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How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell With a Home Remedy to Eliminate Odor on Pets

Updated on April 25, 2014

Home Remedies for Skunk Smell on Dogs (and Cats)

Did your dog get sprayed by a skunk? Having a dog who smells like skunk can be a miserable experience!

But fortunately, many home remedies to remove skunk odor are actually more effective than some commercial skunk removal products, according to a series of experiments performed on the Discovery Channel show "Mythbusters."

Skunk spray contains thiols, an organic sulfur molecule that's also responsible for the odors associated with rotting flesh. Humans are extremely sensitive to thiols, so when these little black and white critters spray, we smell it from far, far away!

A skunk smell on a dog or cat can be absolutely overwhelming, and it will also permeate your home and/or car.

In this lens, we'll explore a two different home remedies to get rid of skunk smell on pets and we'll discuss how to eliminate odor from your home too! While you're handling a dog that has been sprayed by a skunk, always wear disposable latex gloves to prevent getting the spray on your skin, or you'll smell too!

Notably, while this article is written with dogs in mind, the same methods are safe for use on cats too!

Skunk Odor Home Remedy for Pets

Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Dish Soap

Our first skunk odor eliminator home remedy has three basic ingredients: Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Dish Soap. Why does it work? The ingredients combine to generate oxygen molecules; these bond to the thiols and change their structure. No thiols means no skunk smell!

Begin by gathering the following items:

- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

- Baking Soda

- Dish Soap

- Bowl

- Spoon

- Water

- Sponge

- Bathtub, Sink or Hose

- Latex Gloves

- Dog Shampoo

- Dog Conditioner (optional)


- 1/4 Cup of Baking Soda;

- 1 Quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide; and

- 2 Tablespoons of Dish Soap.

Step 1 --- Stir the skunk remover recipe in a bowl until the baking soda has dissolved.

Step 2 --- Rinse the pet's fur and wash out as much of the skunk spray as possible. Most pets are sprayed in the face, chest and front legs area.

Step 3 --- Apply the mixture with a damp sponge. Sponge it onto the pet's fur and work it into the underlying skin.

Step 4 --- Don latex gloves and massage the homemade skunk smell remover onto the dog's fur and skin. It must remain on for 10 minutes.

Step 5 --- Rinse the dog's fur thoroughly to remove the mixture.

Step 6 --- Shampoo the dog to remove residual odor. The dog's fur will retain the smell, even in regions that were not directly sprayed (The same way your hair smells like cigarette smoke after spending time in a smoky bar.) The pet shampoo will remove this residual odor.

Step 7 --- Rinse the shampoo from the pet's fur. Be sure to rinse the dog thoroughly, as shampoo residue can result in a rash or itching.

Step 8 --- Moisturize the dog's skin and improve the coat's smell by applying a pet conditioner. This step is optional.

Be warned: This skunk remover home remedy may lighten your pet's fur, particularly if you leave it on for longer than 10 minutes. But, really, it's a small price to pay when your home is overtaken by the noxious odor!

In addition, if you can apply the skunk odor eliminator concoction outside, that's ideal. Bring a bucket of warm water outside as a water source or opt for the garden hose in warm weather. This will prevent your home from getting contaminated with the smell.

Always use shampoos and conditioners designed specifically for pets. Human shampoos and conditioners will cause a rash and itchy skin.

Use caution when working around the pet's eyes and face.

Skunk Odor Remover Shampoo for Dogs

Do you live in a rural area? Are skunks common in your neighborhood? It's wise to keep some anti-skunk shampoo on-hand for your dog! Consider the following products.

Rene Cerney Photo
Rene Cerney Photo

An Alternative Skunk Odor Home Remedy

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Liquid Dish Soap

This second home remedy to remove skunk odor also utilizes items found around the house. This option is better if you need to treat a larger area of fur or a larger dog. This option is also suitable for eliminating stubborn odors.

You'll need the following ingredients for the homemade shampoo:

- 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

- 1 Pint of Hydrogen Peroxide; and

- 1 Cup of Liquid Dish Soap

- 1 Gallon of Water

In addition, you'll need an additional 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, which will be used as a rinse.

The procedure for this skunk remedy is as follows:

Step 1 --- Mix 1 cup of vinegar, 1 pint of hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of liquid dish soap.

Step 2 --- Don a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands. Otherwise, the odor may be transferred to your skin.

Step 3 --- Pour the solution onto the pet's fur and skin and work it into a lather. Leave it on for 10 minutes.

Step 4 --- Rinse the dog's fur really thoroughly. It will take a while to rinse out all the soap, so be patient. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear, free of soap bubbles. This is vital, as the dog may experience problems like itchy skin or a rash if soap residue remains.

Step 5 --- Assess the situation. The odor should be mostly gone. If it's still strong, repeat Steps 1 through 4 before proceeding.

Step 6 --- Mix 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1/2 gallon of water.

Step 7 --- Pour the vinegar and water solution over the dog's fur, paying special attention to the region that was sprayed by the skunk. Work it into the pet's fur and skin and allow it to air dry. Do not rinse!!

Step 8 -- Shampoo the dog after 24 hours, if you find the smell of Apple Cider Vinegar to be unappealing. This is an optional step.

The vinegar rinse will continue to eliminate odors, while leaving the pet's hair smooth and silky. In fact, many women enjoy using Apple Cider Vinegar as a homemade conditioner rinse!

How Did Your Dog Get Skunked?

How Did Your Pet Get Skunked? (Public Domain Photo)
How Did Your Pet Get Skunked? (Public Domain Photo)

What was your pet doing when he/she was sprayed by a skunk?

See results

How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell in Your House - Buy Nil-Odor, Skunk-Off Spray and SmellEze Deodorizing Powder

Now, the dog has been de-skunked, but the house still smells foul!

There is no one single remedy to get rid of skunk odor from a home's interior, but a combination of things will do the trick:

- Wait until the smell has dissipated outside and open the home's windows to ventilate.

- Pour baking soda onto cookie sheets and place them in the most heavily affected rooms. The baking soda will absorb the odor.

- Boil lemons and oranges in a pot of water. The citrus tends to conceal the smell.

- Spray your home with an anti-skunk aerosol spray like "Skunk-Off" and sprinkle a skunk odor-neutralizing powder onto carpeting. (See the product info below)

- Purchase an odor eliminator for the home's HVAC system. A few drops of "Nil-Odor" placed on a tray near the intake will do the trick. (See the product info below.)

Pet Care and Home Remedies for Pets

In addition to our tips on a homemade recipe to get rid of skunk odor, check out these other books with an array of home remedies for dogs and cats!

Your Thoughts? Comments?

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    • profile image

      LivingLikeCrazy 5 years ago

      Simple solutions are the best! Thanks for the information. I like your structure.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      I never knew this. I had always heard that you needed tomato juice. This sounds much better.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Good tips for pet owners.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      this is the BEST recipe!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 6 years ago

      Helpful article! These are great tips!

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens, Blessed!

    • profile image

      VoodooRULEs 6 years ago

      Strong lens! Thank you for the tips!

    • profile image

      mzareen 6 years ago

      The hydrogen peroxide recipe works great!

    • LaineA profile image

      Amy Stephens 6 years ago from Missouri

      Great Information To Know.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've never had this problem, but I am glad I have this recipe now just in case!

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Montreal

      Hopefully I won't need this advice but will remember it just in case!

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 6 years ago

      Very good advice.