What to do if your dog gets skunked!

by EcoWellDog– Natural Leaders in Grooming & Wellness

Skunks are a part of our natural environment, and we have to learn to live with them. That’s not always easy when your dog has an encounter with one of these striking little black and white creatures. They can spray your dog with a liquid that smells horrible, and once it is on his fur, it isn’t easy to remove.

Apart from the smell, skunk spray can have a few adverse effects on your dog’s health.

Skin Irritation

Skunk spray contains some very irritant chemicals in it. This means that any area of your dog’s skin that comes in contact with the spray can become red and inflamed. It is likely to be itchy, so he will scratch at it and make it even worse. This is more likely to happen on the sensitive hairless parts of his body, such as his nose and eyes.


In some cases, a dog can develop anemia after being exposed to skunk spray. This is rare, and usually results from either repeated sprays in the face without good ventilation, or being sprayed right in his mouth. It’s important that you keep a close eye on your dog for 48 hours after his altercation with a skunk, and watch for increasing lethargy.

Dealing With That Offensive Smell

There’s no way you’ll want to go near your dog until the skunk spray has been removed or neutralized! Even after you think the job is done, you may find he still has a faint skunky odor when he is damp.

You need to be careful what you use to clean your dog after an encounter with a skunk. Some products can irritate his skin and cause redness and scaling.

There are plenty of anecdotes about what does and doesn’t work when it comes to removing skunk smell.

What doesn’t work:

  • Tomato juice or tomato sauce applied to your dog will leave him messy and smelly.
  • A Coca Cola rinse won’t do much except make his coat sticky.
  • Spraying him with perfume won’t cover the stench, and the combination of fragrance and skunk odor is likely to smell even worse!

What does work:

  • Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover has been found by many to work well when it is used according to the directions on the label.
  • Vinegar and water used as a rinse and left to dry on your dog’s coat can neutralize the skunky smell. Mix 2 to 4 ounces of vinegar in 2 quarts of warm water and use a spray bottle to apply it all over. Alternatively, you can purchase a vinegar and water douche from the drug store and use it in the spray bottle.
  • One of the most effective recipes is to combine 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ΒΌ cup of baking soda and a couple of teaspoons of Dawn liquid dish soap. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and pour over your dog. Make sure you have disposable gloves on, and rub it into a lather. Leave it on his coat for ten minutes, and don’t let him lick his fur as the mixture could make him vomit. Rinse him thoroughly and repeat if necessary.

This mixture doesn’t keep so use it up within an hour of making it. Don’t smoke while you are washing your dog, as it is flammable. You may find it will lighten the color of black dogs and fade your clothes but it will definitely get rid of the skunk smell.

Skunk odor is not nice at all, but armed with these recipes you can make sure your dog smells sweet again before you cuddle up close to him.

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