Pet Wipes: 5 Ingredients that may be Harming your Fur Baby

Author: K. Marie Altoby K Marie Alto Updated 5 min read

Pet Wipes: 5 Ingredients that may be Harming your Fur Baby

A couple of weeks ago we shared with you the Most Common Situations Where Your Fur Baby Needs Help Grooming.

Many of our favorite fur baby parents told us they haven’t really had a need for wipes, but needs can change over time so we figured we would share some of the knowledge we learned along the way with our thoughts on How to Pick a Safe Pet Wipe.

To close out our pet wipe blog series we wanted to reach out to those of you that are already using pet wipes and or shampoos to encourage you to read what’s in the ingredient list.

Here are a few very scary ingredients that are regularly seen in kitty and doggy wipes:

  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT or MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI): A group of preservatives called isothiazolinones, which are used to control the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae. These have been linked to allergies, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation.
  • Propylene Glycol: Used as a skin conditioner that can retain moisture but has links to skin irritation and organ system toxicity.
  • Phthalates: Phthalates are linked to endocrine disruption (i.e. thyroid system). Keep an eye out for “FRAGRANCE,” “Monomethyl phthalate (DMP metabolite),” “Monoethyl phthalate (DEP metabolite),” “Monobutyl phthalate (DBP metabolite),” “Mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP metabolite),” “Mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (DEHP metabolite).”
  • Formaldehyde: This group of preservatives are effective against bacteria but are also linked with eye/skin irritation as well as allergies, and worse they are known to cause cancer. Keep an eye out for “Diazolidinyl urea,” “Imidazolidinyl urea,” “DMDM hydantoin,” and “Quaternium-15.”
  • Parabens: This group of preservatives makes for great fungicides, but it can also mimic estrogen. Parabens are also linked to endocrine disruption (i.e. thyroid system). Keep an eye out for “Methylparaben,” “Benzylparaben,” “Butylparaben,” “Ethylparaben,” “Propylparaben.”

The risks associated with these chemicals get even worse with kitties as these chemicals quickly find their way to the kitties internal organs via ingestion (grooming – not just through skin absorption).

As scary as these substances are, leading brands continue to use them under the “natural” or “safe” ingredient claim.

Beware of Greenwashing Techniques

As scary as these substances are, leading brands continue to use them under the “natural” or “safe” ingredient claim.

We highly advise that fur baby parents be more aware of these chemicals and avoid the use of any product containing these substances.

"Greenwashing is a deception tactic—whether intentional or accidental—employed by companies that can cause customers to believe its products, services, or mission are more environmentally impactful than is true." - Sustain life

One way to avoid these ingredients is by making sure you buy pet products that have endorsements such as the USDA Certified Organic Seal or the EPA Safer Choice.

The truth is that “natural” should never be a qualifier for safe or even acceptable quality.

Did you know that natural only means that it exists in nature? Stop and reflect on this for a sec. Mercury, arsenic and other chemicals are also natural.

That does not give you any confidence to eat them, spread them on your skin or feed them to your dog, right?

Dog Shampoo Claims to Question by Toe Beans

So technically, we could infer that no seller that labels dog/cat products as “natural” is doing anything wrong.

Even when their products contain harmful substances that may cause permanent damage to your pup.

The wrongdoing is in the abuse of the word natural in this context. Particularly knowing that the word natural sells products.

For example, almost every (non-processed) food we eat is natural. Bread, fish, eggs, milk, etc. Do you ever see the word natural attached to any of these items?

Natural fish or natural milk or natural eggs, etc. Correct! That is because it is not necessary.

The Scary Truth on The Liberal Use of The Word Natural in Pet Products

The scary fact is that the word natural in dog/cat products is being abused in the marketplace today to remove a generalized “fear” of harm.

Specially about pet products coming from Asia. Consumers feel more confident buying something that is seemingly harmless or that states it is.

This consumer behavior has prompted unscrupulous sellers to master the art of label deception.

What this consumer behavior has taught the marketplace is that the perception of “safe” will make a product most likely to be purchased.

Thus, to make a quick buck, this perception must be attached (in one way or another) to products that might potentially be perceived otherwise.

The word natural on a dog/cat product label will most likely make you forget about critical considerations at the moment of your purchase.

Such critical considerations include for example where your product was made. Was it made in the USA? In China?

Does it contain parabens or any other “safe” substances that might harm my dog? Who cares? Right? After all the label clearly states “100% natural.

Well, you’d be terrified to learn that the misuse of this 7-letter benign word (along with other deceptive product labeling tactics) helps thousands of products containing “natural” harmful (such as heavy metals) substances make it to your dog and cat systems slowly causing irreversible organ damage.

We founded Toe Beans® to share our lessons learned and to use education as a tool to empower pet parents to make informed decisions on behalf of their beloved fur children.

We work hard everyday to develop and bring to market unique and truly safe and organic dog and cat products that improve the life of our fur children.

If you buy your dog and cat products on the largest US eCommerce site, odds are those products are manufactured in Asia. Don't believe us? keep on reading.

There are several ways in which you can find out if your pet products are made in Asia and the manufacturer is falsely claiming made in the USA or some cleaver variation of this.

One simple way is by running what we like to call the 3liv3v3 test (replace the "3" symbol for the letter "a" and the "v" for a "b" when looking up this website).

For those of you not familiar with this website, it is basically where 90% + of products come from on the largest eCommerce site in the USA. Go on 3liv3v3 and run a search for pet wipes.

You will be surprised to find many of the most popular commercially available products there. Perhaps even the one you are using right now.

The horrifying thing is that many of these brands label their products as "handcrafted in the USA" or even "made in the USA".

Bottom line: the pet supplies industry can be a landmine for the unsuspecting pet parent. Always do your due diligence about the products you feed or apply on your dog or cat and only buy from manufacturers (not sellers) you can verify their real company status.

We've written extensively about toxic and lethal substances that manage to make it into your fur baby’s bloodstream or digestive system via “natural” or self-designated “organic” dog and cat products.

Here are a few additional posts you may want to check out:

Read further

We highly advise that fur baby parents be more aware of these chemicals and avoid the use of any product containing these substances. We know you want the best for your fur baby, and we do too!

How does your wipe/shampoo stand up to this scary list?? Does it pass or fail?

Also, if you found this content useful, can you do fellow pet parents a big favor by sharing this content? Use any social media button located around the post.

K Marie Alto
K Marie Alto

K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer, and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 50K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-). Read more

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