5 Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Wipes & Dog Shampoo (And 5 to Look For)

Updated: September 15, 2022

What are the best and worse ingredients in wipes for dogs and dog shampoo? How do you know what is harmful and helpful in dog wipes and shampoo? In this article, we are explaining some common ingredients to look for and avoid in wipes and shampoo for dogs.

The right pet wipes for dog can assist you in caring for your furbaby between baths and wiping off everyday messes. Meanwhile, the best dog shampoo can help nourish your furbaby’s skin and coat. So, knowing which ingredients are harmful and which are beneficial is important for any pet parent.

"Alcohols such as Propylene, Butylene, and Caprylyl Glycol often found in pet products can cause skin irritations and dry skin."

5 Ingredients to Avoid in Dog Wipes and Dog Shampoo

The following ingredients are frequently found in dog wipes or dog shampoo that you should avoid:

1. Parabens

What are parabens exactly? Parabens are common preservatives used prolong the shelf life of cosmetic products to prevent fungal growth, these ingredients are known to cause skin irritation, rashes, and skin infections in pets. This allergic reaction is based on hormones and can cause an endocrine reaction where the endocrin glands react to hormonal changes in the blood like a thermostat reacts to temp changes.

Unfortunately, parabens are often found in dog shampoos as a preservative. However, evermore, it is becoming well-understood that parabens are to be avoided for both pets and humans. In fact, since 2004, studies have suggested relationships between parabens and breast cancer in humans. And since we do Needless to say, you do not want parabens on your pet’s skin or your own.

2. Propylene

Alcohols such as Propylene, Butylene, and Caprylyl Glycol often found in pet products can cause skin irritations and dry skin. Propylene has been linked to organ system toxicity and skin irritation. According to the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists, has a significant toxic risk if ingested by pets. So, avoid alcohols in your pet wipes and pet shampoo to keep your dog’s skin healthy.

It is noteworthy that Propylene is often present in "pet-safe" anti-freeze products and can also be found in disinfectants, hair dyes, and paints. Be sure to read labels for signs of any alcohols including Propylene.

3. Sulfates

pet wipes for dogs, dog wipes

Sulfates are surfactants, that actually strip skin and coats of natural oils and irritate the skin causing redness, drying, and itching which can lead to skin infections. According to Dogs Naturally, sulfates in wipes for dogs or shampoo for dogs has been linked to causing cataracts. Canine cataracts can develop even in puppies, so it is important to avoid exposure to sulfates in shampoo or wipes, especially around the eyes.

4. Phthalates

This ingredient is known to cause problems to the kidneys and liver. Phthalates are also well-known hormone disruptors that can cause malignancies of the reproductive system in both humans and dogs. These are frequently petroleum-based and used because they are affordable and almost always available in the market.

Many businesses prefer not to disclose the chemicals that are found in their artificial fragrances. Always look for the terms “fragrance” or “natural fragrance” when buying pet wipes for your furbaby. It should serve as a warning sign if the fragrance ingredients are not listed on the product label. Make sure that any pet shampoo or pet wipe only contains vet-approved, pet safe scents.

5. Betaines

Betaines are commonly used as a cleanser in dog wipes and dog shampoo. It can help a soap or shampoo lather and gives it a thicker viscosity. But, although it is derived from coconuts and is deemed 'natural' , that does not mean it is good for dog’s skin. It has been known to irritate skin, cause allergic reactions, affect the immune system, and cause upset stomachs or vomiting if ingested, and can actually cause damage to the skin and coat with frequent use. Betaines are one of the top ingredients to avoid in all shampoos and wipes for dogs.

Beware of Greenwashing

Unfortunately, many brands will include terms like “natural” without any real meaning. Just because a package looks green, does not mean the ingredients are beneficial or safe for your dog. So, when buying any dog shampoo or pet wipes for dogs, it is crucial to read all the ingredients. Note: if ingredients are not listed, it is not a good sign.

Pet Parents® offers a full line of Pet WiPees™ for dogs and cats that are free from all alcohols, parabens, sulfates, and betaine. Made with vet-approved, pet-safe, scents, these dog wipes are safe for every day use and actually act as a supplement for the skin with beneficial ingredients.

5 Beneficial Ingredients for Dog Wipes and Dog Shampoo

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel, eucalyptus oil, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, and dog-friendly moisturizers are just a few of the good ingredients that are included in them. As mentioned by Pettable, aloe vera helps promote healing and a speedy recovery, as well as relieves some itching in your furbaby’s area. This plant extract in pet wipes will not harm a dog if it ingests it while licking. Because of the beneficial properties, you can find aloe vera in all Pet WiPees™.

2. Probiotic Blend and Enzyme Blend

best dog shampoo, shampoo for dogs

Many pet parents know the benefits of probiotics for dogs in supplement form. But, did you know that it is also beneficial for the skin? Probiotic blends and enzyme blends in dog products help to prevent and eradicate the growth of yeast and fungus on your furbaby’s skin. Yeast can cause irritation, hot spots, and even ear infections. Probiotic and enzyme blends can help build a healthy barrier to help prevent these issues.

They also help to seal the skin and lock in beneficial ingredients – so you can get back to scratch-free snuggles with your dog faster. You can find a probiotic and enzyme blend in some dog shampoos as well as several varieties of Pet WiPees™, including: Dog All Purpose + Skin & Coat, Dog All Purpose + Allergy, and Ear.

3. Keratin

Is keratin good for dogs? Yes! Keratin is a protein that can be found in some dog wipes and shampoo that helps provide structure to the skin. Keratin works to aid in creating a barrier on your furbaby’s skin to protect from the surrounding environment.

Applying keratin to your dog’s skin can even help regulate new cell growth and keep their fur more flexible for a healthy skin and coat. Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Skin & Coat contain keratin to help keep your dog’s fur soft and healthy.

4. Gentle Cleansers & Moisturizers

Decyl Glucoside, Vegetable Glycerin, & Shea Butter are wonderful ingredients that can help treat and prevent dry, rough, and itchy skin in your dog. When applied topically with shampoo for dogs or pet wipes for dogs, it can help to soothe irritations. Rather than harsh cleansers like betaine, these are great options to help the skin absorb the beneficial ingredients in dog wipe or shampoo.

5. Topical Antioxidants

These help your furbaby's skin stay protected from oxidative harm from environmental allergens and irritants, and helping skin repair itself on a topical level. Antioxidants are derived from plant-based sources to reduce inflammation and counteract free radicals. Vitamin B can also act as an antioxidant to protect the skin.

Dog shampoos that contain antioxidants are wonderful for dogs who many suffer from allergies. Similarly, Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Allergy and Gland wipes help to sooth your dogs skin or bum from irritation.

When choosing dog wipes or dog shampoo, keep these ingredients in mind. Pet WiPees™ are made without any ingredients to avoid like parabens, sulfates, or betaine while varieties include as many beneficial ingredients as possible. The dog wipes are great for cleaning paws, fur, ears, and even your dog’s anal glands.

"Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Skin & Coat contain keratin to help keep your dog’s fur soft and healthy."

Pet WiPees™ offers different variety for your dog’s needs: Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Skin & Coat for your furbaby’s healthy skin and coat, Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Allergy for furbabies that are prone to allergies, Pet WiPees™ Ear for your dog’s ears, and Pet WiPees™ Gland for their bum.