I didn’t even consider the need for pet wipes until old-age started to limit my Moo. His achy joints didn’t allow him the flexibility to groom like he used to, and I noticed an area along his back that was getting very oily. A warm damp cloth wasn’t exactly doing the trick, so I figured I’d scoop up a bag of pet wipes to get the job done. Easy enough right? Well not really, here are some pointers:
- Read the Packaging: I love the packages that clearly tout No parabens! No Sulfates! No alcohol, chlorine, or harsh chemicals! When shopping around this should be one of the first screening factors you use to weed out the most well-known harmful ingredients.
- Don’t Assume Natural = Safe: Aloe – seems safe enough right? We always had an aloe plant in the kitchen ready to break off a little leaf to soothe a skin burn. Surely this would work for cats and dogs too, right? Did you know there is actually a portion of the gel (aloe latex) that is toxic to humans and pets if consumed? While aloe has a ton of health benefits if you want to consume it, it should be “food grade.” Keep this in mind if your fur baby likes to groom post a wipe down. Most wipes are assumed external use only and don’t account for risk of oral ingestion.
- Question Wipes Labeled for Cats & Dogs: Did you know that cats lack the liver enzyme to break down essential oils? Doggies don’t have this issue, so you’ll commonly see Lavender Oil or Citrus Oil added to wipes to leave your fur baby smelling fresh. Many of these products are labeled for both cat and dog use. Does your kitty like to “re-groom” after your assistance? Oral ingestion of these “natural” oils can build up kitty’s system and lead to serious health issues.
- Avoid Acronyms and Vague Terms: Propriety blend anyone? That can be good or bad, how do you know? I find it best to avoid these. As certain preservatives join the not so safe list and become more familiar to us consumers, manufacturers have found ways to make their inclusion a little less noticeable by using acronyms instead of their big questionable chemical name. Don’t assume something like “DMDM” is as simple as it may seem. Try to learn the acronyms – you might be surprised what you find in your human products!
- Consider your Fur Baby’s Sensitivities: Some babies are more sensitive than others. While an ingredient may not be harmful to your baby, it could still irritate their skin (or tummy if ingested). When trying a new pet wipe, limit the first few uses to make sure they don’t have any adverse reactions to any of the ingredients.
How many of these recommendations do you follow when shopping for a new pet product? Do you have any other pointers?