Baby wipes are common in many households, including those that don’t have babies! That’s because baby wipes can be used by all members of the family for quick clean-ups. They’re the perfect size for removing makeup, wiping hands, and even for cleaning hard surfaces.
But what happens if your dog eats a baby wipe? Should you be worried if your dog ate a baby wipe?
What is Baby Wipes?
Baby wipes are wet wipes designed to clean a baby’s sensitive skin. The wipes come in packs that range from 80 or more baby wipes in a package. The actual wipes are generally made of non-woven, stretchy fabric, which is soft and non-irritating to the skin.
The solution that wets the wipes varies from brand to brand. Those made for sensitive skin may include:
- Mild detergents
- Moisturizing agents (may include propylene glycol, glycerin, oils, silicones)
- Fragrance (though many are non-scented)
While these wipes are generally safe for humans, what happens if a dog eats a baby wipe? Can a baby wipe make your dog sick?
Baby Wipes & Dogs
The answer is that baby wipes can make your dog sick. The ingredients in the wipes may cause digestive tract issues, while the wipe can become lodged in the intestines, creating a dangerous medical condition called a bowel obstruction. Left untreated, a bowel obstruction can be life-threatening.
As to how severe the problem may be, it will depend on the size of the dog and how many wipes they’ve eaten. Another issue is whether or not the dog has eaten any of the packaging.
For medium- to large-sized dogs, one wipe could possibly go through the digestive system without any problem. The baby wipe could come in the dog’s poo in a day or so. However, more than one wipe, with or without the packaging, could be enough to cause a bowel obstruction. It’s also possible the wipe solution could cause problems for the dog’s digestive tract.
Symptoms of Bowel Obstruction in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten one or more baby wipes:
- Abdominal swelling & pain
- Lack of appetite
These symptoms can be caused by the wipes and/or the packaging if this was also eaten. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, then call the vet immediately. This could be a life-threatening medical emergency.
In this case, prompt medical care is needed to ensure your fur baby survives. It’s possible your dog may need emergency surgery unless the packaging/wipes are still in the stomach. In that case, the vet may use an endoscopic procedure to remove these materials from your canine companion’s stomach.
Once your dog has recovered, it’s important to ensure he can’t gain access to baby wipes again. It may be necessary to store the wipes in a locked cabinet, up high, where your fur baby can’t get them. To keep your dog from getting wipes out of the trash, you may want to consider a dog-proof wastebasket, too!