Dog Sprayed by a Skunk? Here's How to Handle It

Posted by Crystal Long
Dog and skunk in the grass.

Being active outdoors with your pooch is a fun experience for both human and dog, but sometimes, nature can throw you a few curveballs. Here's what to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk.

We've all seen it in a movie scene one time or another -- usually after a comedic scene where one gets sprayed by a skunk, the skunk-spray-victim would have to sit in a large bathtub of tomato juice to get rid of the foul skunk odor. However, contrary to popular belief, tomato juice is not a way to de-skunk. Yes folks, sitting in a tub of tomato juice (or tomato sauce for that matter) for de-skunking is, sadly, just a myth! While the acidic substance simply masks the horrid skunk smell, it does not actually eliminate it.

If you or your family are the outdoorsy type, you and your pooch spend a lot of time in nature. And while being in nature definitely has its perks (like breathing in fresh air!), mother nature can be cruel sometimes, and your curious pooch might come across wildlife they shouldn't be bothering, like skunks. With skunk spray being powerful enough to chase off a bear, before running out and buying every can of tomato juice off the shelves, follow these steps to get the pungent skunk smell off your dog.

Help! What Should I Do If My Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk?

Skunk spray is a wildly unpleasant smell: it can be described as a mix of rotten eggs and burning tires. (I know, blegh!) It's a skunk oil produced by the anal glands of the skunk to defend against predators, and it's made up of sulfurous chemicals called thioacetates or thiols. Skunk oil can get everywhere in your pooch, like your dog's fur, dog's eyes, and dog's coat -- directly absorbing into your dog's skin. Here's what to do to de-skunk your smelly pooch, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

Step one: While your first instinct might be to take your dog indoors straight into the bathtub, don't do this. The skunk oil can quickly get over everything in your house. Be sure to put on some old clothes and rubber gloves before you handle the skunk smell, to prevent the skunk odor from transferring to your skin. Check your dog's eyes, if they are red or irritated, immediately flush them with cool water.

Step two: While there are commercial products you can buy at pet supply stores, like the Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover and the Earth Friendly Skunk Odor Remover, it's unlikely that you will have them on hand when your doggo gets skunk sprayed. Instead, mix up a home remedy for some DIY prowess.

Wearing your rubber gloves, wash your dog thoroughly in this solution, then rinse:

• 1 quart of 3 % hydrogen peroxide (usually available at any pharmacy)
• 1/4 cup of baking soda
• 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap

Be careful not to get the solution in their eyes! And don't leave it on for too long as peroxide can bleach fur. Repeat if necessary.

Step three: Now, your dog should be fully de-skunked. Finish off the de-skunking process by washing your dog with its regular pet shampoo, removing any residual solution and leaving your pooch smelling fresh & clean! Towel dry your dog and put them in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours to finish drying.

Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover
Amazon

Has your dog gotten sprayed by a skunk before? Let us know in Facebook comments!

READ MORE: Do Skunks Actually Make Great Pets?

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Dog Sprayed by a Skunk? Here's How to Handle It