Digging Dogs – Skunked Edition


If you follow me on Twitter @KellyinBoulder you may know that my dog got sprayed by a skunk again. I awoke to the acrid scent of spray coming in through the window and ran to check the back door to make sure the pooch hadn’t gotten out. No such luck-I turned on the light and discovered the dog, ears down in despair, his face covered with bits of leaves, smelling like a gasoline spill.

Those who have been close up and personal with skunk spray will know what I mean: it is a completely different experience from the whiff you might get when you pass one of the little waddly white and black things at 500 yards. “Ewww! Skunk!” the kids squeal. No, really. This stuff burns your eyes and takes over your sinuses so it’s beyond stink into totally toxic territory.

Okay, you may not have known this, but if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, you shouldn’t go buy out the entire stock of tomato juice at your local grocery store. Yes, tomato juice is the old-fashioned home remedy for removing skunk stink. But according to the Humane Society of the United States, this is the mixture you should use for de-skunking your pet:

You will need:

  1. 1 quart bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  2. ¼ cup baking soda
  3. 1 tsp liquid dishwashing soap
  4. Dog shampoo
  5. Rubber gloves
  6. Access to a garden hose

Mix first three ingredients together in a bucket. If you’re not sure how much you will need, we allocate 6 bottles of peroxide per application to our 90 lb, very furry dog. You may need less. If you apply it at 3 am in the dark in the backyard, or your dog has been through this before and knows what’s coming, you will need more in case you miss your dog when you pour it.

DO NOT WET DOWN OR SHAMPOO YOUR DOG FIRST. This will just spread the oily skunk spray so it saturates the rest of your dog, making removal of that stink just next to impossible. AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR DOG WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. You will carry that stink around for a while. And even though you don’t smell it anymore, everyone else will.

Put on the gloves and apply the peroxide mixture to your dog’s fur. Once your pet is thoroughly wet, massage it in so her hair gets saturated. Pay special attention to her head and face, as usually this is where your curious pooch has gotten the brunt of the spray. And be careful with the mixture because the soap will sting her eyes.

Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes (too much longer and you may give your dog a bleach job). Rinse, and then lather up with regular dog shampoo. Rinse again and towel your friend dry. Let him sleep it off in your garage or in a kennel in a place where he won’t have access to rub his fur all over the walls of your house and track the remaining smell on your carpet.

In our experience, this special wash needs to be repeated 3-4 times before the smell fades. You can also use special skunk wash that’s made for dogs. But they don’t carry that at the grocery store at 3 am.

Happy de-skunking!

Visit Solve HR, Inc.

Photo credit: julierohloff via Foter.com / CC BY-SA


Author: Kelly Marinelli

HR Consultant & employment compliance geek

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