My friend babysat my 6 month old bulldog puppy and used a DIY dog bath wipes. The recipe was 2 to 3 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of "my pet's friend" oatmeal enhanced deodorizing shampoo, 1/4 cup coconut oil organic and 1 drop of pure tea tree oil.

My dog is licking himself after she wiped him down. Should I take him to the vet? Will he get sick? Is this DIY toxic? Thank you.

2 Answers 2


The Product Itself

Nothing in the ingredients list looks to be toxic besides the tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil contains various types of chemicals called terpenes. These are the chemicals that make the oil effective against bacteria and fungi. They are also the toxic agent. Terpenes are rapidly absorbed into the body whether taken orally or on the skin. This means topical application of concentrated oil can result in the same toxicity as accidental oral ingestion. Given the tendency of pets to groom, especially cats, the toxicity risk of topical applications is amplified.

Due to the concentration of tea tree oil in the mixture risk seems low of your pet to get sick, however I would refrain from continuing to add tea tree oil in the recipe.

Its popularity has resulted in so me veterinary skin care products that contain small amounts of tea tree oil. In small concentrations (0.1% to 1%), tea tree oil is tolerated and safe for cats and dogs.

Tea Tree Oil Side-Effects

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

The last few listed are fairly extreme, typically resulting from ingesting 100% tea tree oil. If you see any of the side-effects above I would seek immediate veterinary attention.


Doesn't sound very toxic to me, but not very pleasant either. You could simply wash the cleaning product out of the fur.

When I wash my dog (not very often), I also use whatever shampoo I use for my hair, but I rinse it out as best I can.

As long as the dog eats, plays and behaves like always, there is no need to see the vet. If he pukes, doesn't eat or drinks much more than usual, you should see a vet. If he licks himself more often or more intensely than usual, simply rinse the residue out of the fur.

  • Other than the tea tree oil and shampoo, most of that sounds edible
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jul 15, 2018 at 12:57
  • Tea tree oil is edible in small amounts. I was referring to the taste of the mixture rather than danger to health.
    – Elmy
    Jul 15, 2018 at 18:20

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