If you’re a dog owner, you know that your faithful companion’s instinct is to protect their turf at all times. Keeping intruders off your property is your dog’s top priority. But what happens when your dog faces a skunk and gets caught in its stinky crossfire? This is a situation that is best dealt with immediately, as it is not as easy to treat once it has set in. Follow these tips first if your dog or pet has been sprayed by a skunk.
- Use rubber gloves. Protect your hands with latex or rubber gloves before handling your pet after a skunk spray. You do not want to accidentally transmit the spray to your eyes, causing severe irritation.
- Investigate for any wounds. It’s possible your pet got into a physical altercation with the skunk. Look over your pet for any bites or scratches. Although spraying is the skunk’s primary defense, they have been known to use their teeth and claws when attacked.
- Contact the veterinarian if necessary. If you find any wounds or notice redness or discharge in the eyes, contact a professional immediately before administering any homemade remedy. In addition to the potential for inducing vomiting and drooling, there also exists the rare possibility of developing anemia, more so in the Japanese breeds. And if you have not seen the offending animal itself to determine its condition and the possibility of it carrying rabies, you might want to have this ruled out professionally as well.
Common Misconceptions About Removing Skunk Smell
A common theory is that tomato juice or tomato soup baths remove skunk odor from humans and pets. The truth, however, is that tomato juice or soup simply masks the smell of skunk spray. It doesn’t actually remove its presence entirely. Skunk spray leaves an oily substance on the victim, which can be just as tough to remove as the smell itself. Tomato juice does a good job at diminishing the oils, but you’ll still have remnants of both the stench and the texture.
Steps for Getting Rid of Skunk Smell on Pets
Using common household products, you can concoct a skunk-smell removal mixture to restore your pet back to normal. Ultimately, you not only want to remove the smell, but you want to clean your pet as well by removing the skunk spray’s oily residue. Here are the steps to follow for getting rid of skunk smell on your dog, or pets in general.
- You will need to combine the following ingredients together in a container:
- 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of liquid dish detergent
- Note: You can modify the portions or add water depending on the size of your pet and how badly they were sprayed. Upon mixing, the solution will begin to fizz up because you’ve created a chemical reaction. You’ll want to use this mixture immediately for maximum potency.
- Take your pet outdoors or put him or her in the bathtub. Begin washing your pet liberally with the mixture. Be sure to rub it in and let it lather up. Scrub the coat firmly and down to the skin to ensure that the cleaning solution gets all the way through.
- Note: If you’re concerned about the mixture harming your pet, you can place cotton balls in their ears so that the mixture doesn’t impact them. Likewise, you can protect their eyes from the solution by adding a small drop of mineral oil or eye lubricant to each eye to prevent stinging.
- Let the mixture permeate on your pet’s coat for 5 minutes — or longer if you still detect a strong skunk odor.
- Rinse your pet thoroughly with lukewarm water. If the smell persists, you can scrub them with the mixture as many times as needed until the odor is fully eliminated.
- Discard any remaining mixture, as you cannot save it for later use.
Being sprayed by a skunk can be traumatic for your pet, so be sure to keep them calm and give them plenty of love (and treats) once you’re done removing the smell.
Prevention Is Even Better
Try to avoid this unpleasant occurrence altogether by using a reliable skunk repellent on your property. Save your pet — and yourself — a lot of grief with this one simple preventive step. For more great tips, check out our Facebook page, or subscribe to our eNewsletter.