Dog Sprayed With Skunk Odor
What's the best way to clean up a dog with skunk odor?
Kathy Salzberg, NCMG
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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