How to Safely Get Rid of Skunk Smell Off a Dog
Was your dog an unfortunate victim of a skunk spray attack? Here are some tips on removing the nauseous skunk smell from your dog as quickly and safely as possible.
1. Wash with Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda Mixture
Create a mixture containing the following ingredients: a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and a squirt of Dawn dish soap.
Next, wash your dog’s coat with the mixture as if it was shampoo (don’t wet your dog’s coat with water before the mixture is applied). Let the mixture sit for a minute before you rinse it off. The solution is safe to use as long as it doesn’t get into your dog’s eyes and orifices.
Each ingredient plays an important role in the removal of the skunk smell. For example, baking soda can neutralize the skunk odor because it is amphoteric, meaning it will react with both acids and bases. It will react specifically with thioacetates (compounds that contribute to the disgusting skunk smell).
One warning for owners of black or dark-haired dogs. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent so there is a possibility of your dog’s hair getting bright after the mixture is applied.
Also, don’t pre-make the mixture and store it for future skunk spray attacks. Storing the mixture for a long period of time may potentially cause an explosion due to the chemical reactions.
2. Get Skunk-Off Shampoo or Spray
If you live in an area that has a lot of skunks then having a ready-made product could make or break how quickly you can get rid of the skunk smell from your dog.
Skunk-Off is a popular product among dog owners who regularly suffer from skunk spray attacks. It comes in several forms including shampoo and spray.
3. Don’t Wash Your Dog with Tomato Juice
Some folks may suggest bathing your dog in tomato juice to get rid of the skunk smell. We advise against it. For starters, there’s nothing in the juice that actually neutralizes the rancid smell of the skunk spray.
If anything, all the tomato juice does is temporarily masks the smell. The juice is also going to make a huge red mess when your dog attempts to shake it off.
Can Skunk Spray Hurt a Dog?
As a dog owner, the smell isn’t the only thing to worry about. Skunk spray could have implications on your dog’s health, especially if the dog is heavily sprayed in the face.
While rare, there is a possibility of your dog developing a form of anemia called Heinz-body anemia (a condition that destroys red blood cells). Dogs with this condition may show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing difficulties. Dogs that consume onions and garlic also suffer from the same condition.
Don’t take any chances if your dog has been heavily sprayed by a skunk. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible, especially if you think the dog got sprayed directly in the eyes or mouth. Your dog may have also got bitten so you will want her to be checked for rabies as well.
How Long the Skunk Smell Last on a Dog
This will depend on a number of factors such as how quickly you take action, and the part of the body where your dog got sprayed by the skunk. According to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, odors from a skunk can last several weeks if left untouched.
On the other hand, dog owners who take action immediately may notice the smell disappear in a day or two. If you live in an area known for wild skunks then it may not be such a bad idea to have some baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide solution ready to clean up a potential skunk attack.