As the father of a young son and hectic dog, we have frequent messy days out. If it’s not one of them falling into muddy puddle, it’s the other. Like many families with kids, we always have pack of wet wipes to hand and will use them to clean our dog and son up during a day out.
However, last week I went to clean our dog’s eye with a baby wipe as he had a load of mud and gunk in it and had to stop myself. I wasn’t sure if it was safe to clean my dog’s eyes in this way, as there could have been chemicals and stinging soap in the wipe.
What I discovered was extremely interesting and have shared all that information today. So, if you want to know whether you can use wet wipes on a dog, and if regular baby wipes are safe, please read on.
Can I use regular wet wipes on a dog?
In the majority of cases your dog should be fine with baby wipes on a rare occasion, providing you don’t make it a regular thing. Baby wipes have been designed to treat skin kindly, and many don’t have abrasive elements in them, so in theory are ok to clean your dog with…
But don’t think that means you should… dogs tend to have more sensitive skin than humans, and certain antibacterial wipes could lead to a skin condition if you use them to clean your dog. All dogs are different and can react in a different way.
Regular wet wipes also contain fragrances, parabens, and chemicals. Dogs are prone to licking themselves after you have used a wet wipe on them, so there is a small risk here.
Another thing you should always be aware of is their eyes. Be very careful to not get any of the soapy liquid in a baby wipes into or around your dog’s eyes. Some wet wipes are not pet friendly and could sting eyes so check for any adverse reactions after use.
To be completely on the safe side, always check the label as some of the leading wet wipes now say whether they are ok to be used on pets or not.
For complete peace of mind, I recommend you buy a dog-friendly wet wipe product that has been designed, manufactured, and tested to be completely safe on dogs. For example, these Grooming Wipes on Amazon are perfect.
They have no alcohol, parabens, or chemicals in so in theory should not produce an allergic reaction and are wet wipes to use on dog’s bums, ears, eyes, and paws. You can also consider creams.
What is the difference between baby wipes and dog wipes?
Dog wet wipes are more expensive than regular baby wipes and there’s a good reason why. It’s because they have been specially created for use on dog skin.
Dogs have very different pH levels to babies, and some of the elements in regular wet wipes can lead to skin irritations. Dogs will also lick themselves after you wipe them down too, so could possibly ingest chemicals and fragrances from a regular wipe.
Wet wipes that are designed to clean dogs will not include chemicals, fragrances, and parabens. Dog wipes are also bigger and more robust making it easier to clean your dog with compared to small and flimsy baby wipes.
What chemical in a baby wipe is unsafe for dogs?
Many commercially available baby wipes have a chemical in them called propylene glycol. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, propylene glycol is toxic to dogs:
“If cats or dogs ingest large amounts of propylene glycol, poisoning can occur. This is most commonly seen when pets ingest liquid, high concentration propylene glycol products.”
I won’t want to panic you, as the key take-out here would appear to be “large amounts”. The chances of your dog ingesting large amounts of propylene glycol by licking themselves after being cleaned with a baby wipe is virtually zero.
But, it’s not something you probably want to rish, hence why the best kind of baby wipes to use safely with a dog are ones designed for your dog.
Can I use baby wipes to clean my dog’s face?
I don’t see the harm of using certain baby wipes to clean your dog’s face from time to time, providing you use unscented and hypoallergenic ones – in other words, the ones for sensitive skin.
Dogs cannot lick their own face, so this can reduce the risk of them possibly suffering a reaction to chemicals in a baby wipe, but I would certainly avoiding wiping the eyes with them.
Can I use baby wipes to clean my dog’s ears?
Again, be very careful with your choice of wet wipe, and because you are cleaning internally, I’d probably opt for specific dog wipes to be on the safe side when cleaning the ears.
I am sure that you can clean your dog’s ears with baby wipes, but just be so gentle when you do it, and don’t push down into the ear canal.
Can I use baby wipes to clean my dog’s eyes?
This is probably where I would draw the line at using baby wipes. Cleaning your dog’s eyes is one part of the body that is most likely to react badly to something in a commercial wet wipe.
I have previously blogged about what’s best for cleaning hard boogers from dog’s eyes, and there are some excellent suggestions in that guide on what to use.
So, can you use baby wipes on dogs’ eyes? The answer, yes probably providing they don’t have chemicals and fragrances in, but I would still exercise a large degree of caution.
Can I use baby wipes to clean my dog’s paws?
Providing that the baby or wet wipes you use are labelled as “pet safe” then there’s no reason why you can’t use them for cleaning your dog’s paws after a muddy walk.
Wet wipes are great for paw cleaning as you can really get in-between your dog’s toes and get any grit, mud, salt, or sand out in super quick time. In fact, we always have a pack of dog-friendly wet wipes when we’re out and about – and use them on our dog and 7-year-old son when needed!
Wet wipes are great for dog’s paws, but you might need to give those muddy feet a proper wash off once you get home, as they are only good for a quick wipe down in truth and will leave some debris.
Can you use baby wipes on a dog’s bum?
Yes, you can use baby wipes on a dog’s bum providing they are natural wet wipes with no chemicals or fragrances in. You should not press to hard though!
Some dogs have an inability to clean their own bum, so owners will often have to give them a helping hand. French Bulldogs are a classic case in point, as they cannot reach their own rear end, so will occasionally have a little bit left over that didn’t quite fall off.
Handy Hint: Here’s a comprehensive guide to cleaning a dog’s bum including those breeds which hair longer and troublesome butt hair that gets matted with poop.
I own a Frenchie, and you can see a photo here of me using dog-friendly baby wipes to clean our dog’s bum.
What wet wipes to use to clean afterbirth on dog?
Having spoken to some other dog owners when researching this guide, it turns out that it’s not uncommon to use wet wipes to clean the afterbirth from a dog.
If am honest, I don’t’ think you should really use any form of wet wipes after your dog has given birth, and instead use clean clothes sterilized with boiling water (once cooled) to be on the safe side.
Can you use baby wipes on newborn puppies?
The same goes for newborn puppies. I think you should avoid using commercial wet wipes just in case there’s any chance of harming them.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet and the opinions in this guide are all personal or based on what other dog owners have said to me in conversation. If in doubt, consult with your own vet.
To be completely safe, I’d always recommend using dog wipes over a wet wipe designed for human or baby use. That way you have the peace of mind that all is safe.
If your dog does react badly or come out in a rash after using dog wipes or baby wipes, stop using them immediately. Just like us, all dogs are different and can have varied allergies.