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Is Baking Soda Bad For Dogs?

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

Baking soda is a common household item with many uses. Most homeowners use this ingredient for baking, cleaning, and deodorizing. But can dogs eat baking soda?

Small amounts of baking soda aren’t harmful to dogs. However, your dog might encounter severe health issues when it consumes large amounts of baking soda.

Can Dogs Eat Baking Soda?

Yes, dogs can eat baking soda. Baking soda isn’t harmful to dogs if consumed in small amounts. With that said, any amount that exceeds 22 grams baking soda per pound of body weight is toxic to dogs.

A 10-pound dog will show signs of illness after consuming more than 200 grams of baking soda. This amount translates to about three-quarters of a small baking soda box (227 grams). A larger, heavier dog should be fine after eating a small box of baking soda.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a chemical compound that is often used as a leavening agent in baking. Its scientific name is sodium bicarbonate. This ingredient becomes baking powder when it’s mixed with dry acid.

Baking soda has many uses. In humans, it acts as an antacid when ingested. Its abrasive properties make it an ideal cleaning agent. Some people sprinkle it in carpets to absorb moisture and odor.

Is Baking Soda Good for Dogs?

It isn’t a good idea to let your dog feed on baking soda or products made from it. This compound has no nutritional value and might be unsafe for dog consumption.

Sodium bicarbonate has a soapy flavour and a bitter, saline taste. Although dogs don’t love this flavour, the presence of salt might spark some curiosity. You’ll find curious dogs licking this ingredient, and if they like the taste, they might end up overeating.

The amount of baking soda in baked products is generally low. This means your dog can eat baked products and won’t fall ill.

Ignore sites that advise dog owners to use small quantities of sodium carbonate to cure dogs’ stomach issues. There is no point in willingly giving your dog a substance that can be toxic if consumed in large amounts.

Is Baking Soda Harmful to Dogs?

Baking soda can be dangerous or lethal to dogs if consumed in large quantities. Sodium carbonate has several properties that might harm dogs.

When mixed with acidic components, sodium carbonate makes food expand and become spongy. Such a situation may occur when a dog consumes excess sodium bicarbonate. The dog’s stomach has acids and heat. In such environs, baking soda will cause food to expand and release gases.

Small amounts might only cause less expansion, but vast quantities of sodium bicarbonate will generate a lot of gases.

Sodium bicarbonate is also salty and abrasive. Huge amounts of this ingredient could cause electrolyte imbalance in the dog’s system. Some dogs experience congestive heart failure, which is lethal if left untreated.

A bowl of baking soda
A bowl of baking soda

Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Baked Food?

Most baked dog foods contain tiny amounts of baking soda. So, can dogs eat baking soda found in such food?

Yes, dogs can feed on healthy pet food that contains small amounts of sodium bicarbonate. The dog cakes sold at your local pet store are safe for dog consumption.

Although baked foods are safe, you should minimize the amounts you give to your dog. Avoid giving such meals to pups.

Symptoms of Baking Soda Toxicity in Dogs

Your dog might be restless after consuming small quantities of sodium bicarbonate. If it ingests toxic quantities, it will show some of the following symptoms.

  • Muscle tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargy

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests Baking Soda

Your dog is unlikely to display toxic effects if it ingested fewer quantities of sodium bicarbonate. However, if you aren’t sure of the quantities the dog has consumed, it’s advisable to call your veterinarian for advice.

Never try to induce vomiting unless directed by your vet. The problem might worsen if you incorrectly administer vomiting.

What you can do is allow the dog to drink clean water. You can also watch out for signs of bloating since baking soda causes the build-up of gases in the dog’s digestive system.

You have to take your dog to the vet if you notice any unusual behavior. Your dog has a higher chance of surviving if it gets prompt medical attention.

The vet might use activated charcoal to prevent sodium bicarbonate from being absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream.

Is Baking Soda Safe for Dog Teeth?

Sodium bicarbonate isn’t entirely bad for your dog’s teeth. It might help remove some stains on the teeth. However, it isn’t advisable to brush a dog’s teeth using this compound.

Baking soda is abrasive and may weaken the tooth’s enamel. In the long run, your dog’s teeth might become weak and sensitive.

When brushing a dog’s teeth with baking soda, the dog might end up consuming large amounts of the soda. This could cause toxic effects.

When is Baking Soda Safe for Dogs?

Baking soda can be beneficial to your four-legged friend but not as food. Here are ways in which sodium bicarbonate benefits dogs.

Baking Soda Shampoo

Like humans, dogs need baths. The frequency varies depending on the dog’s breed, lifestyle, skin conditions, and coat length. It’s advisable to clean your furry friend once each month.

You can use baking soda as a shampoo for your dog. Ensure your dog’s fur is dry, then apply a small amount of sodium bicarbonate. The baking soda will absorb the dog’s foul odor and might prevent itching.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Items

You can use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean dog items like eating bowls and toys. Since sodium carbonate is abrasive, it will remove slime, bacteria, and dirt from dog items. Remember to rinse the bowls and toys with clean water.

Baking soda is also used to treat bee stings and prevent dog nails from bleeding after clipping.

Conclusion

As a dog owner, you’ll find yourself at one point asking the question can dogs eat baking soda? Although dogs can consume small quantities of baking soda, large amounts can be toxic. Always prevent your dog from eating baking soda, and make sure you never leave it lying around the house where your dog can get their paws on it.

About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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