Taking the Stink Out of Getting Skunked

A skunked dog is a sad sight indeed. And stinky. But take a moment to consider the skunk and that will help you to prevent an encounter in the first place.
The skunk roams by night—it’s rare to see one during the day. They eat fruit, bugs, lizards, and the like. They have walnut-sized glands at the base of their tail that emit an oily spray called a thiol, a foul-smelling organic sulphur compound. The glands hold enough smelly concoction for five or six strikes, and it takes up to 10 days to replenish, so skunks need to be selective about who they spray. Perhaps that’s why they give plenty of warning. They stamp their feet and thrust their tail high in the air in preparation…
If you haven’t gotten out of the way by then, the skunk is going to keep its tail lifted and spray. It has muscles around the glands that project the spray quickly and accurately, ideally at their irritant’s face.
The skunk’s spray is highly irritating, burning and it smells awful, but it’s not deadly. And, you can vanquish the smell using a mix of common household items.
Here is the recipe for de-skunking your dog. For more information on when to seek veterinary attention, click here.

Skunk Odor Removal Recipe 

This recipe works by chemically altering the thiols, the chemical compound that makes skunk spray stink.

  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
  • 1-2 tsp. Dawn dish soap

1. Mix the above ingredients in an open container, such as a plastic bucket. The mixture should be fizzy. 2. Apply mixture to your pet’s fur from the ears to the tail and massage in well. Be very careful using on the face to ensure none gets into eyes.
3. Let the solution sit on the fur for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Rinse with lukewarm water.
5. Repeat as necessary; if your pet has a dense coat, multiple treatments may be necessary.
Safety and Usage Notes
This recipe is for a patient weighing approximately 20 lbs. Increase amounts proportionally to the weight of your pet. Use sterile saline eyewash (NOT contact lens solution or Visine) for the eyes. It will help flush out the eyes. Foaming at the mouth is normal as the “spray” has a bitter taste.
Check for any bite/scratch wounds. Verify with your veterinarian that your pet’s rabies vaccine is current.
This mixture may lighten the color of your pet’s fur. Do not store this solution. If kept in a closed container, the contents will explode.

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