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Should you let a dog lick your hand if you used hand sanitizer?

If you have been listening to any health care professional these days, your hands should be a nice level of sanitized pretty much the majority of the time. But what does this mean for man's best friend? 

There is a “warning” making the rounds that hand sanitizer “has the same ingredients as antifreeze” and that you should not let dogs lick your hands. This warning is based on chemical ignorance. What they are talking about is propylene glycol which is used here as a humectant, meaning it holds in moisture to prevent the hands from drying out. Propylene glycol is indeed found in some antifreeze, particularly in ones that are promoted as being environmentally friendly and having a low toxicity. It replaces ethylene glycol, the usual active ingredient in antifreeze, which is indeed toxic to dogs as well as humans. But propylene glycol is not toxic. That extra carbon atom in propylene glycol makes all the difference! So, there is no worry for your dog if he licks your hand after you have used a hand sanitizer. There may be an issue for you, depending on what else the dog has been licking.


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