Dog Sprayed With Skunk Odor

What's the best way to clean up a dog with skunk odor?


Q: My Golden Retriever got sprayed by a skunk last night. He smelled so bad that we made him sleep in the garage. My groomer can’t take him right away. What can we do in the meantime? The smell is making us sick.

A: Once the warm weather hits, skunks come out in force and no self-respecting Golden Retriever can resist sniffing them out -- with the regrettable consequences you have described so well!

The most popular home remedy for de-skunking your dog is as follows:

1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide

¼ cup baking soda

1 teaspoon dish detergent (I prefer Dawn)

Wet your smelly boy down and rub the mixture into his coat. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. If you have any of this solution left, discard it immediately because it becomes combustible when stored in a closed container.

When I started grooming, people often used tomato juice to remove skunk odor. Because it is acidic, it combats the alkaline skunk oil but it makes an awful mess. I recall one big Samoyed who arrived at the grooming shop after such a home treatment and we were surprised to see that he had turned a lovely shade of pink! 

In our salon, we use a powdered enzymatic product, soaking the dog in the solution and following up with a deodorizing shampoo. There are also some effective products on the market that use enzymes to digest the odor-causing bacteria, but they can cause irritation if you get them in your dog’s eyes. It’s a good idea to keep them on hand for your Golden’s future late-night adventures so he won’t have to be exiled to the garage again.


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Nicole - 254729   

6/28/2012 9:03:41 AM

We have had this happen on more than one occasion. *sigh* We found a non-toxic product called Quick n Brite and decided to give it a try. I didn't like the mixtures I found online that you had to make sure they wouldn't explode or get in my dogs eyes. Quick n Brite is actually an all purpose cleaner, but when we talked to a representative at the company they were very confident that it would work and it did! I included a link to their blog but basically you mix the concentrated Quick n Brite solution with water and spray it on your pet (or carpet or whatever else it gets onto) and let it sit then hose it off. My dog allows it to soak in for about 10 minutes before we rinse and we found that the longer it sits the better job it does. We also use this product to clean our dog (when he is not sprayed by skunks!) and it is great to make his fur soft and doesn't dry out his skin. Would recommend ordering this product as it is far better than anything we have tried.

http://quicknbritecleaning. -pets.html

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Gordon   Wrightwood, CA

1/31/2012 7:51:46 PM

We encountered lots of skunks on the beach last spring, and my two goldens were right into them. Only one got sprayed...the other usually manages to avoid such events...(the female, of course, hunted the skunk down...and didn't even notice she'd been sprayed)--anyway a person on the beach told me about this cure, and even in really small doses, it works absolutely great! I was shocked how quickly the smell disappeared, and that was only using a pint of hydrogen peroxide, a little dish soap, (any kind will work, apparently) and a little baking soda. Gone, in an instant! It's a miracle, when you have them in the car with you.

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Hugh   Boonville, IN

12/11/2011 10:18:45 AM

WD40 - spray and work into the fur well with your hands - rinse with warm water - wash dog with a good lather of Dawn liquid soap - rinse - towel dry - Odor GONE on dog and hands - I have tried all the others but this works

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RicoSuave   Grand Rapids, MI

11/7/2011 6:56:11 PM

good works!!!

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