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April 7, 2010

De-Skunking Your Dog

The Humane Society of the United States

Dog Getting Bath 270x224

istockphoto

Skunks are everywhere—in the country and in the city. If your dog gets sprayed, there are ways you can rid him of the scent without using your entire ketchup (or tomato juice) supply to do it.

Over-the-counter products such as Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, which is available at most specialty pet retailers, are a quick fix, but if you don't have that on hand, try the following:

Step 1: Keep Fido outside

While you prepare the de-skunking solution, keep your dog outside after he's sprayed so he doesn't carry the smell into your house. Check his 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 your local pharmacy)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap

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

Caution: Do NOT save 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 his fur, but don't leave it on him too long (peroxide can bleach his fur). Rinse him thoroughly.

Step 4: Shampoo

Next, wash your dog with pet shampoo and rinse thoroughly. By now, he should be de-skunked and smelling sweet. Thoroughly towel-dry your dog, and be sure to place him in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours so that he doesn't get chilled. He should also have a large dry towel on which to lie down. If you dog has long fur, you may need to use a hair dryer to dry his fur.

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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