Skunk smell can be one of the hardest, foulest scents to get rid of. If your dog is sprayed by a skunk, it can be difficult to remove the smell. This article will explore what to do to remove the smell from your dog (and your home if needed), as well as ways to prevent future skunk attacks.
Why Your Dog Got Sprayed
Skunks can propel their smelly spray up to 10 feet with incredible accuracy. This spray is horrible smelling and downright difficult to clean off. Skunks will spray their sulfurous liquid at anything that threatens them. Even dogs chained up or behind a fence can be sprayed at if the skunk feels threatened. Dogs may chase after or bark at a skunk, which can provoke spraying.
Why is Skunk Spray Hard to Clean?
Because of the oily nature of the spray, water alone can not wash it off. The spray is oily and sulfurous, a combination that leaves a hard to clean, rancid smell. As such, you will need a powerful combination of cleaners to handle this mess.
Cleaning your Dog
- First, leave your dog outside if possible. Bringing your dog indoors will only make cleaning harder, as they will probably wipe the spray all over you home. Skunk spray can seep into most rugs and furniture fabrics.
- Second, prepare a bath for your dog. The bath should be comfortably warm for them. You will need de-skunking shampoo. Alternatively, assuming you don’t have this, you can mix a few common household items together to make a suitable de-skunking mix. Combine 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, a ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. This recipe is for small and medium dogs. For large dogs, scale up the mixture as needed.
- Next, make sure to wash your dog thoroughly. If you are using a de-skunking product, follow the instructions on the bottle. If you are using the above mixture, rub the mixture into your dog’s fur thoroughly, and be sure to rinse well. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach your dog’s fur if left in for too long. Use a washcloth to clean your dog’s face and snout, to avoid getting the mix in their eyes.
- Last, wash your dog with their standard shampoo. This will help wash out any lingering spray or de-skunking mix.
Reducing the Risk of Skunk Sprays
To prevent your dog from getting sprayed by a skunk in the future, be sure to take the following precautions. Do not leave your dog unsupervised in the outdoors, even in your backyard. Do not let your dog off the leash when not at home, as it can be harder to pull them away from wild animals. If you see a skunk in your area, bring your dog inside. Do not leave dog food or water bowls unattended outside, as this can attract skunks, raccoons, and other pest animals.