Oh no Fido! Tips and tools on how to de-skunk a dog


Nothing about dealing with a dog who has just gotten sprayed by a skunk is pleasant. While Fido may not mind the smell, to the dog owner it is a nightmare.

Skunks are generally docile creatures who can live in both urban and rural areas. A dog's curiosity can be enough for the skunk to feel threatened and spray an oily secretion. The thick yellow disaster contains sulfur, which explains the terrible smell. The longer the oil stays on the dog, the harder it is to get out.

The age-old myth of using tomato juice is defenseless against the oils. Tomato juice only masks the smell. To get rid of the horrid stench, the spray's main ingredients need to be chemically broken down. A simple homemade solution and a good old bath should do the trick with little to no cost.

Owners beware! Be sure to keep the dog in a room away from items such as furniture, flooring, cars and kennels. The oil can be easily spread if it comes into contact with anything. This includes the owner as well! Before beginning to de-skunk the dog, wear a pair of disposable gloves and clothing that one does not mind the oil getting on.

  1. In an open container, mix 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid soap. Never mix the ingredients in a closed container because it can cause a chemical reaction and explode. For a larger dog, dilute the solution can with lukewarm water. For creating the most effective solution, be sure to use fresh products. A box of baking soda that has been open for a while can be less effective because the components have had time to break down.

  2. Identify the area on the dog where it has been sprayed. Rub the mixture thoroughly with a sponge on the area. To avoid spreading the oil in other areas of the fur, be sure to only clean that exact spot. If the dog has been sprayed in the face, apply the mixture to a wet rag. Make sure the solution doesn't get into the dog's eyes, nose or mouth because this can hurt them.

  3. After the solution has had time to do its job, rinse the dog thoroughly. Do not leave the solution on the dog's fur for too long because the peroxide can act as a bleach.

  4. Towel-dry dog and place him in a sunny or warm room for a couple of hours to avoid getting a chill.

There are retail brands of odor removers available online and at the pet store. These products are great to use on areas the dog has come in contact with. Try these products to clean up dog kennels, carpets, pet bedding and more.

  • Nature's Miracle
  • Earth Friendly
  • Fur Clean Deodorizing Shampoo
  • Doggiekleen
  • Technu
  • Skunk Off

Best of luck to all the dog owners out there! The situation stinks now, but I'm sure Fido will think twice before approaching a skunk again.


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