Have you suddenly realized that your dog has eaten a baby wipe? Are you now questioning if they will be okay and if there is anything you now need to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place because today, I am going to walk you through exactly how to appropriately respond.
So, what should you do if your dog ate a baby wipe? If your dog ate a baby wipe, you should first check its mouth to see if you can safely remove it. If your dog has swallowed a wipe, you will want to monitor them closely over the next 24-48 hours. If your dog ate several wipes or is showing signs of pain or distress, it is crucial you call your veterinarian for advice.
A lot depends on the context here.
It depends on whether your dog consumed the wipe whole, the material it is made of, and the size, age, and health status of your dog, of course.
That being said, calling a vet is never a bad idea.
And time is of the essence here.
Remember, there will be some time in between making the call and getting your dog in front of a vet.
Nevertheless, let us look at why calling a vet may not be needed.
What Will Happen To A Dog That Eats A Baby Wipe?
In most cases, a dog that has eaten a baby wipe will simply pass the wipe through its digestive system and out in its stool. Baby wipes often contain moisturizers, cleansers, and scented oils that may upset a dog’s stomach and give them diarrhea. A baby wipe that is swallowed whole could cause a digestive block for a dog.
Vomit and/or Diarrhea
Eating a baby wipe can make your dog vomit or have diarrhea.
Since baby wipes are made to be used on and around young children, they do not have any extremely toxic chemicals on them.
However, they each contain a unique blend of cleaner (usually small amounts of propylene glycol), moisturizer, and possibly scented oils.
They also have a distinct pH balance that makes them great for use on human skin but doesn’t always mesh well with a dog’s stomach.
If your average size dog has eaten only one wipe, it is likely to pass through the digestive system without too much concern.
This typically happens within 24-48 hours after consumption. Although this is just an average and may happen much sooner, or even later.
It will likely be passed whole unless it was chewed up prior to swallowing.
A dog that has eaten a baby wipe is at risk of gastrointestinal blockage.
This means that the baby wipe is not broken down by the dog’s digestive system and ends up stuck in a part of the dog’s digestive tract.
If your dog has eaten several wipes, the risk increases for them to ball together and create a gastrointestinal blockage or choking.
Dogs that are very small or who have a history of digestive problems are also at an increased risk of trouble after eating one (or a few) baby wipes.
This is a serious condition and requires veterinary intervention.
Can A Dog Digest A Baby Wipe?
A dog’s digestive system is unlikely to break down a baby wipe the same way it does food. While the wipe might disintegrate some, it is most likely to stay in much the same form it was swallowed. The dog’s digestive system may digest some of the chemicals and liquids found on the baby wipe, which can upset your dog’s stomach.
The good news about a baby wipe’s resistance to breaking down is that it is easy to spot them in a dog’s fecal matter.
If you find yourself monitoring your dog’s stool for signs of passing a baby wipe, it should be quite clear when the wipe has safely left your dog.
The more concerning part is that because baby wipes do not break down, they can sometimes clog or block a dog’s digestive tract.
Instead of breaking apart, the solid material forms a ball that prevents the wipe and other good nutrients from moving through your dog like normal.
Will A Baby Wipe Pass-Through A Dog?
Often a single baby wipe swallowed by a dog will pass through without serious side effects. With smaller dogs, the risk of choking on a baby wipe that is stuck in a dog’s throat is a concern. Also, if a wipe becomes wrapped in a ball or a dog swallows more than one wipe, it may have trouble passing through the dog.
It typically takes a baby wipe between 24 to 48 hours to pass through a dog’s digestive system.
Most of the time, a baby wipe can be spotted in a dog’s poop after it has passed.
If your dog swallowed a wipe and has not passed it within 48 hours, you will want to watch for signs of a gastrointestinal blockage:
- Loss of appetite
- Dehydration due to the inability to hold any water down
- Abdominal pain
- Hunching or whining
Sometimes a dog that is having trouble swallowing a baby wipe will throw up the wipe, and then it can be taken away by the owner.
What To Do Now That Your Dog Has Eaten A Baby Wipe
If your dog has eaten a baby wipe, there are a few steps to follow to help them stay healthy and safe.
Try To Retrieve The Baby Wipe From Their Mouth or Throat
Many dogs like to chew on a baby wipe a bit before swallowing it.
Also, if your dog eats a wipe right in front of you, it may try hiding the wipe from you by acting like it was swallowed – even if it wasn’t!
If you see your dog swallow a wipe, go to them and use your hands to gently open their mouths.
Inspect your dog’s cheeks, under their tongue, and the back of their mouth/throat for signs of the wipe.
It may seem a bit gross, but if you can see the wipe, you should try to remove it carefully with your fingers (or a curved index finger) to prevent the dog from swallowing it.
Closely Observe Your Dog Over The Next 24-48 Hours
If your dog has swallowed a wipe and you cannot retrieve it, your next step is to keep a careful eye on your dog over the next day or two.
If shortly after eating the wipe, your dog appears to struggle with breathing, is wheezing, or shows signs of choking, call immediately for medical assistance.
Baby wipes may upset some dogs’ stomachs.
If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, you can use your best judgment about contacting a vet.
Light vomiting or one episode of diarrhea may not be life-threatening, but repeated incidents are a sign you should call your vet.
Some dogs may experience intestinal blockages from baby wipes.
A dog that is straining to use the restroom, suddenly bloated, lethargic, or refusing food may be experiencing a blockage.
Observing your dog closely means watching when they are in the yard for a restroom break. By watching closely, you will likely see the wipe pass out of your dog in their poop. This poop and the wipe should be immediately cleaned up.
If In Doubt, Call Your Vet
If your dog is acting ill or out of character, it is always a safe option to call your vet.
Your vet will likely want to know answers to questions such as ‘How many wipes did your dog eat?’, ‘Were the wipes scented?’, and ‘What brand of wipes did the dog eat?’.
These questions can help the veterinarian determine the level of concern you should have for your dog’s health.
Prevent Future Baby Wipe Eating
Make sure to move any baby wipes stored within a dog’s reach to a high place where they cannot easily eat them.
If you are using baby wipes, keep them close by and clean them up immediately after using them.
Throw away baby wipes in a trash can with a lid that your dog cannot easily open.
Let’s be honest. It’s not ideal that your dog has eaten a baby wipe.
But these things happen.
So instead of beating yourself up about it, learn from the experience and do all you can to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
In the meantime, now you need to support your dog.
Keep a very close eye on them and if you are concerned or begin to notice changes in your dog – contact a vet.
Chances are, your dog is going to be more than okay. They’ll likely even pass it.
But this cannot be said for all dogs, particularly smaller breeds and younger dogs.
So over to you – you’ll know what’s best here.
Concerned or wondering what other things your dog can/cannot eat. Check out my related guides below:
- My Dog Ate A Rubber Band
- My Dog Ate A Napkin
- My Dog Ate A Scrunchie
- Dog Ate Babybel Wax
- Dog Ate Toy Stuffing
- Dog Ate Play-Doh
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.