It’s something most dogs owners think about but figure will never happen, right? I found out Saturday night that when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, it’s worse than what you imagine.
I made these three discoveries:
I had previously taken some notes about what to do when dog meets skunk, so after frantically searching my hard drive for the information, I was relieved to realize we had all the necessary supplies on hand.
Here’s what you’ll need if this happens to your dog1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
¼ cup Baking Soda
1-2 teaspoons Dish Soap
First, make sure to call your vet if your dog was bitten or injured by the skunk. If there are no injuries, you’ll want to act quickly while your dog is still wet. If the spray dries on the dog’s fur, the odor is much harder to remove and can last for months. If at all possible, do the following steps outside to avoid getting any skunk oil inside your home. If you must bring your dog inside, head directly to the tub or shower.
Follow these 10 simple steps!
- Don’t hose your dog down with water right away which can spread the oily substance over your dog’s coat.
- Put on those rubber gloves (and some old clothes you don’t mind throwing away.)
- If you can see the skunk spray on your dog’s coat, use paper towels to remove the excess oil, being careful not to spread it around.
- Gently rinse you dog’s eyes with saline solution if he’s been sprayed in the eyes.
- In an open container, mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. Never mix or shake these ingredients in a covered container as they produce a chemical reaction when combined.
- Massage the solution into the areas of fur that got sprayed. Use the solution on a old washcloth if you need to apply it to your dog’s face (avoid his eyes, nose and mouth).
- Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.
- Repeat with additional batches of the mixture if necessary, until the dog no longer smells.
- Finish up with an overall shampooing using your normal dog shampoo, rinse and dry him off.
- Discard any remaining mixture. Do not cover it or store it for later use.
Several commercial products are available for removing skunk oil from your pet, but this mixture did an amazing job and most people already have hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap on hand. Since skunk attacks usually happen at night and you need to react quickly when they happen, I plan on restocking and keeping an extra amount of these supplies at home. I seriously hope it never happens again, but I would hate to have to make a late night run to the store while my dog is miserably waiting outside with skunk spray drying on her coat.
Luckily, Haley didn’t get sprayed directly in the eyes and she didn’t seem nearly as stressed about the whole event as we were. As a matter of fact, after she was finished with her one hour de-skunking process, she ran to the window, sniffed the air, then looked at me as if to say “I think there’s an animal out in the yard!” Gee, I was hoping she had learned a little something about skunks!
Now we’re just left with the remnants of what happens when a skunk sprays just outside your house and all your windows are open. Even though the dog is clean, the entire house has been given multiple smell tests, room sprays have been dispensed and scented candles still burn, there are still weird pockets of skunk aroma that tend to form in different areas of the house, then dissipate, then form again somewhere else.
It wasn’t the most fun I’ve had staying up until 3:00 on a Sunday morning, but it turned out well in the end and hopefully all will be back to normal soon as this funky skunk spirit decides to leave us for good!
Have you ever had to deal with a dog that got sprayed by a skunk? What worked for you?