The smell of skunk is eye-watering and will leave your dog, furniture, carpet and home stinky for longer than you’ll ever wish to deal with. If you have yet to deal with this dreadful problem, consider you and your pooch very lucky. Every dog owner should know how to handle this situation, just in case, because it can happen no matter where you live. Skunks can be found in both rural wooded areas and suburban areas as well. You may have heard people say you should use vinegar or tomato juice to help neutralize the powerful smell of skunk spray.
These products may help cover up the stench, but they won’t get rid of it. There are some skunk odor removers that come in sprays and shampoos, but they can be costly. Plus, you need to act quickly; a trip to the store may simply be out of the question. The longer the odor sits on your dog, the harder it will be to get rid of it! The same goes for your furniture, carpet, and home.
Luckily, you can get rid of this foul odor, with a simple solution using household products that you probably already have on hand. It’s a good idea to keep these ingredients on hand in case of a skunk spray emergency. Skunk spray is naturally very oily and contains a lot of sulfur, hence the smell. Using this simple recipe will create a chemical reaction that easily breaks up the oil and will help neutralize the foul odor.
First Things First
If you realize that your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you should immediately quarantine your dog. You won’t want them loose in the house. The skunk smell will linger in the air of your home and be quickly absorbed by your furniture and carpets. Keep your smelly fur baby in the garage, shed or safely tied up outside. After you put your dog somewhere safe, you need to put on some latex gloves and old clothes. It’s best to wear clothes that you won’t mind throwing away. You don’t want to wash them and possibly contaminate your washing machine with the skunk odor. Once you are suited up, you should immediately give your dog a once over and check for bites, scratches, and sores. You also should check their eyes for redness or discharge and their mouth for swelling. You need to make sure your dog is not injured and did not get sprayed in the face. If your dog is injured or sprayed directly in the face by a skunk, you should contact your veterinarian for further instruction.
What You’ll Need
- 1 quart (32 fluid ounces) hydrogen peroxide 3 percent.
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid soap, such as Dawn or Softsoap
- 1-quart warm water (only needed for larger breeds)
- A plastic bucket or bowl
- A plastic spoon for mixing (don’t use metal)
- A good amount of cloth and paper towels
Making the Solution
- Start by drying your dog with paper towels in the noticeably sprayed areas. This will help absorb the excess oil on the coat.
- In your plastic bowl or bucket; combine the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap. Remember, use baking soda not baking powder and if your dog is a larger breed here’s where you should add the warm water.
- With your plastic spoon quickly mix all of the ingredients. Make sure you mix well and incorporate all of the ingredients. The mixed solution will begin to fizz; this is the chemical reaction taking place. Use the mixture immediately.
De-skunking Your Dog
- Make sure you do not rinse your dog with water before bathing. Water will stick to your dog’s coat and repel the mixture you are getting ready to apply.
- Start by cleaning the affected areas immediately. Thoroughly massage the mixture into your dog’s coat. Make sure it comes to a lather. This will ensure that the solution will penetrate your dog’s coat and break up the oily skunk spray.
- Make sure you keep the solution out of your dog’s eyes, ears, and mouth. You should also avoid getting the solution in your eyes and mouth or on your skin.
- After applying the solution, allow it to soak for at least ten minutes. Keep in mind that ten minutes with a soggy dog can seem like forever, so set a timer or keep your eye on a clock. During this time it is important to keep your dog from licking the solution. It can upset their stomach and cause vomiting.
- Once you have let the solution soak for at least ten minutes it’s time to rinse. Use warm water to rinse all of the solution from your dog’s coat. If needed, you can repeat these steps, until the odor has dissipated.
- Using cloth or paper towels dry your dog as much as possible. Allow your dog to air dry the rest of the way instead of using a blow dryer.