How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs

DogAppy Staff Nov 4, 2018
Many times, curious dogs tend to get attacked by skunks and end up smelling extremely bad. Here are some tips to get rid of skunk smell from dogs.

The Horrors Left Behind by an Angry Skunk

Black and white skunks cannot be blamed for their smelly encounters with dogs, for they believe that their color should have served as a warning. Unfortunately, some dogs do not seem to learn.
Even with such canines, skunks still show some leniency by following an elaborate warning ritual of stomping their front feet, hissing, and lifting their tails before actually resorting to this attack.
Unfortunately, dogs that do not pick up on these signs often get sprayed. Skunk spray is an oily fluid that contains complex thiols and sulfuric compounds. This smell is extremely offensive, and quite stubborn to get rid of.
These fumes have the ability to permeate into every household item, including the food in the refrigerator. Hence, it is extremely important to get your dog outside the house immediately. This smell can linger in the house for years, especially if it is allowed to permeate into the furniture. No deodorant, room freshener, and cologne can help with this.
They temporarily mask the odor, but it is entirely too strong for them to overcome permanently. The only way to get rid of the smell is to counter the thiols in the fluid. Here are some steps that you can follow.

Steps for Skunk Smell Removal

Step I

The most important thing to do is tie up your dog outside the house immediately. If you wait any longer to start this process, you may never be able to get the smell off your dog's fur. This has to be done as soon as possible.

Step II

Check your dog's eyes and skin for any sort of irritation that the spraying may have caused. If the eyes are red, wash them off with a slightly-salinated eye drop solution.
If your dog seems uncomfortable and uneasy, he/she may need a vet. If he/she seems calm and resigned, then some rest and nourishment are probably what it needs. Don't forget to check for rabies symptoms if your dog has been bitten during his/her skirmish with the skunk.

Step III

Put on rubber gloves and get to work. Get a few rags or a packet of paper tissues and start rubbing the dog down. The objective is to remove as much fluid off the fur as possible, and to locate the bites if any.

Step IV

Wash your dog with a skunk odor remover as quickly as you possibly can.
You can use a quick home remedy recommended by the chemist Paul Krebaun in 1993. Mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide with half a cup of baking powder. Also add 1 or 2 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid to this mixture. Wet your dog. 
While the mixture is freshly fizzing, rub it onto the wet fur. Rub it in well and repeat this process a number of times. Leave it on for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once you are done, you can give your dog a regular wash with normal dog shampoo.
Hydrogen peroxide has a bleaching effect on dog fur, so if you wish to avoid this, try vinegar instead. Other well-propagated home remedies like tomato juice, beer, mouthwash, Pepsi, and Garnier Fructis shampoo are not effective odor removers.
They just cover the smell up temporarily. Some good skunk odor removers are 'Skunk-Off', 'Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover', and 'Earth Friendly Skunk Odor Remover'. Bioworld's 'BON-CC-41' and Dinovites' 'Dogosuds' are also known to work well.
If you have a curious dog and live in an area where skunks are common, the best thing you can do is, be prepared and armed with knowledge. This is something that you will have to do as a part of dog care. Train yourself to deal with such situations, for that's easier than training your dog to leave unknown things alone.