Get the deodorizing benefits of baking soda on your dog by using it as a dry shampoo, for bathing, for getting rid of skunk smell, for freshening his breath and bedding, and simply to get rid of dog body odor. Human shampoos and cleaning products aren't suited for a dog's skin. Baking soda is a nontoxic and unscented odor neutralizer. Check with your vet before using baking soda or any other product on your dog.
Persistent bad breath can be a sign of gum disease or other dental health problems so consult your vet. If you use hydrogen peroxide as part of a baking-soda based skunk-smell remedy, consider that it may bleach a dog's fur.
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Do a dry shampoo
For a convenient way to reduce dog odor between baths, sprinkle baking soda on your dog's fur, rub it into her coat with your fingers and brush it out for a homemade dog deodorizer. Give her the dry shampoo treatment outside, on the porch or in a garage or mudroom to cut down on clean up. This deodorizing method is handy for giving your dog a fresh scent during travel or when she's not feeling well.
Making the baking soda treatment part of a grooming routine with a nervous dog or rescue dog can help the dog become used to being handled before taking on the challenge of bathing.
Apply the full treatment
Make your own dog shampoo in a quick spray-on version or for a full bath. Put 2 cups of water in a clean spray bottle. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of dog shampoo or dish soap. Don't use a strong dish soap formulated for grease removal. Shake to mix.
Spray on your dog's coat taking care to move slowly and keep the spray away from his face. Wipe him down with a towel. For a full bath, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda to the bath water to condition his skin and coat.
Make an emergency odor remedy
Having to rid skunk smell from a dog ranks high on dog-care challenges. The good news: A homemade remedy containing baking soda is effective against skunk spray, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Pour a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide into a pitcher. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, the kind for hand-washing dishes, not the kind for a dishwasher.
Stir the mixture and pour it over your dog immediately. Wear rubber gloves and work the mixture into her fur from the neck down, keeping it out of her face. Rinse her well within a few minutes to reduce the risk of fur discoloration. Shampoo her with her regular shampoo, rinse again, towel dry her and keep her warm.
Get rid of the stink
Odds are good the odor isn't limited to your dog's fur. His breath, his bedding and your rug or couch may need deodorizing, too. Sprinkle baking soda on his bedding and other smelly areas. Leave the baking soda in place for at least 15 minutes and then vacuum it. This is safe for carpet, rugs, and upholstery. As a bonus, baking soda dehydrates fleas, notes the Atlanta Humane Society. To deodorize your clothes and towels that came in contact with your dog, add a half cup of baking soda to the laundry.
You can also mix baking soda in water to create a homemade dog spray for odor, which can be applied to fabric surfaces. If odors are caused by your dog's mouth, talk to your veterinarian about preventative oral care, like teeth brushing and annual dental visits. According to VCA Hospitals, using baking soda to brush your dog's teeth is not recommended as the high alkaline level can lead to an upset stomach, so stick with pet toothpastes, which are flavored to appeal to dogs.
- The Humane Society of the United States: De-Skunking Your Dog
- Atlanta Humane Society: Smartheart Fleas, Ticks And Pets: Learn How To Protect Your Pet, Yourself And Your Home
- VCA Hospitals: Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
- Scienceline: My Dogs Were Sprayed By A Skunk, And I’Ve Washed Them In Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda — But How Do I Rid My House Of The Odor?
- ASPCA: Grooming Your Dog