Are Baby Wipes Safe for Dogs? Here Are 4 Tips And Facts

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A big part of being a responsible pet owner is making sure your dog is happy, healthy ,and groomed regularly.

Dogs (by and large) are pretty clean animals as it is, but we’ve all seen our favorite furry little family member jump headfirst into a mud puddle and rolled around.

They like to throw themselves on the ground, dig in the dirt, and get into all kinds of mischief – and that sometimes makes it hard to keep them clean and healthy.

Unfortunately, some dogs aren’t all that crazy about taking a bath. Some pups are going to flat out refuse to “let you” clean them.

Thankfully though, with the help of the right wipes, you can still get your dog clean without having to wrestle them in the bathtub or outback with a garden hose!

But can you use just any old baby wipes on your dog?

Are they safe?

Are you putting their health and well-being in jeopardy?

Let’s find out right now!

Are Baby Wipes Safe for Dogs?

Dog wiping his bottom

While it’s definitely possible to use baby wipes every now and again to clean your dog, we wouldn’t recommend you use baby wipes on a regular basis – not a weekly basis even, let alone a daily basis.

Though baby wipes are perfectly safe to be used on infants that have sensitive skin, the chemical makeup of these products can be disastrous when you use them on your dog.

For starters, baby wipes are designed to accommodate different pH levels than what you are dealing with when you’re cleaning your dogs.

Baby wipes are engineered to work on skin that has a pH of 5.5 (the pH of human skin), but that’s a much lower pH number than what you have with dogs.

Baby wipes on dogs are going to (eventually) start to cause serious pH imbalances on their skin. That’s going to lead to irritation, it’s going to lead to rashes, and it’s going to open them up to all kinds of bacterial infections, too.

On top of that, most baby wipes have quite a few “extra” chemicals mixed right in that make them more pleasing to use on human beings. Some of those chemicals are nothing more than fragrance additives, but others are going to screw with the pH balance and healthy skin of your fur babies, too.

We dig into some of those additives in just a minute.

Hypoallergenic and fragrance free baby wipes eliminate a lot of those problems, but they may not eliminate all of them.

Again, you can use regular baby wipe sporadically without doing a whole lot of damage to your animal. But if you use baby wipes on dogs religiously you’re going to start to see a whole bunch of health issues pop up.

How to Safely Use Wipes with Your Dogs

Below we breakdown a couple of things to think about when considering using wipes to clean your dogs, clearing away common misconceptions, too.

Pay attention to the details below (and share this information with other dog owners) and you won’t have to worry about messing with the pH level of your dogs skin any longer – all while being able to avoid wrestling around in the bathtub when you need to clean them!

1. Double Check Chemical Breakdown Before You Use Wipes

The most important thing you can do when using baby wipes on dogs is to read the ingredients list like you are examining a contract.

As we mentioned earlier, the ingredients in dog paw wipes are going to be significantly different than the ingredients will find on the best dog wipes – and there are certainly ingredients you need to steer clear of.

Propylene Glycol is one of those ingredients, an ingredient that is specifically designed to “maintain moisture” even while cleaning away dirt and debris (at least on humans).

Veterinarians warn against propylene glycol with animals, though, saying that it can eventually work its way into the major organs of your dog and poison them over time.

That’s obviously something you’ll want to avoid!

Polysorbate 20, Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone, phenoxyethanol, and other preservatives are ingredients to avoid as well. Often found in wipes to clean babies described as “miracle deodorizing bath wipes”, these ingredients are known dog carcinogens.

No, if you’re going to use wipes with your dog you need to be sure that the ingredients breakdown is as limited as possible.

You want products that use as few ingredients to get the job done, with zero extra chemicals (a few essential oils can be ok, as long as they are safe).

2. Hypoallergenic and Fragrance Free Baby Wipes Only

A great way to avoid a lot of extra chemicals that can put the help of your dog in jeopardy is to go with baby wipes (or dog wipes) that are completely hypoallergenic and fragrance free.

A lot of fragrance additives chemicals are the ones that can cause serious health issues, stripping away the essential oils on your dogs body and skin while making their coat and hair brilliant prone to breakage, too.

Baby wipes proven to be hypoallergenic wipes and fragrance free almost always stripped down their chemical content to next to nothing. There may be a little bit of aloe vera mixed in to moisturize and soothe the skin of your dogs, but that isn’t going to put their health and well-being in jeopardy.

3. Use Dog Specific Wipes Whenever Possible

A lot of headache and hassle for dog owners can be avoided completely by refusing to use baby wipes in general and instead choosing to use dog wipes only.

Dog wipes are superior to regular baby wipes when you are looking to clean and groom your animal, but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering these dog wipes are designed specifically for furry little family members in the first place!

You aren’t going to find propylene glycol mixed into these products. You aren’t going to find preservatives and dangerous chemical cleaner agents in this kind of product, either.

Instead you’re going to get pet products that are engineered for the pH of your dog‘s skin, perfectly designed for cleaning your dog‘s paws and your dog‘s face. Many can even be used to clean around the eyes of your animal, always a sensitive area.

It may not be a bad idea to find puppy wipes that have a lot of vitamin E in them as well. These are great for spot cleaning, getting rid of surface dirt, and moisurizing skin all at the same time.

4. Microfiber Towels with Dog Shampoo Works Well, Too

If you don’t have baby wipes or dog wipes on hand, though, that’s not a problem. You’ll still be able to give your dogs a proper cleaning without having to jump into the bathtub with them.

