Skunk spray on your dog is a stinky mess, but here are 7 steps to treat it

If you’re dog is sprayed by a skunk, follow these steps to cleaning it up

Stock image. Matthias Zomer (Pexels)

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely had that dreaded look of “oh no” at least one time — or even multiple times — when your furry friend comes to the door after being let outside.

It’s the awful moment where you realize that your dog came back to the house with a smell it didn’t leave it with, and now it’s time for an extensive cleanup.

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Skunk spray unfortunately can be a common price of dog ownership. For those who have never had to deal with such a problem, then 1) Be thankful and 2) Here’s a guide on what to do when your dog is the victim of skunk spray, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

1. Try and do the cleanup outside

This is preferred so you don’t have to risk the smell invading your home. But if the weather isn’t good or it isn’t as convenient, the bathtub is obviously the next best place.

2. Check the dog’s eyes

If the any portion of the skunk’s spray has hit the eyes of the dog and they appear red or irritated, immediately put cool water on them.

3. NEVER initially rinse or use water, or use tomato juice

The use of water comes later, but it’s imperative NOT to do it right away before the skunk’s spray is off of the dog. Using water right away while the skunk’s spray is still on the dog will make the stench worse and cleanup more of a hassle. On another note, contrary to what some believe, tomato juice doesn’t make the odor go away and just creates a bigger mess.

4. Mix these ingredients

To create the best solution to getting rid of the skunk smell, mix the following ingredients:

  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda.
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap.

5. Wash the dog with the mixture above

Again, this should be done immediately after the dog has been sprayed and before any use of water. It’s also important not to get the mixture in the dog’s eyes or to prepare the mixture ahead of time for future use, as it could explode in a bottle.

6. Rinse thoroughly

This is the point where you can use water throughout the dog’s fur, and use it quickly. Leaving the mixture on too long can bleach the dog’s fur.

7. Wash with pet shampoo

Once the smell is gone and the mixture has done its work, finish the job by washing your dog with pet shampoo and then rinsing thoroughly. Towel-dry the dog and put it in a warm room for a couple of hours so it doesn’t get chilly.

By now, the dog should be good as new, and ready to go chase the next skunk it sees so it can start this process all over again! If you’re lucky, maybe your dog will have learned its lesson and not do so again, but don’t hold your breath!

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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