Dog sprayed by skunk? Here's what to do first
Skunks have a smell unlike any other animal, so when your dog has been sprayed by one of these smelly creatures, you know immediately what’s happened.
The stench can set into your dog’s fur and grow stronger - and you definitely don’t want your pup stinking up your house!
You’ll want to remove skunk oil from your dog’s coat and skin as soon as possible - especially since the smelly stuff can linger for up to a year if not effectively removed quickly after your pooch is sprayed.
Our Thomasville vets offer some tips to help you get rid of the smell - and prevent your dog from getting sprayed again.
3 Safe Ways to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs
Your pooch will likely catch at least some of the spray on his or her face, so check your dog’s eyes first, and flush out any skunk spray residue that’s around your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth.
If your dog’s eyes are red or watering, rinse them with eyewash solution (the kind used for humans is okay) or cool water. Once their face is taken care of, move on to the rest of your pup’s body.
If possible, use these methods outside to keep the skunk smell out of your home. Also try to stay in a lighted area to discourage the skunk from revisiting.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda & Dish Soap
Our vets recommend mixing these ingredients together to create a skunk bath:
- 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (only use 3%)
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap
- Immediately after he’s been sprayed, wash your dog with the mixture.
- Put on rubber gloves to rub the mixture into your dog’s coat (avoid the eyes).
- Wait about 20 minutes before washing the mixture out of your dog’s fur - you want to give the soap time to clean the pungent odor.
- Follow up with dog shampoo, and rinse your dog’s fur well.
- Repeat the process 2 to 3 more times - as much as is required.
Don’t let your dog lick the mixture, as it may cause him or her to vomit. It can also be flammable, so do not create and store it in preparation for a possible incident, as it might explode if left in a bottle.
Hydrogen peroxide may also cause some bleaching if you’ve got a black dog. The longer it stays on, the more bleaching may occur.
2. Skunk-specific shampoo, soak or spray
Some products on the market are specially formulated to eliminate skunk stink.
They are usually available from your veterinarian or pet supply store (if you live in an area that’s heavily populated with skunks, you may want to have the product at home so you’ll be prepared to use it when needed).
Before using a soak, spray or shampoo, wipe excess skunk spray from your dog’s coat first, then review the instructions carefully before applying the solution.
No matter which products you use, it’s important to keep these from getting into your dog’s eyes, as they can damage the cornea and cause ulceration. Ask your vet how often you should repeat the bath.
3. A Feminine Hygiene Product
Another option may be to use a douche and water to rid your dog of the skunk stench.
For small to medium pooches, mix two ounces of Massengill douche with 1 gallon of water. Double the amounts of both of these ingredients for large dogs.
- Thoroughly soak your dog with the mixture by pouring it over him or her.
- After 15 minutes, rinse it out of your pooch’s coat.
- Use dog shampoo to bathe your dog, then rinse thoroughly.
Ask your veterinarian if this is the right option for your dog and how often you’ll need to repeat.
How to Keep Dogs from Getting Skunked
Once your dog has been skunked once, you both probably want to keep it from happening again! While there are no guarantees, here are some ways to reduce the risk of an encounter with a stinky skunk:
- Make your yard less attractive to skunks - cover trash cans and bring food, dog treats or anything else skunks find yummy indoors.
- Light your yard with solar lights at night. This will make those back corners and nooks and crannies less of a draw.
- Because skunks are nocturnal, they start to come out at dusk. Perhaps you can leave a porch or yard light on to deter these smelly animals. Also follow your dog out if they are in your yard in the evening, so you can watch for any signs of an impending encounter.
Do you think you may have a serious skunk problem? Pet-safe pest control sprays are available to help. You may also want to look for a professional to treat your yard.
If your pup gets into a smelly situation and you're unable to banish the stench, the dog groomers at Thomasville Veterinary Hospital Urgent Care & Surgery are here to help. We offer bathing and professional grooming for all breeds of cats and dogs, and can get your pet’s coat clean, healthy and ready for snuggles again.
Our daily bathing services include a shampooing, nail trim, ear cleaning, anal gland extraction, blow drying and brushing.
Is it time for a grooming session? Our professional pet groomers can help your furry friend put their best paw forward. Contact Thomasville Veterinary Hospital Urgent Care + Surgery to book a grooming session. Our vets provide grooming services for pets in Thomasville and greater Davidson County.
Looking for a vet in the Thomasville area?
We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
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