For humans, hand sanitizer has obviously become a critical component of everyday life in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, when it comes to dogs, it’s not exactly a great idea to treat their paws with the same product.

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In fact, the FDA released a warning about the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which can potentially cause more harm than good. In some cases, they can be even more harmful to our pets.

Yet, some people still insist on using sanitizer on their dog’s paws.

But it’s time to put a stop to that practice.

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Because hand sanitizer contains an alcohol product called ethanol, it can be potentially fatal to dogs.

When dogs feel uncomfortable, they will lick those areas of their bodies. That makes hand sanitizer a bad idea if you want to keep your four-legged friend safe.

Veterinarian Zac Pilossoph gave his expert advice:

“The symptoms of an animal who succumbs to alcohol intoxication are extremely similar to a human.

If ingested, pets can develop a multitude of abnormalities, such as a severe drop in body temperature, respiratory rate, and blood sugar, as well as incoordination, neurological depression, coma, seizures, and (potentially) death.”

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Plus, hand sanitizers dry out the skin. And for dogs, that can be especially dangerous.

Sarah Reidenbach, a veterinarian, and CEO of Ruthless Kindness 501c3, explained the potential side effects of using hand sanitizer on your dog’s paws:

“The high alcohol content of hand sanitizer causes cracking and even complete sloughing of the paw pads.

This can lead to sensitive and painful paw pads, and can predispose them to long-term pain, infections, and more easily burned paws when they walk on hot surfaces.”

So what should you do instead of using hand sanitizer?

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Plain old soap and water will do the trick.

Seriously, it really is that simple when it comes to sanitizing your dog’s paws.

What’s your preferred method to cleanse your dog’s paws?

Tell us more in the comments below!