By Dr. Becker
Sodium bicarbonate, also called baking soda, has been a staple in the kitchen and other areas of the home since your grandmother’s day. It’s recognized as a clever “hack” with all kinds of uses, from cleaning your refrigerator to easing indigestion, and as its name suggests, baking.
But there are numerous uses for this tried-and-true white powder that come in handy for your dog, or more to the point, keeping your house, which includes a dog, cleaner, fresher smelling, and more comfortable for him and you.
Here are six baking soda solutions for common problems related to your canine companion. You may just find it to be your — and your dog’s — new, old-fashioned fix.
1. Dry bath
How many times has your dog come in from outside after rolling in stinky mud or even garbage? If you find you don’t have time for a proper bath at the moment, a dry baking soda bath is a great back-up plan.
Making sure your dog’s fur is completely dry, sprinkle baking soda lightly over his coat, rub it in a little, then brush it through. It takes care of the worst of the problem until you can get him in the tub, plus, it helps relieve itching.
2. Cleaning dog toys
Dog toys need regular cleanings from your dog being a dog and dragging them through who-knows-what (dirt, drool, etc.) day after day. It’s enough to make you go “Ew!”
Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda per 1 quart of water and scrub the toys with an old toothbrush. For stuffed toys that shouldn’t get wet, sprinkle the surface with baking soda, allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then brush it off.
3. Sweetening dog rugs and carpets
Where dogs lie down or hang out, a fragrance sometimes becomes evident that warrants action. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface and allow it to sit for 15 to 30 minutes, then vacuum. The same method can be used on your dog’s bed.
You may want to keep Benji out of the room during the preparation process, however, because dogs see baking soda as another fun substance to roll around in!
4. Cleaning up an accident
Dog owners at some time or other will most likely encounter an accident their dog has had, and it’s not always on an easily cleaned surface. It also happens when dogs get sick, and the result is the same — a mess that needs treatment as soon as possible.
To quell the smell and rein in the stain, apply a small amount of club soda to the scene of the accident and leave it long enough for it to dry. Then follow it up with a sprinkling of baking soda. Allow that to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes, then vacuum it up.
5. Skunked again: A smelly reception
Anyone whose dog has been the unhappy recipient of a skunk’s smelly calling card will likely never forget it! Get your dog in a bath that contains one-quarter cup baking soda, 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap.1 Lather it in, rinse it off, and the odor will be greatly diminished.
You may want to keep Fido outside while you’re getting the bath together, however; the shorter time he spends inside, the less time the perfume has to permeate throughout your house.
6. Bee sting pain
When your pup’s paws, nose or any other part of her body comes into contact with a bee that stings, it’s as painful to her as it would be to you. Baking soda can help take the sting away by creating a paste with a little water.
Locate the stinger and remove it with tweezers, if possible, before applying the paste. Reapply the baking soda paste as often as necessary for the next few hours.
Baking Soda: A Good Thing to Have on Your Shelf
Who knew that baking soda could have so many handy uses in relation to your dog? Sure, you could buy all kinds of cleaners, shampoos and even room sprays, but this handy, old-fashioned remedy has stuck around for so many years for one simple reason: It works. I recommend you look for aluminum-free baking soda whenever possible.