All you need is a microfiber towel and some quality dog dry shampoo (made for a puppy or a full-grown dog) and just a little bit of warm water.

That’s a wonderful DIY dog cleaning product that won’t ever put their health or wellness in jeopardy.

This approach is also a lot more useful when you need dog bath wipes that can clean more than surface dirt and dust from your dog.

If you’ve got animal that has been rolling around in the mud, for example, no amount of paw wipes are going to be able to get them clean. You’ll need something a little more heavy duty (like a dog shampoo), and that’s where this DIY dog cleaning approach comes into play!

Another beautiful thing about using this combo is that you can use the same microfiber cloth (run through warm water to fully rinse it out, of course) to tackle dog paws, their body, and around the eyes of your animal without any worry.

It’s important to keep the towel clean and to add more shampoo as necessary, but other than that you’re good to go.

You don’t have to rinse these towels out with spring water before you go from your dog‘s paws to their eyes, but you will want to make sure the towel is as clean as possible – or start with sensitive areas like their eyes and then move on to other parts of the dog body.

Closing Thoughts

dog on toilet seat Stock

So there you have it, a detailed breakdown clearing up the common misconception of whether or not you should be using baby wipes or dog wipes on your animal and why.

There are plenty of people out there (responsible dog owners included) that have no idea why dog wipes and baby wipes aren’t interchangeable, using either one – usually whichever is cheapest – to give their dog a bath without realizing the risks they could be putting their puppy in.

Hopefully now it’s clear why using baby wipes is such a bad idea, especially those that have propylene glycol as one of the primary contents.

If there’s one thing you need to stay away from with dog grooming wipes it has to be propylene glycol!

Whenever possible, try to use dog wipes as they are specifically formulated for the coat of your furry little family member’s health. Use baby wipes in a pinch, sure, (maybe to clean out some hard to melt ear wax) but avoid using them on a regular basis.

Keep this in mind and you’ll be good to go the next time with grooming wipes your dog needs a bath but you can’t get them into the tub.


FAQ

How Can You Wash a Dog‘s Face in a Way That is Safe and Comfortable for the Dog?

There isn’t a dog on the planet excited about getting their face washed.

This is always something that they are going to want to resist, which makes your job as a pet owners a little more challenging.

Thankfully though, as long as you use products that are as free of chemicals as possible (to avoid any potential your rotation) and work gently with your dog – while coming them down with your voice – you’ll have a much easier time of things.

Use pet wipes “cat wipes” exclusively when you are cleaning their face. It’s the only way to make sure that there are no additives and irritants that are going to make the experience go sideways for you and your pet.

If you don’t have wipes, use warm water without soap. This will handle the heavy lifting of getting most of the dirt and muck that wet wipes would have gotten off without worrying about what kind of additives could be in your soap or human shampoo.

Should You Wash Your Dog‘s Paws After a Walk?

It’s always a good idea to give the paws of your dog a good washing when you bring them in from a walk, especially if you’ve gone into areas that your dog usually doesn’t adventure into.

For one, you’ll be able to clean their paws of any dirt, muck, or grime they might have picked up along the way. You don’t want them tracking that stuff all over your house, do you?

Secondly, you’ll get a better look at the paws of your dogs when you’re cleaning them in the bath or with wet wipes. You’ll be able to check for damage to the pads, check on their toenails to see if they need to be trimmed, and can monitor their health that way, too.

Finally, it’s just a good idea to clean their feet every now and again. It’s impossible to know what dogs walk around in when they are out and about, and cleaning their feet with quality dog products goes a long way towards keeping them happy and healthy!

What is the Difference Between a Baby Wipe and Dog Wipes?

There are a couple of major differences when you’re looking at pet wipes vs baby wipes, but the biggest difference is the way these products treat the pH levels of skin.

Baby wet wipe products are always going to treat skin that has a pH level of 5.5 (the average for humans). Dogs, on the other hand, have a pH that is significantly higher than that.

When you use bath wipes designed for lower pH levels on dogs you can end up “burning” their skin – causing skin irritations, rashes, and even opening them up to bacterial skin infections.

Steer clear of that trouble altogether by avoiding baby wipes and going with pet wipes instead!

What Chemical in a Baby Wipe is Unsafe for Dogs?

A couple of different chemical additives in baby dog wipe products/baby wipe brand can be unsafe for a pet, but the worst offender of them all is propylene glycol.

Pet wipes never include this additive that’s almost always found in baby pet wipe options because of the way it can not only burn their skin, but it can start to poison dogs as well.

Eye wipes with propylene glycol need to be avoided at all costs, but even just general “bath wipes” should be avoided, too. It doesn’t take a lot of propylene glycol to start poisoning your pup, either – and the problem can build and build over time until it becomes really dangerous.

No, steer clear of any pet antibacterial wipes that have even just a little propylene glycol in them.

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Hi, everyone! My name is Mathew Barham and I’m the editor in charge here at M-Dog. I’m currently based in Northampton, Pennsylvania, where I live with my beautiful wife, two amazing kids, and four rowdy rescue dogs. Growing up, my parents had a huge backyard and lots of animals. So my entire life, I was surrounded by pets that I cared for deeply. When my wife and I moved into a bigger place, I knew that I wanted to do the same for my family. That’s when we went to an animal shelter and fell in love with the most adorable little rescue pup. Since then, our family just kept growing, and we couldn’t be happier about it.