What To Do If Your Dog Ate A Baby Wipe: Advice And Solutions

Dogs like to chew on things and sometimes they will get their chompers on something that is dangerous to them. But what should you do if your dog ate a baby wipe?

When a dog ingests a baby wipe, it can lead to serious health complications. The material in baby wipes may cause intestinal blockages or irritation. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial to ensure the well-being of the dog. But there are a few other steps you can take.

What are the potential dangers and risks of dogs ingesting baby wipes?

There are two conditions that can happen and cause problems when a dog decides on eating a baby wipe.

Intestinal blockage

An ingested baby wipe can go through the gastrointestinal system and cause a blockage somewhere along the intestines. “This can prevent absorption of water and nutrients, which can quickly cause the dog to become dehydrated and have imbalanced electrolytes (minerals that are important for the body to function).”, says Dr. Veronica Higgs. This is more common in smaller dog breeds that have a smaller diameter in their intestines.

Baby wipes can not be broken down by stomach acid, so they will stay where they are and cause symptoms. The more wipes ingested, the more chance a bowel obstruction happens.

Choking hazard

Besides the intestines, baby wipes can also get stuck in the windpipes of dogs. In this situation, symptoms will be instantly visible as the dog starts coughing and experiences breathing difficulties.

This situation is life-threatening in severe cases as the dog will need immediate assistance to get the baby wipe out. Knowing the Heimlich Maneuver can help you save your dog in this case. The New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center explains how to properly perform this maneuver on your choking dog:

While your dog is standing, wrap your arms around them and join your hand at the base of their abdomen. Then make a fist with your hands and firmly and swiftly push up and forward five times in a thrusting motion – much like you would perform the maneuver on a human.
New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center

Are there potential chemical reactions or toxic ingredients in baby wipes that can affect dogs?

Baby wipes are toxic to dogs if they are made with chemicals like fragrances, propylene glycol, and moisturizing ingredients. Alcohol is also commonly present in any wet wipe. Luckily, bleach and other harmful chemicals are not present in this cleaning product

Baby wipes are also made with a pH value that is similar to humans. Dogs have different pH values and their balance can be disrupted by ingesting baby wipes. “The fasting intestinal pH in dogs was consistently higher than in humans, with an average canine intestinal pH of 7.3 +/- 0.09 versus 6.0 +/- 0.14 for humans.”, says Dr. C Y Lui et al. in a study comparing canine and human pH values.

You can notice a few common symptoms like skin irritation, diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, and difficulty swallowing. In this situation, dogs will need help from Animal Poison Control or the Pet Poison Helpline.

All that said, you can still use a disinfecting wipe to wipe dogs from the outside. Cleaning their paws, noses, and coats is fine as long as the dog doesn’t chew on the wipe afterward. You also need to clean their backside after they poop using grooming wipes.

How can you recognize the symptoms of dogs swallowing baby wipes?

If your dog experiences an intestinal blockage, you will notice symptoms a few hours after the ingestion. These will include gastrointestinal symptoms in general.

  • Vomiting – Forceful or repeated vomiting is one of the signs that occur after dogs experience a gastrointestinal blockage. Sometimes, the dog will try retching in order to get the baby wipe out but fail to do so.
  • Diarrhea – You will notice a dog having loose stools due to the blockage. The dog might have diarrhea at night if it ingested the baby wipe in the late evening.
  • Abdominal discomfort – Dogs will start feeling pain and discomfort in the stomach area with the pain only getting worse on touch. The abdomen will also feel tender.
  • Changes in appetite or behavior – Because of the pain, dogs will become lethargic and lose their appetite. They will also become suddenly quiet and uninterested in other things.

What immediate actions should you take when a dog eats a baby wipe?

Now that you know the dangers of dogs eating baby wipes, you need to know what to do if this situation occurs.

Stay calm and assess the situation

Do not panic and overreact as you will only scare your dog and achieve nothing else. Remove the baby wipes out of your dog’s sight as some dogs don’t know when to stop eating. Take note of what kind of baby wipes your dog ate and how much. Then, check for any immediate symptom of choking. The Heimlich Maneuver will help in this situation.

