Are Dryer Sheets Harmful to Dogs?


Dogs are curious, friendly, and lovely little angels who like to snoop around everything in your home. They are like private investigators without the zeal to solve a crime. Instead, they can do a lot of damage while investigating non-existent crimes around your dryer. If that damages your dryer, you can search for “dryer repair near me” and hire professionals to get your appliance fixed. However, dryer sheets are not good for your dogs. Let’s check out how dryer sheets can harm your dogs.

The Details

  1. Toxic chemicals – Dryer sheets have been one of the best inventions since sliced bread. They have become a necessity in the laundry room since they don’t allow fabrics to create static and cling together inside the dryer. That way your clothes stay wrinkle-free. Some dryer sheets even make your shirt smell good. However, all that convenience comes at a price. All that’s possible due to the vast number of chemicals used in dryer sheets and different manufacturers have their own set of formulas.

Both dryer sheets and fabric softeners that are used in the dryer have toxic chemicals like chloroform, benzyl acetate, camphor, and more. When your curious dog goes into the laundry room and its nose picks up on the scent of the dryer sheets, it’s obviously going to get into investigative mode. If your dog follows the scent and gets close to the dryer smell or tastes one up close, it’s going to be in a very bad situation. Even if they chew on used dryer sheets from the trash, it’s going to put your dog at serious risk.

Those toxic chemicals in the dryer sheets can cause serious health problems even when ingested in a small amount. If your dog is lucky, it’s going to scratch itself furiously due to skin irritation. However, if the symptoms are severe, your dog may suffer from systemic distress and may need to be rushed to the vet. There have been cases in the past where dogs suffered from kidney failure and other severe organ problems from eating dryer sheets.

However, that’s not where the problems end. When your dog is shredding a dryer sheet, it is unknowingly gulping down dangerous cationic chemicals in high doses. The damage gets worse if the dryer sheet is made from a synthetic material that can’t be broken down by your dog’s digestive system. In such cases, your dog may need surgery. Some pet owners have been unlucky where a trapped dryer sheet in their dog’s gastronomical tract proved to be fatal for their pawed friend.

  1. Actions to take after your dog eats dryer sheets – If your dog has been lurking around the laundry room and you suspect it to have ingested dryer sheets or fabric softeners, you need to contact its vet. Don’t try to rub your dog’s back or belly to make it vomit. That’s only going to worsen the situation as your dog’s food pipe and mouth would get more irritated.

As you’re contacting the vet, get a hold of the dryer sheet or fabric softener in the laundry room and record all the information about them. Everything from the brand to the product and the time when your dog ate those harmful substances. That information may help the vet come up with a quicker diagnosis and solution.

Depending on the seriousness of the issue, you may get some solutions that can be administered at home. However, in severe cases, your vet may ask you to rush your dog to the hospital. Immediate surgery may be the difference between life and death. While you rush out of your home, grab the packaging of the dryer sheet that lists all the ingredients on the label. This allows doctors to know about the exact chemical composition of the dryer sheet and figure out appropriate solutions.

  1. Precautions for dryer sheets – First of all, a lot of homeowners like to use the laundry room to feed their pets. If you’re doing that without supervising your dog, there’s a high probability that they may get close to the fabric softeners, detergents, and dryer sheets in that room. That’s why it’s best to feed your dog in a different location, preferably away from toxic substances.

Some online forums also give you advice on removing loose fur from your dog’s coat with the help of dryer sheets. While dryer sheets do work well for that purpose, you should not use them on your dog’s coat under any circumstances. Animals lick themselves all the time and if the coat has been brushed with dryer sheets, it has a lot of toxic chemical residue. There are special brushes and all kinds of harmless accessories to get rid of that excess fur.

Apart from that, it’s best to not dry pet bedding and clothes along with dryer sheets. Whenever dryer sheets are used, they leave a chemical residue on the fabrics. It would be dangerous if your dog licks off that residue from its bedding.

  1. Alternatives – Dryer sheets and fabric softeners aren’t just harmful, but bad for the environment. Those chemicals aren’t good for you or your dogs and that’s why it’s best to switch to alternatives for the laundry room. Instead of fabric softeners, you can use baking soda to soften your clothes. They don’t contain toxins and leave no residue or foul smell.

For dryer sheets, it’s best to replace them with foil balls or organic woolen balls. These balls help to minimize static and keep your clothes soft and wrinkle-free. To make your clothes smell as fresh as possible, add a clean cloth soaked in a few drops of fragrant essential oil.


Dryer sheets have strong and potent chemicals that get rid of static from your clothes at the cost of making them toxic. Those chemicals are dangerous for you and your dog. That’s why it’s best to replace those sheets with other more eco-friendly and preferably organic alternatives. On the other hand, if your dog damages the dryer, you can always search for “dryer repair near me” and hire pros to fix it.