Your Dog Got Skunked! Now What?

Has your dog ever been “skunked”? If so, you know how difficult it is (nearly impossible) to get rid of the strong skunk odor.

In this post, we’re sharing some tips on what to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk and how you can attempt to remove the odor from her coat and collar.

If your dog has ever been skunked, we’d love to hear what you did. What worked and what didn’t?

What to do if your dog is sprayed by a skunk

The following solution is what dogIDs recommends for removing skunk odor from your dog:

  • 1 qt. hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 C. baking soda
  • 1 tsp or so of a liquid soap like Dawn or Palmolive (or even shampoo)

How to use the solution:

1. Mix the baking soda and soap together. Then add in the hydrogen peroxide.

2. Gently pour the solution over your dog, being extra careful not to get it in her eyes.

3. Rinse your dog well with clean water afterwards. The peroxide can turn a dog’s coat yellowish, so it’s important to rinse well.

Note that the solution is meant to be used immediately because it has no shelf life. The peroxide/soda activity is what’s important. This causes a chemical reaction to break down the skunk odor, and the solution becomes useless after storage.

How to remove skunk odor from your dog’s collar

To remove skunk odor from your dog’s collar, you should be able to soak most types of dog collars in the above solution. Just be aware that the solution will likely ruin some types of collars, such as leather dog collars. But then again, if the collar’s been skunked, it’s pretty much ruined anyway!

One dog’s skunk story

Janine Carroll has a dog named Reilly who was “skunked” last fall.

“She took a direct hit to the face after sniffing under the wrong bush at dusk,” Carroll said.

This particular skunk had been staying under a neighbor’s porch for the last few days.

In an attempt to remove the odor, Carroll rinsed Reilly with the hose outside and then gave her multiple baths using the same hydrogen-peroxide solution listed above.

Unfortunately, since Reilly was sprayed in the face, Carroll didn’t want to risk getting the solution in her dog’s eyes so she was unable to get the odor out entirely.

“We did contact a groomer to ask about a bath for her, and they told us they use the exact same solution,” Carroll said. “So if we were able to wash her at home, that was best since it was already traumatic for her.”

Carroll said the hydrogen-peroxide solution worked much better for her neighbor’s dog who was also sprayed by a skunk. Luckily, this dog wasn’t sprayed directly in the face.

Make sure your dog was not injured by the skunk

If your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you should also check to make sure your dog does not have any injuries, according to Dr. Richard Skalos. He is a veterinarian with Vet24Seven.

Make sure to look at your dog’s eyes and mouth for any potential bites that may have occurred during the altercation with the skunk, he said. The skunk spray itself can also harm a dog’s eyes, causing corneal damage or ulcers.

For the smell, Skalos said nothing is perfect but he also recommends the hydrogen-peroxide solution (above) to his clients because so many people tend to have those ingredients on hand.

He said it’s safe to leave the solution on a dog’s coat for up to 20 minutes before rinsing and then to repeat as needed.

And what about that myth out there about using tomato juice?

“For tomato juice, I have heard mixed results,” Skalos said. “It is probably one of the weakest options to remove the smell, and most likely a myth, but nothing proven.”

Now we want to hear your stories! Has your dog ever been “skunked”? Let us know how you got the odor out. Were you able to keep your dog’s collar?

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