Then, open the dog’s mouth to see if the wipe is sticking out from the back of the dogs throat. If you can see, it try to take it out yourself but be gentle and careful.

Do not induce vomiting but contact your veterinarian

Inducing vomiting can only cause additional problems for your dog. Baby wipes contain some substances that can make it difficult for dogs to vomit.

Instead, you should call your vet as soon as possible and ask for help. “Contacting your local vet or APCC and explaining the type of toxin, the amount ingested and any other relatable information should always be your first step.”, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Make sure you tell all the information you have about the situation. They will instruct you on how you should proceed further and if you need to come to their office.

What is the role of veterinary care in cases of ingestion?

Knowing the consequences of dogs eating baby wipes, a veterinarian will be of most help to prevent further complications. They will conduct a physical exam noting all signs of an intestinal blockage. Then, they will do diagnostic imaging like X-rays and ultrasounds to find where exactly the baby wipes block the intestines.

Sometimes, surgery will be needed to relieve your dog from the blockage. Afterward, your dog will need a few days to recover while hospitalized.

What preventive measures can you take to keep dogs away from baby wipes?

Preventing dogs from eating baby wipes will not be easy, but there are a few clear steps that you can take to achieve this.

Keep baby wipes out of dogs reach

The best way to prevent a dog from eating something is to remove it from its sight. Keep your baby wipes on a high shelf or closed cabinets that your dog can not get into. Child-proof locks will also be useful in this situation.

Secure waste bins

Once, you’ve used baby wipes, you need to throw them in dog-proof trash cans. Some dogs like going through trash rummaging for food, so you will need to put the trash cans in a place inaccessible to dogs.

Close bathroom doors

People usually keep their baby wipes in the bathroom, so the door to the bathroom should be closed for your dog. Besides that, consider restricting the kitchen as well because trash cans are usually located there.

Train your dog

Teaching the “leave it” command is essential in having control over what your dog puts in its mouth. To properly train it, you will need to use techniques of obedience training and positive reinforcement. You will need to hire a professional dog trainer if your dog does not listen to you.

Are there pet-safe alternatives and natural, pet-friendly cleaning products available?

Because dogs can eat baby wipes and get sick from them, manufacturers made wet wipes specifically designed for dogs. These don’t have any of the ingredients that can intoxicate a dog. Usually, they are named fragrance-free wipes for easier distinguishment. You can find a disinfectant wipe without chemicals that can damage the GI tract of dogs. Using a damp towel can also be effective.

If you want to use dog wipes, make sure that the dog doesn’t have sensitive skin. Using pet wipes too often can damage the dogs coat. Putting aloe vera may help, but it is bad for the digestive tract if ingested. Also, try not to damage the dogs eye and dogs paws while wiping. If you are dealing with sensitive skin, make sure you choose a proper dog shampoo.

So what should you do if your dog ate a baby wipe?

Dogs are curious creatures and often get their chompers on inedible objects. Such an occasion is when dogs eat baby wipes, which can be very unsafe for them. By doing this, dogs expose themselves to the chance of developing an intestinal obstruction. Symptoms of this disease include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort among others. 

Cleaning wipes are also a choking hazard for dogs and can lead to asphyxiation. Some of them are also made with ingredients that can be toxic for dogs. If you see your dog eating a baby wipe, you need to calmly assess the situation and consult a veterinarian for further instructions.


Why would a dog eat a baby wipe?

Dogs can find baby wipes delicious due to their nice smell. The texture and availability of regular baby wipes and the fact that their pet owner uses them might also incentivise dogs to eat them.

How long does it take for a dog to pass a baby wipe?

If your dog ate a baby wipe, you can expect it to pass in around 24-48 hours. That said, not all dogs can let baby wipes pass through their intestines so we recommend calling a vet as soon as possible.

Will a baby wipe dissolve in a dog’s stomach?

No, baby wipes can not be dissolved by the dogs stomach acid. If your dog manages to pass a baby wipe, you will see it in its full size, or cut to pieces by the dog’s teeth.

More dog health resources

Here are a few other resources talking about dog health.

You can find a lot more information on how to keep your dog healthy on our site Dogisa!

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