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Eliminate Skunk Smell from A Dog

Learn how to eliminate skunk smell from a dog sprayed by skunk.

Dog in Bath
While a dog sprayed by skunk does not need emergency veterinary attention, it does present an urgent need for resolution to the dog parent!

Besides the offensive odor, the skunk spray can make a dog go blind for a day or two if the spray gets into the dog's eyes.

Moreover, if the spray is not flushed out completely, your dog may develop corneal abrasions or ulcers resulting from the spray and/or your dog's subsequent self-trauma. This, if left untreated, can result in scarring and partial loss of vision.

Dog Sprayed by Skunk - Examine his Eyes

The first thing to do, therefore, if unfortunately your dog has been "skunked", is to try to determine where he got sprayed. Most dogs get sprayed in the face, but try to determine if it was a "direct hit". Direct hits are more likely to cause corneal ulceration and injury, and so care has to be taken to thoroughly flush out the spray from the dog's eyes.

If your dog has got a direct hit, most likely he will be squinting and rubbing his nose, eyes, and face. If that is the case, do not delay. Before you even try to eliminate skunk smell from your dog, take care of his eyes.

Thoroughly flush and medicate his eyes:
  • Use a squirt bottle of sterile saline solution to liberally clean and flush out the eyes.
  • Once you are quite certain that the irritating matter has been flooded out, use a cotton swab to clear out any other debris that could have remained behind.
  • Then place a few drops of eye drops in the eyes to reduce discomfort and possible inflammation.
  • Repeat this process 2 - 3 times a day.
NOTE: If your flush and medication do not seem to soothe your dog's eyes, take him to the vet.

How To Eliminate Skunk Smell from Your Dog

If your dog does not seem to have been sprayed directly in the eyes, then the only thing you need to do is to eliminate the skunk smell from your dog!

To eliminate skunk smell, we need to do something to neutralize the odor, not just covering up the smell by fragrants!

The best concoction for neutralizing skunk odor is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and baking soda. Here is the recipe:
  • 32 ounces hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 ounces liquid dish soap (e.g. Palmolive, Dawn, or Joy)
  • 2 ounces baking soda
If possible, keep your dog outside in your yard. First, shampoo only the sprayed area so that the skunk's spray does not dry out on the dog's haircoat. After cleaning and drying the fur with a towel, use a sponge to bathe your dog with the hydrogen peroxide concoction. DO NOT let the mixture get into his eyes or mouth.

If you have a spray bottle, you can also pour some concoction into the bottle and spray spots that need extra attention. Leave the concoction on for three or four minutes then rinse thoroughly.

It helps to rotate using the concoction with water rinses and a mild shampoo. About three times through this rotation you should be able to eliminate skunk smell from your dog.

Things to Remember

The first time you wash your dog after being sprayed, just shampoo the area that has been sprayed. If you wet the whole body, the skunk oils may spread all over the dog. Therefore, the best way is to shampoo the affected area, apply treatment as described above, and then shampoo the whole dog a few times more.

In addition, it is extremely difficult to remove skunk oils from fabrics, such as furniture upholstery and your clothing. Therefore, if at all possible, deal with your dog's problem outside your house. Also, before trying to eliminater skunk smell from your dog, change into some old clothes so that the skunk oils do not get on to your nice clothes.

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