If your dog has crossed paths with a skunk, you’re familiar with how awful the smell can be. The worst part is, it doesn’t stop with your dog. When a dog is skunked, the awful scent is actually caused by an oily substance that the skunk sprays at the dog. This substance is difficult to get rid of and can easily rub off onto your furniture, carpets and clothing. Fortunately, pet parents can use an easy, homemade solution to de-skunk stinky dogs.
Preparing to De-Skunk the Dog
The first thing you should do when you realize your dog has been skunked is to put him outside if he is not there already. Skunk oil will not come out of textiles and can easily ruin your furnishings.
Once the dog is outside, check his eyes for irritation. If the dog has been skunked directly in the face, the eyes will be red, watery and inflamed. If this is the case, flush them with warm water before proceeding.
Once you have checked the dog’s eyes and put him outside, prepare the de-skunking solution by mixing the following ingredients:
- 1-quart store-bought hydrogen peroxide
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1-2 drops liquid dish soap (adds deodorizing power)
- 2-3 drops essential oil – lemon
- 1-quart lukewarm water (for large dogs)
After mixing these ingredients in a large bucket and donning some rubber gloves, you are ready to begin de-skunking your dog. It is best to act as quickly as possible, because the longer the skunk stench remains on Fido's coat, the harder it is to remove.
De-skunking Your Dog
Rub the de-skunking mixture thoroughly into your dog’s coat and down towards his skin. Be careful to keep the solution away from your pooch's nose, eyes and mouth. Once he is thoroughly lathered, let it soak in for five minutes. Then rinse the dog thoroughly (and repeat if necessary) and towel off some of the excess moisture.
The next step in successfully de-skunking your dog is to follow up your homemade skunk solution with store-bought dog shampoo. Lather the dog’s coat with pet shampoo and rinse thoroughly. Once all the shampoo is gone, towel the dog dry and leave it outside (if the weather is warm) to air-dry. Within a few hours, the dog should be almost smell-free, although dogs with longer coats may need several de-skunking baths to get rid of the scent completely.
Keeping Your Dog Away From Skunks
If your dog roams free, there is a good chance he will eventually run into a skunk. The best way pet parents can avoid their dogs getting skunked is by keeping the dog in an enclosed yard or on a leash at all times. Of course, depending on where you live, a skunk could come into your yard.
Although being skunked is a stinky affair, it is not often harmful to dogs. With this easy de-skunking recipe, you can be prepared the next time Fido decides it’s time to get cozy with Pepé Le Pew.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian
Photo ©iStock.com/Pamela Moore