Skunks are small mammals that share many of our cities and towns. Since they eat just about anything, these black-and-white critters get close to human homes because they love picking through garbage. In that, they are similar to another urban bandit, the raccoon.
Unfortunately, because skunks get so close, they can sometimes tango with your furbaby. Often, they’re not especially afraid of dogs and other animals, which is why many a dog gets sprayed by a skunk. It’s a difficult situation, especially when you see those puppy eyes — and then that smells hits you!
Skunks use their spray to defend themselves, and they can spray up to 15 feet. That means they can get your furry friend even if he doesn't get too close. The spray contains thiols, chemicals that produce the strong and persistent smell.
What to Do When Your Dog Is Sprayed by a Skunk
The first order of business if your dog has been sprayed is to check to make sure there are no injuries. Did they get bitten or scratched? If yes, your furry friend needs a visit to the vet — pronto. Skunks can carry rabies and other diseases.
Be sure to check your dog’s eyes, too. If your dog got a direct hit in the face, their eyes may have gotten sprayed and irritated. If this has happened, rinse your fur baby’s eyes well with cool water or use an eye wash designed for dogs.
The next order of business is to get rid of that skunk smell on your dog. Start by resisting that woe-begone puppy look. Leave your furbaby outside for a while. That skunk “spray” is actually an oil, and the smell will be overwhelming inside your house. Try to do the bathing outside as well, so you don’t trap the odor inside.
How to Get Skunk Smell Off a Dog
Simply bathing your dog doesn't mean the smell will be gone. The scent clings to everything, so be sure to use old towels and clothes you don’t mind ditching after you clean your dog. Get your furbaby into a bath outside or in an open space such as a garage.
Create a solution by mixing:
- 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide (3% hydrogen peroxide)
- 1 tsp dishwashing soap
- ¼ cup baking soda
Mix in a bowl and apply to any areas that have been affected and massage it in. If your dog has been sprayed in the face, use a rag to gently clean it, taking care to protect the mouth and eyes. Rinse the formula off with lukewarm water after about 20 minutes. Repeat until the smell goes away or is greatly reduced and follow up with a shampoo to wash out the mixture. Dispose of any extra mixture left over, and be sure to give your furry buddy a treat! They deserve it!