If your dog is outdoorsy, and currently enjoying the Spring weather by spending a lot of time in parks, woods or in the backyard, here’s something you should know: how to get rid of the strong odor of skunk, in case your pet gets sprayed by one.
Maybe it has never happened before, but if it does, you will be glad you have this information because common remedies like vinegar, tomato juice and vanilla extract don’t really get rid of the unbearable odor: they merely mask it.
Skunks – an American mammal of the weasel family with a distinctive black-and-white striped fur – squirt a fine spray of foul-smelling irritant liquid from their anal glands when they feel threatened.
While skunks don’t hibernate in winter, they do remain inactive, surviving on fat stores in their body. Mating occurs in late winter, and mid-spring to mid-summer is when their young ones are born. This means skunks are very much in evidence during this time, and it is quite common for dogs to get sprayed when they come upon a skunk and try to get closer to the peculiar-looking animal.
If this does happen, here is a homemade remedy from The Spruce Pets that we have found to be very effective to eradicate the odor of skunk spray from dog’s fur. The solution breaks up the oil compounds present in skunk spray and eradicates the odor at the same time.
But first, some precautions:
1) Bathe your dog with this homemade solution outside in the yard, or in a part of the house (like the bathroom or the laundry room) that can be cleaned up easily afterwards. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
2) Take every precaution to protect your pet’s eyes. Apply an eye lubricant if you want before you begin and be very careful to avoid the eye area when applying the solution.
3) Check the dog for any open wounds, scratches or injuries before you apply any solution. If you find some, refrain from using this solution and contact your vet before proceeding.
4) Do not wet the dog with water first. It will only make the stench worse.
5) Do not use a closed container, like a spray bottle, to hold the solution as pressure will build up and the container may burst.
6) Do not waste time. Get to work immediately, because the odor will settle and intensify on the dog’s fur as time goes on.
7) Remember that this solution has a slight bleaching effect. A dog with a dark coat can appear lighter for a while, but the color should balance out again in the near future on its own.
The Anti-Skunk Spray Solution Recipe
• Hydrogen peroxide – 3 percent: 1 quart. (Make sure it is less than 6 month’s old. It must be fresh to work. Also, do not use a higher concentration as that might adversely affect the dog)
• Baking Soda: 1/4 cup (do not substitute with anything else)
• Liquid Soap: 1 to 2 teaspoons (Ivory Liquid Cleanser or Softsoap are most effective)
• Lukewarm water: 1 quart (only needed for very large dogs)
1) Before you begin, dab off any excess skunk spray oil with absorbent paper towels.
2) Mix the above ingredients in a plastic bowl. Add the lukewarm water if it’s a large dog.
3) The mixture will begin to fizz and you must use it immediately as its effectiveness will quickly start to decline as time goes on.
4) Put on some protective gloves and begin dabbing the areas that have caught the spray. Make sure the fur is well-covered with the solution, to break up on the oil compounds present in the spray.
5) Avoid eyes, nose, ears and mouth areas carefully.
6) Leave the solution on for 5 minutes at least and then wash off carefully.
7) Repeat if necessary with a fresh batch of the solution.
With any luck, you will manage to get rid of the skunk smell completely.