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 and for freshening her breath and bedding. 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.
How to Deodorize a Dog with Baking Soda
Do a Dry Shampoo
For a convenient way to reduce dog odor between baths, sprinkle baking soda on her fur, rub it into her coat with your fingers and brush it out. 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 her 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 the dog's coat taking care to move slowly and keep the spray away from her face. Wipe her down with a towel. For a full bath, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda to the bath water to condition her 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 percent 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 the dog immediately. Wear rubber gloves and work the mixture into her fur from the neck down, keeping it out of her face. Rinse the dog 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 All the Stink
Odds are good the odor isn't limited to the dog's fur. Her breath, her bedding and your rug or couch may need deodorizing, too. Improve her breath by wrapping gauze around your finger, dipping it in moistened baking soda, and rubbing her gums and teeth. This is good for her dental health, too, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Sprinkle baking soda on her 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 the dog, add a half cup of baking soda to the laundry.