Every day I see someone posting about their dog being skunked and asking for suggestions about the best skunk smell removal recipe. I have been fortunate so far, and have not had to deal with this situation with my pup, but when I opened my patio door late last night to let him out and saw the little white stripe waddling away from me, pointing straight up, I realized that this is probably something I should be prepared for. I went looking for the best skunk smell removal options and came up with only a handful of suggestions.
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The most expensive (and impractical at midnight) was to take the dog to a vet or groomer for a professional cleaning. This can be very costly and would mean that we would have to wait until the establishment opens. Most incidents happen between sundown and sunrise, leaving us to care for our pet, at least initially, on our own.
So here is the scenario: It’s midnight, I let my pup out before bed and he comes back smelling like Pepe le Pew.
What do I do?
According to the cyber authorities, including veterinarians and the Humane Society, here is the best process to follow:
1) Keep the dog outside if possible. If you have to bring him in, isolate the dog to one room. Close the doors and open the windows. Keeping the smell confined to one area as quickly as possible will reduce the work you have to do later to remove the skunk smell from your home.
2) Immediately flush the dog’s eyes, nose and mouth with a lot of cool water to remove any spray. The skunk oil can permanently damage the eyes and, if swallowed, can cause the dog to become nauseated or vomit. The spray can actually burn the skin on the face due to the sulfur content. It is highly recommended that you have your dog assessed by a vet immediately if the spray is directed at the dog’s face.
3) Prepare this Skunk Smell Removal recipe:
Mix the following ingredients in a bucket or bowl:
- 4 CUPS OF 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.
- 1/3 CUP OF BAKING SODA.
- 1 TEASPOON OF DISH WASHING LIQUID (PREFERABLY DAWN ORIGINAL, BUT ANY GREASE CUTTING DISH SOAP WILL DO).
4) Wearing gloves, use a cup pour the mixture on your dog’s dry fur, AVOIDING THE FACE COMPLETELY, and massage it in until it lathers. Continue to add the solution until the affected area has been covered. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the mixture out of the fur using plenty of cool water. Be sure to rinse away from the head to avoid dripping forward into the face.
FOR THE DOG’S FACE:
Using a sponge, you can carefully rub small amounts of the mixture in to the fur, avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth and then rinse with plenty of cool water. It is not recommended to leave the mixture on the dog’s face as it may be harmful.
This mixture can cause bleaching of the dog’s fur as it is made with peroxide. A dark colored dog may have color changes to fur.
5) Towel dry your dog. Using a hair dryer will only revive the smell. 6) Dispose of any left-over solution. It cannot be stored as it can develop explosive properties if sealed. Although there will immediately be a significant improvement using this recipe, sometimes it may have to be applied more than once, depending on the severity of the spray and the thickness of the fur.
If you live in an area that has a significant skunk population, it is advisable to go out with your dog in the high risk times. This way you can keep him from chasing skunks and being sprayed. It is also a good idea to be sure you have the basic ingredients from this recipe on hand, just in case!