How to Get Skunk Smell off Your Dog

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

Skunks are one of many dog owner’s big fears. This is because their stench is not only dreadful but also hard to remove.

But what happens when your pooch gets sprayed by the skunk? Well, it can be a real nightmare. The good news is that there are many ways to get the odor of your canine companion.

Below are tips and simple steps on how to get skunk smell off your dog. So, follow these steps and you will have your dog smelling good in no time.

Step One

If your dog is skunked, you will probably want to get them inside the house and in the bathtub. However, this should not be the case.

This is because the skunk smell can quickly permeate your household fabrics and your home. As a result, the odor will still linger in the house even after you’ve washed your pet.

Therefore, it is advisable to clean your pooch from outside. It would also be a good idea to wear old clothes and gloves so the smell does not transfer to your skin.

Step Two

Before you even wash your dog, you should check for any injuries. In some cases, the skunk may scratch or bite your pooch. You see, skunks can sometimes use their claws and teeth when attacked. 

Also, you need to check if your dog was sprayed into the eyes. If the eyes appear to be swollen, red, weepy, or painful, you can apply a tear solution or eyewash. You can also use cool water to flush out the spray.

Step Three

Now that you’ve ascertained that your dog is okay, it’s time to get them clean. The goal is to get the skunk’s oil off your pooch quickly. Generally, there are many products you can use, including DIY solutions and commercial de-skunk shampoos.

One simple solution that is quite common involves using ingredients such as:

  • 1-quart hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • 1-2 teaspoons liquid soap
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda

Start by mixing all three ingredients in a big container. This is because the baking soda and peroxide will bubble up. Then, take the solution and massage it into your dog’s fur while wearing gloves.

However, if your canine was sprayed in the face, dip a washcloth in the solution and wipe their face. Just be careful not to let the solution get into their mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. Next, let the formula soak on your dog for at least 10 minutes, and then rinse it out thoroughly.

If the skunk smell does not go away completely, you can repeat this step as needed. Lastly, wash your dog using a normal pet shampoo and dry your pet with a towel.

Step Four

If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, then you can use a commercial de-skunk shampoo. There are so many skunk-removal shampoos available to choose from on the market. 

You can also find the shampoo at your local pet supply store. Just be sure to ask your vet to recommend you the best product.

When it comes to using these shampoos, you just follow the directions recommended by the manufacturer. However, make sure to rub the solution in your dog’s fur and let it lather up.

Step Five

Another remedy you can use to remove the skunk smell from your dog is tomato juice. This remedy has been around for a very long time and some people swear by its effectiveness.

However, tomato juice will only help mask the smell of the skunk spray. It does not remove the smell entirely although it can help reduce the skunk’s oils. This means that the skunk odor will come wafting back.

How Does the Hydrogen Peroxide Solution Work?

Hydrogen peroxide is considered to be a powerful oxidizing agent. As such, when it reacts with the thiol (SH), it usually removes electrons and then adds oxygen to the atoms. Consequently, an odor-free sulfonic acid is generated.

Baking soda, on the other hand, works by buffering the acid while the liquid soap helps to remove skunk’s oils. You see, the dish detergent will cut through the skunk smell and then break down the odor. The baking soda is also perfect for deodorizing.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind on How to Get Skunk Smell Out of Dog

Did your fur friend get sprayed by a skunk? Here are extra tips on getting rid of the skunk smell on dogs. Check them out.  

1. Always be careful not to let the cleaning solution or de-skunking shampoo in your dog’s eyes. The hydrogen peroxide mixture could cause blindness.

2. The recommended hydrogen peroxide solution is 3%. So, don’t try to use a stronger solution as it could irritate your canine’s skin.

3. You should use the hydrogen peroxide solution immediately after preparing it. So, do not mix it ahead of time and store it because it could explode if stored in a closed container. If there is any excess solution, make sure to dispose of it.

4. It’s not advisable to leave the mixture on your pooch’s coat for too long. This is because the peroxide may bleach your pet’s fur.

5. Make sure to let your pup air dry in an open area once you’re done cleaning them.

6. If your clothes have a skunk smell, you should wash them immediately with regular detergent and baking soda. This will help remove the smell.

7. Watch your fur friend closely over the next couple of days. This way, you can notice if there is anything out of the ordinary. You see, skunk spray may sometimes cause skin and other medical problems.

8. It is advisable to stop and maintain a distance if you spot a skunk while out walking with your pooch. And of course, make sure you are beyond the 10-to-15-foot spray range to avoid your dog getting skunked again.

9. After you’re done cleaning your pet off the skunk smell, you should reward and allow them to rest. After all, the whole process must have been stressful for the two of you.

Bottom Line

While skunks are cute, they have a dangerous weapon, which is their smell. Therefore, if you can, you should try by all means to keep your dog from being sprayed by skunks. But if it happens, then you just follow the above steps on how to get skunk smell off your dog.

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Farmer Jack

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