Dog wipes and baby wipes seem to perform the same function at face value – clean stains. But like many people, you may be wondering if it’s okay to use baby wipes for dogs.
The answer isn’t straightforward because there are several factors to consider.
In this article, we’ll discuss the key differences between dog wipes vs baby wipes, and the best way to substitute one for the other.
We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about dog wipes.
What Exactly Are Dog Wipes?
Dog wipes are also known as pet wipes and as the name implies, they’re disposable wipes used mainly for pets.
Dog wipes can be used for everything, from wiping your pet down after outdoor time, to cleaning their feet before they jump on your couch. Some pet wipes can also be used to groom your furry friends, smoothing their fur. Then there are pet antibacterial wipes that disinfect your pet and can be used like regular wipes, too.
Animals often lick themselves to get clean, so you may only need to use wet wipes for areas where Fido can’t reach, like behind the ears.
What Are Baby Wipes?
Baby wipes are used to clean infants. They are specially formulated for a baby’s sensitive skin. These wipes are used on the skin, and even the baby’s bum, and they have remarkable cleaning properties.
Most regular baby wipes either have an alcohol base or a gentle cleansing ingredient.
If you’ve ever had a baby, you also know that baby wipes can be used for cleaning small messes in a pinch.
Dog Wipes vs Baby Wipes: Key Differences
Since they mostly perform the same function, it’s tempting to conclude that baby wipes can be used on dogs, right? Not so fast. It’s not that simple. Let’s run through the key differences of dog wipes vs baby wipes.
The biggest problem with using baby wipes on dogs is the potential for pH imbalance. According toncbi, canine skin’s pH level is between 5.5 and 7.2, which is more alkaline than human skin.
Wipes for dogs contain ingredients that maintain this pH range. Using baby wipes frequently can disrupt this balance and cause allergic reactions.
What’s worse, you may not notice the irritation under all that fur until poor Fluffy begins to chew at the irritated area.
As a pet owner, you know that dogs lick themselves all the time. Puppy wipes contain safe ingredients that can be ingested (as in, they’re alcohol-free) so no matter how often your pup licks, it won’t get sick.
Baby wipes, on the other hand, contain alcohol and a host of other ingredients that are unsafe for dogs (just like how humans can eat chocolate but dogs can’t).
Specifically, some types of wipes for babies contain propylene glycol. This is a chemical agent used to maintain moisture – something that’s very important for baby skin. Great for moisture levels, not so great for pets to ingest.
When ingested by dogs,dvm360 says it could lead to Central Nervous System problems. That may be unlikely, why put your furbaby at risk?
Situations Where You Can Use Baby Wipes on Dogs
Sometimes, you’re in a pinch and baby wipes are the only things you can find. But before you clean Fido with a baby wipe, be sure the wipes meet the following specs.
The Baby Wipes are Labeled Pet Safe
Some manufactures make pet-safe alcohol wipes. You can tell by the name; look out for labels like “hypoallergenic wipes” and “multipurpose wipes.”
Another clue that the baby wipes are safe is if the label says “unscented baby wipes.”
Does the label say any of the above? If so, then you can get away with using them on your pet.
You Stick to Areas Your Pooch Can’t Lick
This one’s easy because there are a couple of areas your dog can’t reach. Coincidentally, these areas tend to get the most exposure.
For example, baby wipes can be used on Fluffy’s face after she ignores your instructions and sniffs something yucky. Since dogs can’t lick their own faces, unscented wipes are pretty safe. This is especially true for behind the ears, and even inside the ear canal.
But be careful not to get too close to your pup’s eyes. As we’ve already covered, baby wipes are alcohol-based, and they can cause skin issues.
However, if the wipes are labelled pet safe, go ahead and clean your pet.
You Don’t Use it All the Time
Ingredients like propylene glycol aren’t dangerous the first time they contact your pet’s skin. But as your pup licks himself and ingests more and more of the dangerous chemicals, the negative effects will grow.
That’s why it’s advisable to only use infant wipes occasionally.
Great Alternatives for Pet Wipes
In a pinch, the most convenient option is probably the infant wipes. But most dog owners don’t know that they actually have other alternatives lying around their home.
It’s not as quick as pulling pet wipes out of the box, but it can be just as effective. Plus, it’s much safer than using baby wipes.
Here are some excellent substitutes for dog wipes.
Dog Shampoo + Hand Towel
This alternative is excellent because it’s safe for your dog’s sensitive skin. You can think of it as a DIY pet wipe.
Add one or two drops of dog shampoo onto a damp cloth and lather up. Next, wipe your pooch down as you would with a pet wipe, then rinse the area.
You can rinse with some freshwater, or rinse the hand towel and then wipe down your dog again.
Towel + Water
If you don’t have pet shampoo on hand, don’t worry. Depending on how dirty your dog is, you may get away with using a towel and some water alone.
The gist is basically the same: wet the towel and wipe down your dog.
This solution is most helpful when you’ve just returned from a long walk and can’t wait to get inside.
Can you Use Surface Wipes on Dogs?
Say it with us: No. Never use surface wipes on dogs (or babies!).
Surface wipes are designed to handle strong stains, rub against hard surfaces, and crack down on pretty much any mess you have in your home.
They have more alcohol than baby wipes and will cause severe irritation on your pet’s skin and fur. This is due to the harsh chemicals.
Instead, use pet wipes, safe baby wipes, or the towel + shampoo method.
FAQs about Dog wipes
Can Dog Wipes Substitute for a Bath?
There are times where you can’t give your pet a bath. Maybe your pooch has a phobia of water and you’re not ready to deal with all the drama. Or maybe you just don’t have time.
Special dog wipes, known as grooming wipes, are an excellent substitute for bathing your dog. These bath wipes can help you with a quick cleanup. The trick is to cover as much area as possible. Obviously, you usually don’t have to worry about this with a regular bath because water gets everywhere.
But because you have to sweep the area with relatively small grooming wipes, you’ll need patience.
Remember: while using grooming wipes on your dog, be careful to avoid Fluffy’s eyes.
Can You Use Pet Wipes on Babies?
It’s always best to use the wipes as intended: pet wipes for dogs and baby wipes for babies. Aside from the risks of irritation, you’re simply more effective to use the right products.
Baby wipes are designed to tackle poop, vomit, and all other not-so-cute messes that infants make. The alcohol base and other ingredients make cleaning quick and easy.
The good news is that pet wipes are also designed to tackle dirt to a reasonable degree. Even though they have a gentler formula, they perform much of the same functions.
So, yes, it’s safe to use pet wipes on babies.
Pet wipes are also a good idea if your infant has skin conditions that get worse with some kinds of baby wipes.
Do Dog Wipes Help With Allergies?
Yep, some kinds of dog wipes sure do.
Studiesshow that 15 out of every 100 people are allergic to pets. Pet allergies are caused by proteins in dander. They stick to your dog’s fur, clothing, mattresses, and other objects.
Some dog wipes can help reduce the amount of dander on pet fur, easing the allergies people will experience. This trick applies to other pets as well.
The Bottom Line
In the dog wipes vs baby wipes debate, both types of wipes have their merits. However, dog wipes are much better for use on dogs because they have a more suitable chemical composition, and are less likely to disturb your pet’s skin pH.
If you will use baby wipes on dogs, ensure that they are pet-safe. Additionally, avoid areas where your pup can lick easily, like its paw.
Finally, you don’t have to use baby wipes as an alternative. A wet towel with some dog shampoo will work just as well, with no negative effects.