How to Remove Skunk Smell From Your Dog   

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Dogs are curious creatures and enjoy chasing yard critters, such as squirrels and rabbits. But what happens when your furry friend happens upon a skunk and they get sprayed?

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, don’t panic. Check out these helpful tips for removing skunk odor from your dog right after your dog is sprayed and in the days following.

What to Do if Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk

Getting sprayed by a skunk is never a pleasant experience, even for our canine companions that have a ball rolling around in anything smelly. If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, you will know right away. In fact, you will probably smell it before your dog comes looking for you. Most people describe skunk spray as sulphurous, or smelling like burning plastic or rubber; the spray will also look like a yellowish liquid.

If you discover your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, follow these important first steps.

Keep Them Outside


Proceed to calmly contain them outdoors. Skunk spray is extremely pungent, and because it’s oil-based, it can easily stink up the whole house and the scent can linger for days. Slip a leash on your pup if they have their collar on, or make sure they stay in a fenced-in area.

Put on Old Clothes and Cleaning Gloves


Skunk spray and oils can easily transfer onto fabrics, so take care to wear old clothes (like what you might wear to do yard work) when you bathe or handle your pet. You can also wear long cleaning gloves to minimize the chance of getting the oils on your skin.

Check for Scratches, Bites and Irritation


Next, thoroughly look over your dog for open wounds, such as scratches and bites. Skunks are notorious for carrying rabies, a disease that is transmitted through infected saliva. That means if a skunk has saliva on it paws, it can give your dog rabies with a single scratch. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has been scratched or bitten by a skunk, even if they are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

Also look to see if your pup’s eyes are irritated. Skunk spray in the eye requires medical attention.

If you don’t find any wounds on your pet, and their eyes are not irritated, you are can treat your pet at home for skunk sprays.

How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell From Your Dog

Step 1: Act Fast

Skunk spray is much harder to remove from your dog’s fur once it dries. You’ll want to bathe your dog as soon as possible after you examine them for scratches, bites and eye irritation.

Step 2: Use the Right Cleaning Solution

Contrary to popular belief, tomato juice baths are not the solution for removing skunk odor from your dog. Your pup will need a bath, but make sure you’re using a cleaning solution that does more than mask the smell.

Ideally, you will want to bathe your dog with a commercial-grade skunk odor remover for pets. Your veterinarian can recommend a product and might have it in stock at their office. But if you don’t have a special skunk solution, you can also try this home remedy.

Mix the following ingredients in an open container:

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

Do not put the solution in a closed container; storing or placing it in a closed container can cause the container to rupture, resulting in possible injury to you and your dog. Take care not to use this solution directly on your dog’s face, as it can cause damage to the eyes. Be careful not to get the solution too close to your nose or eyes, either.

Note: These ingredients in skunk odor removal products are designed to break down oils on your pet’s skin, which helps remove the scent. Their fur might be bleached in the process. This is a normal reaction.

Step 3: Rinse the Solution Quickly


Leave the solution on your pet for no more than one minute, and then rinse your dog thoroughly. Repeat as needed until the skunk oil is removed.

Step 4: Wash With Regular Dog Shampoo


Once you remove all the skunk oil, proceed to wash your dog with regular dog shampoo. You can also use dish soap if you do not have dog shampoo.

Tip: Do not use human shampoo on your dog, as it can cause irritation and dry out their skin.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Dog


Skunk spray can cause dermatitis and other medical issues. After you bathe your dog, and in the days following, monitor your pet for any skin abnormalities, including scabs and crusts. It also doesn’t hurt to check their skin again for bites or scratches you might have missed.

Check Their Vaccination History


An encounter with a skunk is also a good reminder to get your dog up to date on their rabies vaccination. Schedule an appointment with your vet to make sure your furry friend is protected from rabies and other diseases yard critters are known to carry.

Your dog getting sprayed by a skunk isn’t a fun experience, but with some quick thinking and the right supplies, your dog can start smelling and feeling like their normal self again sooner.














Skunks are out and about in the season of summer/fall..   Do you know how to rid your fur baby of the skunk stench from your animal’s fur.    This article gives you the recipe for a wash that will rid the fur of the skunk’s scent.   In addition, make sure you check your fur baby  for any signs of being bitten or scratched by the skunk, which could  introduce the rabies virus to your pet.   If  there is a battle between your pet and a skunk make sure that your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date.

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  1. thinkdo

    Kind of like the skunks where I live. You”ll see the mama and all the babies lined up behind her coming to my place. One of the most endearing things I have ever saw in my life was a male peacock and all his fine and beautiful feathers and a baby skunk riding on his tail feathers just going along. He didn”t know right away and the little skunk was like, hello see what I can do and I”m not afraid, and then he turned and spotted the little skunk and flicked his tail feathers and off rolled the baby. It was endearing. Nature is beautiful when they know you won”t hurt them but instead protect them.

    1. (Post author)

      What a great story. And so true. We see it all of the time in the animal kingdom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations.


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