Curious pets may seek a friend in a skunk, but in return they will likely end up sprayed by an oil with a repulsive stench!  When a skunk becomes alarmed or feels threatened it will use its spray as a defensive weapon.

If your pet does not seem in serious distress – just maybe a little surprised and super smelly, you can try this homemade recipe. Over-the-counter products that contain neutroleum alpha are available for just this kind of thing, but if you don’t have that on-hand, you can create a solution at home. (No, it does not involve tomato juice.) While you whip up your own miracle, keep your pet outside – clear of any skunks if they didn’t learn the first time – until you’re ready to bathe them.  If your pet’s eyes seem a little irritated or watery (skunks have a STRONG stench that can make anyone’s eyes water), rinse the eyes and face with cool, clean water first, just to give them some relief.

If your dog gets sprayed directly in the eyes or mouth, seek immediate veterinary treatment. Consumption of the spray will cause nausea or vomiting. 

If possible, wash the dog outside to prevent bringing in the stench – only if it’s warm enough out. And be sure to wear rubber gloves through this ordeal!

Skunk Stench Removal Recipe:

Mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap or liquid detergent in a bowl. It will fizz and you’ll want to apply it while it’s active for best effectiveness!

How it works: The liquid soap breaks down the oil, while the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda act as oxidizing agents, changing the chemical structure of the oils that cause the odor.

Wash your dog with this solution immediately. DO NOT get the solution in their eyes, and avoid the mouth and nose. Rub the mixture through their fur quickly and rinse thoroughly as peroxide can lighten the color of your pet’s fur. When you’re done with the miracle mix, wash them again with their normal shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

CAUTION:  Do NOT store this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode in a closed container!  To dispose of leftover mixture, dilute with LOTS of water when you pour it down the sink drain.

If some of the stink gets on you, you can rid your clothes of the smell by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a half-cup of baking soda.

If your pet continues to have eye irritation, follow-up with Dr. Bischel for a veterinary examination if your pet doesn’t quickly improve.

Skunks are common critter to come across anywhere at anytime. Skunks tend to be more active at dawn and dusk though, and more frequently seen in warmer months of the year.

Fortunately, most pets learn their lesson after their first encounter with a skunk. Some pets don’t…and you may deal with this time and time again!