Baby wipes were made for the delicate skin of an infant, but are they safe for dogs? The short answer is yes, they’re safe for dogs. They’re perfect for a quick swipe over muddy paws or to clear off a bit of surface dirt from your dog’s coat.
Almost every other blog post you read will try to tell you they are harmful. The truth is, as long as they’re used sparingly, it’s unlikely they’re going to do any harm.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Never use wipes (even ones formulated for pets) on dogs with any kind of skin issues. This includes dermatitis, flea allergies, cysts, open wounds, etc.
It’s a good idea to avoid wiping too close to your dog’s eyes because wipes contain soapy ingredients that can sting.
In this post, we’re going to point out some of the different types of wipes, what’s in them, whether they’re safe for dogs, and some easy alternatives you can use instead of human wet wipes.
3 Safe Ways to Use Baby Wipes on Dogs
For Quick Cleanups
Dog owners know all to well what it’s like to bring a car out of the rain and into the car or house. Your dog had a blast, but now he’s covered in mud.
If all you have on hand are baby wipes or adult wet wipes, go ahead and use them.
Baby wipes can be used to clean dogs from the neck down. Don’t expect to give your dog the equivalent of a bath with wet wipes. However, a quick once over to get rid of excess dirt is fine.
To Wipe Down Dirty Paws
Even on sunny, dry days dogs seem to get their paws covered in dirt or mud. In the winter months, your dog’s paws also come into contact with harsh salt (used on sidewalks to break up ice).
It’s fine to grab a baby wipe if you need to clean your dog’s paws. Yes, your dog will probably lick at his/her paw afterwards. The reality is that you dog would have to eat boxes of wipes to reach any kind of toxicity.
Unless your dog is hypersensitive, he/she will be fine.
Sometimes pet owners, like me, don’t think ahead far enough. I’ve come back from the off-leash dog park with my two dogs only to release how dirty the dogs were. I didn’t want them running through the house so I reached under the sink and grabbed a container of Wet Wipes.
Sometimes, it’s just convenient.
3 Things to Avoid When Using Baby Wipes on Dogs
Avoid Sensitive Areas
Sensitive areas include the dog’s mouth, face, and ears. You can use a baby wipe to gently wipe dirt away from the outer ear. However, never push the baby wipe into the dog’s ear for a deep clean. They’re not designed for that purpose and may leave too much moisture in the ear canal.
An accumulation of moisture in the ear canal is a breeding ground for ear infection.
Watch for Adverse Effects
There are some dog breeds that are just plain sensitive to many things. These are the dogs who may also have food allergies, allergies to flea saliva, or other sensitivities.
Dogs have different pH levels than humans, which is why they make dog wipes especially for our canine friends. Human wet wipes can be used occasionally. However, if your dog develops an itchy rash, stop using the wipes.
You can use baby wipes on a dog as long as you avoid the eyes and open cuts or abrasions.
Soap and alcohol in certain products may sting. If your dog suffers from any skin allergies (mild or severe), avoid any kind of wipes. In that case, you’re better off using a damp cloth or dog-approved skin cleansers
If it’s safe to use on your baby, it should be safe to use on your dog. Again, it should be something used in a pinch, not on a regular basis.
Check the Ingredients
There are all kinds of fantastic wipes on the market, both for dogs and humans.
Deciding which one to use is really a matter of what’s been added to them. Otherwise, some human wipes may not be all the different from some baby wipes.
Companies know that their customers are pretty savvy. Years go, we may not have questioned it too much. But now, we know what to look for.
Cottonelle wipes, for example, are hypoallergenic, free of alcohol, plastic fiber, parabens, harsh chemicals, and flushable.
Ingredients to avoid include:
- Ethylene Oxide
- Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone
- Butoxy peg-4 pg-amodimethicone
- Potassium Laureth Phosphate
- Polysorbate 20
- PEG-75 Lanolin
You may not see the word “phthalates” in the ingredients. However, beware of words like “fragrance” or “perfume” as these contain a mixture of hidden ingredients.
The following information contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. The following items are sold through Chewy.com and CherryBrook Premium Pet Supplies.
5 Best Dental Wipes for Dogs
These wipes will help you say goodbye to smelly breath. They provide a convenient way to keep your furry friend’s teeth and gums healthy.
