If your pet (or you) has had a surprise encounter with a skunk, you'll find that it's very difficult to get the smell out.
That's because skunk spray is actually an oil, so you cannot just rinse it off, and even a scrub with just regular soap is not enough to get rid of it.
Here are some ways to get rid of skunk odor:
1. Commercial Skunk Remover
Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover is a popular option, but it's unlikely that you'll have it on hand when you or your pet gets sprayed. If you don't want to go out looking for a commercial product, you can try a home remedy.
2. Tomato Juice
The effectiveness of tomato juice at removing skunk odor is debated. Some say it works, some say it doesn't.
The obvious problem is that you need a lot of it--enough to bathe in. And while it might be a good remedy to try on yourself, if you use it on your pet, there is a risk that his coat will get stained red.
3. Peroxide, Baking Soda, and Dish Detergent
This method is often touted as the most effective. In a bucket or large bowl, mix together one quart of three percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter of a cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of strong liquid soap, like dish washing detergent.
Once you mix it, you must immediately wash your pet with it, because if you wait the mixture will lose its effectiveness. Don't put water on your pet first; it's most effective if you just apply the peroxide mixture. Be sure to scrub your pet's entire coat before you rinse. Take care not to get the peroxide mixture in your pet's eyes, nose, or mouth.
If you have any solution left over, discard it. If you try to store it, it could explode.
You can also use this solution to clean your house if your pet spread the skunk scent before you realized he was sprayed.
Good luck, and try to avoid skunks from now on.