that are part of the particular wipes that you intend to use. Ingredients in wipes intended for dog paws are quite different than those in other types of wipes.
For example, propylene glycol is considered a harmful ingredient because it is designed to maintain moisture even when cleaning dirt and debris. Even if this might be good for humans, vets strongly advise that this ingredient be kept away from dogs since they can poison some of your dog’s organs over time.
Other harmful chemicals are Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone, phenoxyethanol, and Polysorbate 20 since they are considered carcinogens for dogs. While these are fine deodorants for babies, they are a serious threat to your pet.
People tend to think that what is safe for humans is also safe for animals, but this is a common misunderstanding and should definitely be avoided.
Use Hypoallergenic And Fragrance-Free Wipes
Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free dog or baby wipes are a good way to avoid harmful chemicals. The fragrance additives are actually the chemicals that can cause serious health problems in dogs.
Wipes that are hypoallergenic and free of fragrance additives might include only some aloe vera for moisturizing and soothing the skin, which is not harmful and will not put your dog’s life in jeopardy.
Opt For Dog Specific Wipes Whenever Possible
If you tend to use only dog wipes instead of baby wipes, you will avoid a lot of health issues for your dog and a lot of headaches for yourself. The dog wipes are specifically designed to suit dog needs and requirements, and they won’t cause any danger for your pet. They are free of propylene glycol and other preservatives, so your dog will be safe.
Dog wipes are designed to work with dog pH levels, so you will not cause any imbalances while using them. They are perfectly safe for the dog’s face, paws, and skin. Furthermore, they are also safe for sensitive areas as well. Therefore, you can safely clean dirt from your dog’s fur and skin.
Microfiber Towels With Dog Shampoo Are Also A Good Alternative
If you do not have access to any wipes at a certain point, you might use microfiber towels with a dog shampoo, and in that way, avoid jumping into the bathtub for cleaning. You will just need some microfiber towels soaked in warm water and dog shampoo, and you will be good to go. Your dog will be safe and clean in a few minutes, so you do not have to do the full bathing process that takes much longer and can cause a mess.
This approach might be more useful than using wipes because it works faster, and you can clean dirt from your dog more thoroughly. For example, if your dog gets covered in mud while playing, wipes would not be the convenient solution since you will need a bunch of them. A towel with dog shampoo on it will resolve the issue pretty quickly.
If you go light on the shampoo and use a separate towel without shampoo to “rinse” the dog after, you won’t leave much soap residue on the dog, if any. A mild dog shampoo or baby shampoo won’t leave any harmful or dangerous residue, either.
Dry Dog Shampoos
Dry dog shampoos, also known as waterless dog shampoos, are another option for cleaning your dog without bathing them conventionally. They aren’t as effective as a real bath with shampoo and water, but they can help in a pinch.
Dry dog shampoos have an oil-absorbing ingredient which helps “soak” up excess oil on your dogs fur and skin. You apply it, let it absorb the oil, then brush it out. Hopefully, any dirt on the dog binds to the oil and is removed, too.
These shampoos sometimes include pH-altering ingredients that help adjust your dog’s skin pH to healthier levels, promoting better smelling bacteria (translation: they may make your dog stink less!).
As you can see, baby wipes can be convenient at times, but you should avoid regular use of them since they can lead to health issues in your dog. Several alternatives are considered safe and practical, so it is better to opt for them than put your pet’s health at risk.