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.
Thoroughly wash and reuse a spray bottle, or get a reusable one
Use baby amounts of essential oils
Baking soda makes the all the magic happen
Spray onto a recycled washcloth to wipe onto fur