Each soft wipe is moistened with natural baking soda and mint flavor to gently clean while freshening his breath.
Precautions: Safe for dogs and cats over 6 weeks old.
John Paul Pet Tooth & Gum Wipes make maintaining healthy mouths simple, without the need for a toothbrush.
Just wrap the wipe around your finger and scrub away. Baking soda cleans the teeth and gums and each wipe has fresh mint that takes care of bad breath.
Naturally effective dental care. Get ALL the teeth when you use wipes. Easier and more efficient than a toothbrush.
These are designed to make cleaning your pet’s teeth easier and more comfortable. The thimble-like shapes fit over your finger for an easier grip. Fresh mint flavor that your dog will mistaken for a treat.
Technically, not a wipe. However, Artero’s Dentix toothpaste is designed to remove plague and to keep bad breath at bay. Made with tea tree oil. For dogs only.
5 Best Grooming Wipes for Dogs
Helps to keep your dog feeling fresh and clean in between baths. Infused with all-natural ingredients including Vitamin E, aloe, and skin conditioners.
Recommended by groomers and vets to help support proper hygiene.
Safe for use all over your dog’s body including the face, paws, ears, and body.
Perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. Does not contain any dyes, parabens, added fragrance or perfumes. This product is made from a mild coconut-derived cleanser and organic Aloe Vera juice. Very soothing.
Some dogs are sensitive to many things, including things labelled “hypoallergenic”. Try a very small spot before applying liberally.
Hypoallergenic towelettes with just enough moisture to keep your dog’s coat clean without over-saturating.
These wipes are made from sustainable bamboo fiber and are free of parabens and fragrances.
These plant-based wipes are certified compostable. They are gentle enough for daily use and are formulated using real, recognizable ingredients. These include aloe vera, shea butter, chamomile, and cucumber.
This product is made with aloe and oatmeal to sooth sensitive, irritated skin. Easily removes dirt, dander, odor, and excess hair quickly and efficiently.
Perfect for getting those hard-to-reach areas like foot pads, skin folds, and arm pits.
5 Best Wipes for Anal Glands
These wipes are primarily meant for cleaning your dog’s bum after anal gland expression.
They contain non-toxic enzymes that naturally kill the terrible smell of a dog’s poop, aloe vera, vitamin E, and moisturizers that soothe your dog’s bum.
They are also alcohol and paraben-free, made with thick premium material to avoid tearing, and safe for dogs of all ages.
This gentle product is designed for your dog’s most sensitive area. Soft enough to be used on a daily basis. These are veterinarian recommended wipes designed to support anal gland health and proper hygiene.
This no-sting formula is alcohol free and hypoallergenic. Helps promote hygiene while keeping bacteria, fungus, and odor away.
Convenient and easy way to keep your dog’s tush fresh, clean and odor-free between baths. These gentle, non-irritating wipes will neutralize unpleasant odors. Contains rosemary, baking soda, and odor eating enzymes.
The top choice of professional groomers.
Although not specifically made for a dog’s bum, these wipes are gentle enough to use in your dog’s sensitive areas. Towels are extra large and are perfect for larger dogs.
Earthbath has a whole line of appropriate dog wipes for any situation. You can expect these to do a thorough job with a gentle touch.
5 Best Hypoallergenic Wipes for Dogs
Vetnique Labs have a line of pet wipes designed with sensitive skin in mind. Of course, some dogs are sensitive to just about everything, so always test a small area first.
You’ve probably got a stash of Wet Ones somewhere in your house already. Wet Ones used to only have human formula wipes. Now they have some for the whole family, including the pets. You’ve always trusted Wet Ones, so why not try them with your pet?
Pogi’s is a groomer’s choice for top quality grooming wipes. These wipes help deodorize while gently cleaning your dog’s coat and skin.
Martha Stewart’s line of products now extend to our furry friends. Expect nothing but the best with Martha Stewart’s tearless grapefruit scented puppy wipes.
The tearless formula makes it easier to wipe little faces without causing irritation to the eye. Do not get directly in the eyes, however.
At the end of the day, occasionally using baby wipes on your dog isn’t going to cause any harm. Use common sense and avoid the eyes and the ear canal.
One or two wipes should be able to cover a medium-to-large dog. Watch for signs of irritation like reddened or pink skin. If your dog develops a rash or an itch, discontinue use.