How to Remove Skunk Smell from Dogs

This page shows you how to remove skunk smell from dogs effectively, just in case your curious dog gets sprayed by a skunk!

Pups in Tub If you live in a place where skunks are aplenty, be sure to bookmark this page :-) Chances are, your dog may one day come home with a terrible odor - he's been sprayed by a skunk!

Dog sprayed by skunks is no laughing matter because the sulphuric spray is not only extremely foul smelling, but it can also blind a dog for up to two days if it hits the dog's eyes. In addition, it is very difficult to get the spray out of a dog's coat.

If your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, therefore, the first thing to do is to determine which part of the dog's body has been sprayed. If your dog got sprayed in the eyes, take immediate steps to thoroughly flush and then medicate his eyes (before taking steps to remove skunk smell from the dog).

Quickly make a saline solution by adding half a teaspoon of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda to about 8 ounces of water. Use this solution to flush out your dog's eyes. Do this several times to make sure all the irritating substance from the skunk spray has been flushed out. Then use a cotton swab to clean out any remaining debris in the eyes. Finally, put a few drops of natural herbal eye drops into your dog's eyes to prevent inflammation and reduce irritation.

After treating the eyes (or if your dog's eyes have not been sprayed), it's time to do the stinky business of removing skunk smell from your dog. Remember, it is very important to act quickly so that the skunk spray (which is actually an oil) can be neutralized before it gets soaked into your dog's coat.

Some Tips On How To Remove Skunk Smell From Your Dog

Here are some points that you may want to bear in mind next time you are faced with a dog sprayed by a skunk:

  • If at all possible, keep your dog out of your house if she has been sprayed by a skunk so that the odorous skunk oils cannot get into your house.
  • If you let your dog into the house before realizing that she has been sprayed, at least prevent her from laying in her bed (or worse - your bed!) or getting too close to your furniture.
  • Before trying to remove skunk smell from your dog, change into some old clothes so that the skunk oils do not get on to your nice clothes. It is extremely difficult to remove skunk oils from clothing.
  • Understand that you need to wash and rinse your dog several times to completely get rid of the smell.

Removing Skunk Smell from Your Dog

The key to removing skunk smell is to actually neutralize the odor - not to mask it with some kind of deodorant. If the skunk smell is not neutralized, it will stay on your dog (and your house) for a long time. The smell will be especially noticeable on damp rainy days or if your dog gets wet.

To remove skunk smell from your dog, it is best to clean the sprayed area with a shampoo before the skunk's spray dries on the fur. After cleaning, try:

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

  • In a bucket, mix 4 cups of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide with one-quarter cup of baking soda, and 2 teaspoons liquid soap (e.g. Dawn dishwashing liquid).
  • Apply to the dog's dry coat while the mixture bubbles, taking care not to let the mixture get into her eyes or mouth.
  • Lather and rub the mixture into your dog's coat and skin for about five minutes or until the skunk smell starts to dissipate.
  • To de-skunk the face and ears, use a sponge. Apply the mixture with a sponge to your dog's chin, cheeks, forehead and ears. Once again, take care not to let any solution get into the dog's eyes.
  • Rinse thoroughly. When rinsing the head area, be sure to tilt your dog's chin upward to avoid getting the solution into the eyes.
  • Repeat the whole process once or twice. In "serious" cases, you may need up to 3 times to completely remove the smell.
  • Remember to rinse the solution off your dog completely in the final rinse.

NOTE: For this solution to work, you have to mix the ingredients and use the mixture "fresh" - that means you cannot make the mixture ahead of time and store it for future use.