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Removing skunk odor from your dog

Updated on January 6, 2013
Is your dog smelly as a skunk?
Is your dog smelly as a skunk? | Source

Is your dog smelly as a skunk?

Did your dog encounter a skunk and know he smells horrible? All dogs love the outdoors, from simply playing in the grass, sniffing new smells to exploring new places and making new encounters. However, not all encounters turn out pleasurable. Owners can tell from quite a distance if their dog has encountered a black and white stinker.

Because of the dog's inquisitive nature, every skunk encounter very likely ends up with a dog getting sprayed. These representatives of the Mustelidae family may be reluctant to release the offensive smell they are famous for (after all, it will take another 10 days to produce another dose of eau de toilet!) but when feeling threatened enough they will do what instinct has taught them to do.

The spray derives from the skunk's anal glands located just beneath the tail. The sulfur contained in this mist is what gives it the particular rotten egg smell that seems to linger forever on clothes or pet's fur.

Tomato juice has been thought to work for some years but in reality it does not help much, the dog ultimately will end up smelling like a skunk sprayed tomato. Fortunately, there are some more effective home remedies that can help remove most of the offensive smell. The good thing is that most ingredients can be found in most homes without the need to a trip to the supermarket.


How to Remove Skunk Odor from Dog

To remove that horrendous skunk odor from your dog you will need the following ingredients mixed throughout:

  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap (preferably Dawn)

You will bathe the dog in the mixture and leave it on for about 5 minutes. Then you rinse it off. In most instances you will need to reapply in order to remove most of the odor. This mixture needs to be used immediately and cannot be stored for future use. The only problem with this mixture is that due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide it may slightly bleach the pet's fur. It is also important to avoid the eyes, nose and mouth. Be aware as well that when the weather is damp and/or it rains or the dog's fur gets wet, the smell may return.

Other than the terrible smell, if the dog is sprayed in the face, which is the most likely scenario, the dog may experience nausea and eye irritation. These are temporary side effects which should go away shortly thereafter. You can help by flushing the dog's eyes with water but if the dog rubs continuously and the eyes appear irritated let your veterinarian know.

There has been an instance where a dog suffered anemia after being sprayed. This is a rare instance, however, keep a watchful eye for symptoms such as lethargy, diluted urine color, and/or general weakness.

* Did you know? Skunk smell can be really horrible, nauseous and offensive, but skunks have been able to save lives as well. As a matter of fact, Mercaptan, a chemical present in the skunk's spray is added to odorless cooking gas so that people can smell it and detect leaks before they become fatal. Not all bad things come to harm, after all.

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