Why Don't Animals Need to Wipe?

February 14, 2024

All animals want to stay clean, and they use their specialized anatomy and behaviors to do so. From preening to licking to shaking off excess water, it's all about keeping clean. This is especially true for pets—furry, feathered, scaly, or otherwise. Wiping can be a great alternative to a full bath for seniors or for pets with limited mobility who have difficulty getting into the tub. Plus, it's often the best option for rescue pets who are still adjusting to their new home and may have a bad case of diarrhea or fecal matter stuck to their fur.

So, why don't animals need to wipe? Well, for one thing, they don't have a toilet paper. But that's not the only reason. Prehistoric humans, who were known as Homo erectus by science, had to rely on licking their buttholes and other areas of the body to eliminate waste, before the invention of TP.

Another issue is that the way animals' digestive tracts work means their waste matter doesn't eject in a form or manner that makes wiping necessary. This is why dogs and cats scoot their bottoms across the floor, in addition to other self-cleaning behaviors they have (such as licking).

In some cases, pet parents do need to help their pet with cleanliness and will need to wipe them. For instance, if your dog has a fecal matter stuck in his or her fur, using a wipe like Tushee will help to keep him or her clean and comfortable until it can be removed by a veterinarian. When wiping your pet, make sure to choose the right wipe for their species and avoid products that contain alcohol, antiseptics, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance—these can be harmful to pets and humans alike.

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