Baking soda is one of those products that are present in every household, even when we’re only vaguely aware of having bought it. Since it is used for many different purposes, it may happen that your dog eats baking soda sooner or later.
Baking soda is not always toxic to dogs, but it would be better if they didn’t eat it. If your dog ate baking soda in big amounts, bring them in for a medical examination because their life may be at risk. However, in most cases, dogs do not eat enough baking soda to feel sick.
What should you do if your dog eats baking soda?
If your dog ate baking soda, check how much they actually ate and call your veterinarian. When you use baking soda for many different purposes in the house, it might be inevitable that your dog will eat some sooner or later.
Baking soda can become toxic to dogs when they eat 22-44 grams per pound of body weight. This means that an average ten-pound dog would feel the toxic effect of the baking soda after eating around 45-90 teaspoons.
While it may seem a lot, the average small box of baking soda is only 227 grams, which means a dog that goes through just ¾ of a small box could already become intoxicated. And we all know how quickly a dog can go through something they fancy.
However, it’s most likely that your dog drank baking soda water or a small quantity of powder, so in this case, your dog should be fine, but if they vomit more than once or start showing any unusual symptoms like abdominal swelling, you should bring them to the vet.
Your veterinarian will probably tell you to monitor your dog from home, make sure they have plenty of freshwaters available, and keep them where you can see them in case they start developing symptoms later on.
Do not try to induce vomiting in your dog unless you’re instructed to do so by the veterinarian.
Is baking soda bad for dogs?
Baking soda can be dangerous for dogs and even lethal in big amounts, that’s why you shouldn’t feed baking soda to your dog under any circumstances.
This product has a very strange taste that may feel similar to detergent, somehow salty and bitter too, so you wouldn’t expect dogs to be attracted to it. However, dogs don’t have a strong sense of taste and this may push them to eat things that are dangerous for them.
Despite this weak sense, dogs can taste saltiness and bitterness to a certain degree, which may be the reason they enjoy eating baking soda and its “exciting” taste.
As the name says, baking soda is used mainly in baking, because when mixed with an acidic component like lemon juice in a heated environment, it makes the food expand and gives a sort of softness and sponginess to it.
Believe it or not, a dog’s stomach offers the same kind of environment as a cake, in fact, there are heat and acids that will make baking soda expand.
Now, a small amount is bound to create small trouble, but imagine a big amount of baking soda expanding inside your dog and you can tell how lethal that would be.
On top of that, baking soda is also salty and abrasive, which means it could harm the insides of your dog and provoke an electrolyte imbalance and/or congestive heart failure. Both of these conditions are easily deadly when left untreated.
Common symptoms of baking soda toxicity in dogs include:
- Abdominal swelling
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle tremors
- Shortness of breath
Some pet parents may think that adding a little baking soda in dogs’ water may help them with digestive problems as it does with us for heartburn. However, you should refrain from doing so, because baking soda may actually make the problem worse.
Digestive discomfort in dogs could be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, so it shouldn’t be underestimated, and rather than repress it, you should take note of it and call your veterinarian.
That being said, if you’re worried about feeding your dog food that contains baking soda, you can rest assured: the amount of baking soda used in cooking is not toxic and besides that, baking soda loses its expanding quality after it’s cooked.
When is baking soda safe for dogs?
Although baking soda is not safe for your dog to eat, there are dog-related situations where using baking soda can be of great help.
As long as the amount is carefully regulated, you can safely use this product on your dog in certain instances or to solve problems caused by your pet.
Baking soda shampoo
Dogs love to play outside and surely enough, exercise is good for their health and helps you strengthen your bond with your pet.
However, sometimes your dog may be too filthy and smelly to come back into the house in that condition and if you don’t have time to make them a full bath, it can be troublesome.
Baking soda can be used as a dry shampoo for dogs. Just make sure that your dog’s coat is completely dry before applying a little amount of baking soda on it. Spread it evenly by brushing their fur or rub it into their coat before brushing it out.
This way, you will remove bad odors and also prevent itching. If you can, try to prevent your dog from licking their fur, but even if they get a little taste test, the amount used won’t be enough to hurt them.
Of course, you should still wash them properly as soon as you can, because this method is not a substitute for a full bath with soap and water.
Cleaning indoor accidents
Having a pet means seeing and smelling things we wouldn’t want to see or smell, like all of those “gifts” and “accidents” that your dog may be leaving around the house.
Baking soda is the ideal product to clean up after these unpleasant surprises, because it doesn’t just clean, but helps remove the odors as well.
Using it in a mix with vinegar is usually the best way to clean a carpet, for example.
Dogs have their own scent and sometimes we become so used to it that we can’t really smell it anymore, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Sometimes, this smell can fill your whole house and become somehow unpleasant, especially if you’re having guests who are not used to it.
Identify the areas of the house where your dog’s scent is stronger and sprinkle a little baking soda over them.
You should let the product sit for at least half an hour before vacuuming it, so make sure your dog doesn’t have access to that room in the meantime.
If you bring your dog along with you during car rides, your vehicle will probably start smelling like them too. You can use baking soda to remove odors in your car by applying it on the floor mats and seats.
It can be useful to keep some baking soda in the car for this purpose, as long as you make sure your dog can’t eat it.
Cleaning dog’s items
The abrasive quality of baking soda makes it ideal to clean dog items like their food or water bowl.
Using normal detergents to clean these items is always a risk because you never know what kind of harmful chemicals are in this product that could provoke bad reactions in your dog.
Bleach is also out of the question because it’s too risky while mixing a little baking soda with water and salt is completely safe to do and will remove the slime while keeping bacteria at bay. Afterward, rinse the bowls thoroughly with plain water and you’re done.
Treating bee stings
Playing outdoors has its risks and even a simple walk in the park can take a tragic turn when your dog is attacked by an insect or stung by a bee.
Bee stings can be very painful for your pooch and you should treat them immediately. Baking soda can be helpful in this situation as well.
First of all, use tweezers to remove the stinger and then make a mixture of baking soda and water until you get a paste you can apply on the wounded area like a cream.
Make sure to keep your dog from licking it off and apply it until your dog is not in pain anymore.
Can dogs eat baking soda?
It is not recommended to feed baking soda to dogs. Even though baking soda has many applications for humans, including that of easing heartburn or helping our digestion, the same cannot be said for dogs.
In fact, instead of helping your dog digesting, baking soda will only cause more troubles. A big amount of baking soda could even kill your dog because this product expands with heat and acid components, which are present in your dog’s stomach.
As you can imagine, it would be a slow and painful demise and one that can be easily avoided by being a little more careful and keeping baking soda away from your dog.
Since baking soda is used for many different purposes at home, including cleaning, cooking, or eating, make sure to store it safely away from your pet and when you use it, keep your dog away or lock them out of the room if necessary.
There are some ways in which baking soda can actually help in dog-related matters, specifically removing odors or even easing the pain of a bee sting. In that case, it is safe to use baking soda around dogs, as long as it is in very small amounts.