My dog met a skunk. How do I get rid of the smell?

Skunks are intelligent and adorable, but the smell they can leave is not – and getting rid of it can seem impossible. We have a do-it-yourself recipe that can help.

Skunk cartoonSkunks don’t spray to be mean – it’s their natural defense, and something they do when they’re scared.

If at all possible, leave your dog outside and wash them outdoors. You don’t want to let the smell in – or give your dog a chance to rub up against furniture or the carpet in an attempt to get rid of it.

It’s tempting to run right for the water hose, but take a moment to check your dog’s eyes first. Skunks can spray 15 feet and dogs often get it in their face. If the eyes look irritated, maybe even red, flush with cool water or an eyewash product that is safe for dogs.

Now it’s bath time. There are special products available to get rid of the skunk smell, but most dog owners don’t have them on the shelf.

You will need:

  • 1 quart of Hydrogen Peroxide Solution, 3% – it’s available in pharmacies and most supermarkets
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dish washing soap. Dawn works very well for cleaning pets and it’s a good idea to have a small bottle in the house for emergencies.

When applying, make sure you wear rubber gloves – and that your dog doesn’t lick up the solution.

Work the mix into the dog’s coat and wash thoroughly – there shouldn’t be any traces left of the solution. Also make sure you don’t leave it on too long – the peroxide can work as a bleach and change the color of your dog’s fur.

You might have to wash with the peroxide solution more than once.

Shampoo with a regular dog shampoo, to make sure you got all the peroxide solution out of their coat. Rinse well and towel dry.

If you don’t have peroxide solution, washing your dog with vinegar mixed with water can help.

Once all this is done, you might be the one smelling like skunk – it’s hard to wash a dog without touching. Washing your clothes will regular detergent and 1/3 cup of baking soda should do the trick.

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