When Fido gets too close to
“Pepe Le Pew”
How to deal with skunk odor
When a dog encounters a skunk, the experience is usually uneventful. However, in some cases, your pet may try to get too friendly with the skunk and end up getting sprayed. While this may cause a great deal of distress to your pet, there are few serious long-term health effects.
If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, the first thing you want to do is make sure your pet is physically ok. If your dog or cat was scratched, it’s best you contact the vet asap to find out if your pet is up to date on its rabies shot. Some skunks carry rabies so you must be 100% sure.
Next you want to check your pet’s nose and eyes. They often get blasted there and it’s very uncomfortable. Take a wet cloth or some baby wipes and gently wipe these areas clean. If the eyes took a direct hit or if the eyes remain watery or extra red after cleaning, then an immediate visit to the vet is called for. Skunk spray in the eyes is extremely painful.
In some cases, the skunk spray may cause an irritation of the membranes around the eyes (called conjunctivitis). For this reason, it is usually a good idea to instill an ophthalmic ointment or drops into the eyes.
Next it’s time to get the smell out of the fur/hair. The traditional way is to use tomato juice. Cover the dog or cat’s fur with liberal amounts of tomato juice and work into the coat. To be really effective, tomato juice must be left on the coat to dry. Rinse well. Shampoo with your normal pet shampoo and rinse extra well. This method works pretty well for most dogs. Sometimes, depending on how badly your pet got sprayed, there may still be a bit of residual skunk smell. Repeat the procedure again if necessary. The smell is usually bearable at this point and goes away completely after a few days.
Here’s another way to get rid of skunk smell and it’s reputed to be better than the tomato juice method.
1 quart of fresh/never opened 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). After being opened, hydrogen peroxide will eventually turn into water (H2O).
1/4 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, when combined, become a churning "chemical engine" that dissolves very quickly. That’s why it has to be used immediately after mixing. The soap breaks up the oils in the skunk spray, allowing the other ingredients to do their work.
Using a pair of rubber gloves mix the ingredients together IN AN OPEN container like a bucket. Try to see where your pet got hit and rub the fizzing mixture well into the fur while avoiding the eyes and other sensitive parts like the nose and mouth. Let it stay on for 10 minutes or longer. Rinse the dog extra well with lukewarm tap water. Don’t wash the mixture into your dog’s eyes (use a washcloth to cover the eyes if you’re rinsing the head). You may need to do this twice if your pet took a particularly nasty spraying. The solution will not change the color of your pet’s fur. DO NOT STORE or REUSE MIXTURE as it will build up pressure in a closed container and possibly explode.