Mar 4, 2013

The Best Way To De-Skunk Your Dog

Help! My Dog Got Sprayed By A Skunk!

Spring is just around the corner. After the winter we had, this is a welcome event.  More sunlight means lots more time spent outside with our dogs. Unfortunately, other creatures also enjoy the warmer weather - including skunks.  As a result, a lot more dogs end up getting sprayed. 

One of my clients, Luigi (pictured here), decided to get a head start and did not wait for the better weather. He got sprayed in two separate incidents last week, losing a claw in one of the battles.

Needless to say, he stank. His odor filled the car, and his usual seat-mate Lola refused to go near him.  The rain we got on Thursday only made the problem worse.

So how do you get that skunk smell to go away?

I'm sure most people have heard of using tomato juice baths to get rid of the smell. Unfortunately, they simply do not work.  In our experience, neither do the expensive products made specifically to clean your dog after its encounter.

The most effective treatment we have found was first written up in 1993 by Paul Krebaum. 

The Recipe

1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1 to 2 Tsp Liquid Soap (Dawn)

Do not wet your dog. Resist the urge to grab him and shove him in the shower - it will only weaken the solution you are going to use on him.

Using a plastic spatula or wooden spoon, mix together 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (DO NOT USE ANY OTHER STRENGTH), baking soda, and liquid soap in a plastic bucket. For very large dogs, just double the recipe.

Apply the mixture to your dog as soon as you mix it - the solution will get weaker over time. Work the mixture deep into the fur and leave it on for about 5 minutes. 

Keep the solution out of your dog's eyes – it will sting.

Rinse your pet thoroughly with warm water.

Some heavily “skunked” areas may need 2 or 3 washes.

Pour any left over mixture down the drain with running water. 

Do Not Store Or Bottle This Mixture - It Can Explode!

This is hands down the best method for getting the skunk smell out of your dog. 

Feel free to share your skunk stories and de-skunking remedies.

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  1. Two different friends of mine have had their dogs sprayed by skunks...I have been lucky so far (knock on wood).

    I am going to have to save this de-skunk tip just in case!


  2. I'm going to keep that for future reference. Hopefully I will never need it.

  3. My neighbor's dogs just got skunked this week! I'll have to share this with him for the next time they have an encounter with a PePe Le Pew! Thanks for the tips.

  4. My skunk story happened when my GSD got skunked during a camping trip in the middle of nowhere...It took many baths in the lake with all the shampoo and soap I had in the van just to weaken that smell enough to drive to a store with her ... where we did buy up all the tomato juice I could find and then back to the lake for many more baths in the lake...Stayed at the campground an extra fews days and after all this I could still smel the traces in her ruff for months

  5. Those are really effective! I tried it when boston (4 year old beagle) got skunked. My niece said that he reads your blog and when i tried it, it work! such a great info! Many thanks!

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  9. Skunk oil has one of the worst odors on the planet that many people will never smell in their lives. It is so bad that it actually feels like it burns one’s nose when it is freshly sprayed. If you have ever smelled it before, you know the feeling and probably the last thing you need is for your dog to be soaked in skunk smell as well. Know more here