3 Guaranteed Ways to Neutralize a Dog Sprayed by Skunk

My dog was sprayed by a skunk about a month ago, but the smell is still freshly burned into my memory.  It was early morning when I opened the door to let him out. I noticed him turn on his heels and race back toward the house at warp speed, but didn’t think much of it until he came inside.

SKUNK!

What a smell! Well, if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you have a pretty good idea how bad it is.  The good news is that I was able to get the smell off my dog that day, and I’m going to show you how.

WHAT IS THIS VILE SUBSTANCE?

Skunk spray is comprised of seven volatile compounds that, when mixed with water, reorganize their chemical composition and become the most vile aroma you’ll likely ever encounter.

The compounds, thiols and acetate derivatives, bind to skin proteins like blood suckers on an ankle.  Have anything leather in your house? Leather, as you know, is a hide (or skin). Even though it’s the dog that needs to be de-skunked, the airborne compound quickly embeds itself leather jackets, belts, purses, sofas, etc.

#1  DE-SKUNK YOUR DOG NOW. RIGHT NOW. NO REALLY…

I phoned the veterinarian the morning of the “skunk incident” for advice. I thought they might have a solution or something to sell me.  Instead, I was told to do this:

  • Use an entire bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • Use a small container of baking soda
  • Add about a quarter cup of vinegar
  • Add a few drops of dishwasher detergent.

I was instructed to put the dog into the tub and soak him (avoiding his eyes) with the concoction. I was skeptical, but what other options did I have?

IT WORKED!

I couldn’t believe that I was able to get at least 80% of the smell off of my dog using the recipe above. Unfortunately, I ruined a lot of towels in the process.

A couple of weeks later, when it seemed the smell was starting to come back, I gave my dog another bath using the peroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent. This time, I allowed the concoction to settle into his fur and skin before scrubbing him down and rinsing.

It worked again! This time, the smell didn’t come back.  My towels, however, are in the garbage.

 

#2 GIVE YOUR DOG AN APPLE CIDER RAIN SHOWER!

For this treatment, your dog must be wet first. Work a ratio of 1 part water to two parts apple cider into your dog’s fur, allowing it to sit for at least  5 to 10 minutes before rinsing.

#3  YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR DOG HAS THAT “NOT SO FRESH” FEELING?

Douche or feminine wash can also be used to de-skunk your dog. Mix a gallon of water and 2 ounces of feminine douche. Soak your pet with the solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing.  Once rinsed, wash your dog with dog shampoo.  Rinse and repeat as needed. 

Personally, I can only vouch for the first method using hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, and dish detergent. I was blown away by how well it worked.

NOTE:  My dog’s black fur now has an auburn sheen to it because of the bleaching effects of the hydrogen peroxide.  Frankly, it could have turned him alien green as long as it got the smell out.

WHY MR. SKUNK? WHY?

A skunk sprays when it feels threatened. This stinky form of self-defence comes with a warning beforehand by stomping their feet, raising their tail, and hissing. If the warnings are not heeded, hit the dirt and cover your eyes.

The spray, a secretion from the anal glands, can reach up to 15 feet and skunks are known for their accuracy.  

Aside from the horrific odour, skunk spray can make you (and the dog) sick. I had no idea! My eyes burned, I felt sick to my stomach, and I had a pounding headache all day long.  In absolute worst-case scenarios (if you or your dog are directly sprayed in the face), the compound can cause temporary blindness.

DON’T GO TO WORK THAT DAY!

Of course, my fight or flight instincts kicked in immediately and all I wanted to do was flee.  Once I knew my dog was okay, I grabbed my leather jacket and headed to work.

Bad idea.  I thought I was escaping the smell, but was quickly told by my employer that I had brought it with me.  People were annoyed. I’ve worked there for 20 years and have never been asked to leave but – on that day – it was gently suggested that I head back home for the day.

Embarrassing!

What are the effects of skunk spray on your dogs?

The severity of the damage a skunk spray can do to your dog will depend on which part of your dog got sprayed and how close the skunk was when it happened. The effects can be ocular, dermal, respiratory, and oral. Here is a list of common symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Sneezing
  • Squinting
  • Temporary blindness
  • Swelling and redness
  • Vomiting

THE SKUNK AND I ARE NOT ON SPEAKING TERMS

If you live in a rural area like I do, it’s almost impossible to totally avoid skunks and other wildlife. There are a few helpful tips that will help lessen the chances of encountering one, however:

  • Take note that skunks are nocturnal creatures that typically come out at dusk.  Consider having a well-lit yard if your dog stays outdoors or keep them company when you let them out in the evenings to do their business.
  • Make sure that dog food or treats are not lying around in your yard and that your trash cans are sealed. Skunks roam on properties when they are lured by the smell of a possible meal.
  • If skunks are frequently spotted in your area, consider hiring the help of pest-control professionals.

If you’re out camping or just happen to spot a skunk nearby, there’s no need to get hysterical.  Skunks actually don’t startle all the easily, so just go your separate ways.  Trust me, that relationship was never meant to be.

I hope you enjoyed the article and gained some useful advice. Please share this with your dog-loving friends or family through social media and follow me for updates on more useful content like this! 

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