Doggy Deodorant, Upholstery Freshener, and Bug Repellant

My very cute and somewhat stinky half Blue Heeler, and half Shiba Inu.

My very cute and somewhat stinky half Blue Heeler, and half Shiba Inu.

I really like the Fall.  The flavors of the season are amazing, and Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. What I can do without is the stuffy house! Especially with a dog, the house smells can get to be a bit much. I like to open windows when I can, though the air is getting a bit too chilly for that. My dog also gets the chills easily if her fur is damp from a bath, so I bathe her less in the cold months.

I was researching plants for our yard that would be drought resistant, insect repellant, and be non-toxic to the puppy (just in case she decided to eat all my landscaping). I used the ASPCA database of toxic and non-toxic plants and various gardening websites to make the nerdiest spreadsheet I could muster. Some of them were culinary, and if the dog runs through my garden, she will at least smell good!

I was also using commercial, chemical, and heavily fragranced products to freshen our rugs and upholstery. I was wondering if I could use essential oils to make a dog-safe version with all of the water saving, bug repelling, non-toxic qualities of my garden plants. The short answer is YES!

One thing I learned is that dogs have smaller organs than we do. So, using the amount of essential oil that I would for a baby, even if the essential oil is non-toxic to dogs, is the best approach. The essential oils have physiological effects, and smaller bodies can only take small amounts. I look up the oils every time I make this just in case the database was updated with new information.

The next thing I learned is that a tablespoon of baking soda in a spray bottle makes a very effective deodorizer for the home and dog. The baking soda acts as a dispersant, helping the essential oils mix with the water.  

A little apple cider vinegar is great for a between grooming refresher, and the essential oils help to balance the vinegar smell. I only use this for deodorizing the dog. It is gluten free (for me), and I always have it on hand.

24 oz of water
2 tablespoons of baking soda
5 - 15 drops of organic essential oils (optional)
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (optional)
In the spray bottle, mix the oils with the baking soda and then slowly mix in the first 2 oz of water. Close and shake vigorously. Then, top off with the remaining water.

Finally, some dogs (and cats!) have had unpleasant experiences with spray bottles. I like to spray an old wash cloth and then wipe down my dog's fur. This is much more like being pet, and for anyone who lives with a breed that disapproves of water like mine, this is just much more fun for everyone. I have also been spraying her bed and the bottom of the couch, where most of the stink lingers.

  1. Check the ASPCA database for dog, cat, and horse toxicity every time

  2. Thoroughly wash and reuse a spray bottle, or get a reusable one

  3. Use baby amounts of essential oils

  4. Baking soda makes the all the magic happen

  5. Spray onto a recycled washcloth to wipe onto fur