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De-Skunking Your Dog

The Humane Society of the United States

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Skunks live all over the place, and if your dog gets curious about one, she may end up with a face full of stink. If your pooch gets sprayed, there are ways you can rid her of the scent without having to buy up every can of tomato juice in the area.

Over-the-counter products (such as Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover) are a quick fix, but if you don't have that on hand, you can prep the solution below. 

Step 1: Keep Fido outside

You'll probably want to keep your dog outside while you get it together so she doesn't carry the smell indoors. Check her eyes; if they're irritated or red, immediately flush them with cool water.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

Mix together:

  • 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any pharmacy)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap

Wearing rubber gloves, wash your dog with this solution immediately after she's been sprayed. DO NOT get the solution in her eyes. (If you don't have peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap on hand, use vinegar diluted with water.)

Caution: Do NOT store this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.

Step 3: Clean and rinse

Rub the mixture through her fur, but don't leave it on too long (peroxide can bleach fur). Rinse her thoroughly.

Step 4: Shampoo

Next, wash your dog with pet shampoo and rinse thoroughly. By now, she should be de-skunked and smelling sweet. Thoroughly towel-dry your dog, and be sure to place her in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours so that she doesn't get chilled. 

Owner cleanup

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

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