How to Eliminate the Smell of Skunk from Your Dog

The fetid skunk roma that can permeate your dog's coat often causes a great displeasure to the owner. However, removing skunk odor from your dog is simpler than it sounds.
How to Eliminate the Smell of Skunk from Your Dog

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Country houses or houses with large gardens are the ideal places for an encounter between your dog and a skunk (family Mephitidae ). Skunks attack by spraying a stinky fragrance that emerges from their anal glands when threatened. If you live with a dog then you’ll be interested in knowing how to eliminate the smell of skunk from your dog.

These mammals have very reduced vision, as myopia strongly affects their visual field. However, they’re generally docile animals that only attack when fear takes hold of them. The foul substance they expel clings tightly to everything it touches, especially dog’s fur. Here you’ll learn how to deal with this situation.

How to prevent skunk spray

Although, at first glance, a skunk may seem harmless, if you don’t have the necessary prudence, then the animal could attack your dog or you if it feels threatened. The substance that emanates from its anal glands is a compound known as thiol, which resembles the smell of rotten eggs.

However, the use of this defense weapon by the animal can be avoided if you can recognize the warning signs from the skunk before it expels its spray. Generally, the skunk will arch its back in different ways depending on the species, hit the ground with its front legs, or drag its legs away.

The last red flag is that it will lift its tail and turn its rear toward its target. Before any of these signs take place, you should calmly walk away so you don’t have to get rid of skunk odor from your dog in a situation that could have been avoided.

A skunk on a white background.

Steps to eliminate the smell of skunk from your dog

If, despite following our tips above, you’re not able to avoid your dog getting sprayed, it’s essential to find solutions to eliminate the smell of skunk from your dog, since it can remain impregnated in its fur for a long time. For this reason, your pet can easily transmit it to other surfaces in your home, which creates a rather unpleasant environment for residents and visitors.

Fortunately, there’s a formula developed in the United States that manages to eliminate this foul aroma. For this procedure you must acquire some important materials and follow the following steps in the correct order so as not to affect the result. Of course, try not to use human care products, since you won’t reduce the smell and it’ll take longer.

Outside bathroom

First of all, you have to prepare your dog’s bathing area and preferably do it outdoors. Before handling your pet, you should put on gloves, mask, and find a way to hold it firmly so that it doesn’t escape during the process.

In this first step, don’t apply water, because it will be repelled by the oily substance and the bad smell will increase.

Talk to your dog calmly, as it’s normal for it to get a little agitated and anxious about the skunk’s attack. This will help make the bath more enjoyable for both the dog and you. If you don’t have an outdoor space to take a bath, we recommend placing plastic bags around the animal’s legs.

Eye cleaning

Watch to see if your pet squints his eyes, and, if so, you need to act quickly. The substance emanating from the skunk can harm its vision, and even cause temporary blindness, lasting approximately 48 hours. It also produces redness or a discharge, symptoms that can be treated with special drops for the dog’s eyes.

If you don’t have this product, then the safest alternative is to rinse the dog’s eyes for 5 minutes delicately, using a hose or tool that doesn’t allow the water to wet its coat. You can also go to a vet to properly treat this condition.

In addition to the eyes, it’s important to look for scratches or bites that the skunk may have given your dog. On the other hand, if your dog is drooling or vomiting it’s because it has swallowed the substance, and so you should go to a veterinarian to avoid anemia.

Dog bath

To start to remove the smell from the dog’s fur, you have to mix certain ingredients with which you’ll definitely neutralize the skunk oil and dispel the smell. Tomato juice will only dissipate the aroma a little, and won’t completely eliminate it, so it isn’t a good option. Here’s the recipe for the perfect solution:

  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Plastic container
  • Cloths or paper towels

The final step in removing skunk odor from your dog is to fill a plastic container with 1 liter of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid dish detergent. It’s essential to mix the ingredients very well until the bicarbonate dissolves.

When the substance starts to bubble, apply the mixture to the dog’s fur from the back of the neck to the tail. When passing the solution over the dog’s face, it’s recommended to cover its eyes and use a different cloth for this area.

After letting the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, start to remove it with water without making contact with their eyes.

Depending on the size of the dog, it’s important to repeat the process several times and dry with paper towels or different cloths on which the smell won’t adhere.

The cleaning process takes patience and care, but if you follow the steps correctly, you’ll be able to eliminate the smell completely and you’ll only need to worry about avoiding future encounters of this type.

A dog in the bathroom.

The smell of skunks is very unpleasant for owners, but, as you have seen, it can also jeopardize the health of the animal if it enters its respiratory tract, eyes, or esophagus. So, if you see any strange behavior in your dog after an encounter with a skunk, the most responsible option is to go to the vet.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.