Removing The Skunk Smell

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We all know that smell. Poignant, musty, and eerily-similar to a vaporized rotten egg, a skunk’s spray is a concern for pet owners across the United States. Although skunks typically spray only as a defense mechanism (and a final one at that), explorative pups may threaten the local critters as your dog sniffs around hidden crevices or wanders through dense forestry.

Aside from some slight irritation if the spray touches your dog’s skin or eyes, the greatest casualty of a skunk spray encounter is your nostrils. If a skunk sprays your dog, you want to make sure that you bathe your dog as quickly as possible both to remove the odor and prevent the spray from getting on your furniture.

Here is how to remove that stink:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of Baking Soda

1 quart of Hydrogen Peroxide

1 teaspoon of Hand-safe Dish Soap

Eye Protection (goggles or glasses)

Bathing area (a bathtub is recommended over a backyard)

Procedure:

1. Combine your ingredients in a bowl. Make sure to stir them well to completely dissolve the baking soda.

2. Put on your eye protection. Your dog will inevitably shake during their bath, and the last thing you want is to be blinded by skunky soap suds!

3. Put your dog in the tub and rinse him off. You want their fur to be wet before putting in the solution.

4. Rub the solution all over your dog. Work the solution into anywhere your dog has fur. Try to avoid getting the solution into your dog’s eyes – the soap may irritate your dog and they’ll be less willing to cooperate with you.

5. Let the solution sit for as long as you like. Typically, you need the solution to sit for at least five minutes, but feel free to leave it in for longer.

6. Rinse and repeat. Reapply the solution as many times as needed for the odor to wash away.

Hopefully, you will never need to use the guidance on this page. But if your dog brings home ‘that’ stench, do not fret! As a final word of caution, remember to NEVER get angry at your dog if they come home sprayed – they will associate your frustration with something that they did. Think of the episode as another day in the life of your curious dog. After all, you should never know what to expect as a pet owner.

Aly DelaCoeur, UW-AAB
Aly DelaCoeur, UW-AAB is one of the founders of Wag Enabled (originally Why Does My Dog). Aly has a certificate in applied animal behavior through the University of Washington and is a certified veterinary assistant and AKC Evaluator. She aims to provide an unbiased perspective on dog training by providing practical, intelligent, and caring advice for people to impart on their canine companions