How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on a Dog

Your dog’s hunting instinct is backed by millions of years of evolution, allowing them to sniff out just about any animal, but rooting out a skunk will more often than not result in getting sprayed. Knowing what to do when your dog is sprayed will save you lots of time and money on dog shampoo.

Don’t Let Them Come Inside

Young caucasian couple with dog holding our first home blackboard at new house smelling something stinky and disgusting

At the first detection of skunk spray, probably the most important thing to do, and the most effective way to keep skunk smell from getting into your home, is to keep your dog from coming inside.

Skunk spray is a very effective defense mechanism because of its strength. Not only is skunk spray oily, but compounds called thioacetates can keep that spray smell strong for up to one year! If you can smell it, that means the molecules are being released into the air. If this occurs in your home, those molecules will settle and remain on every surface.

Tip: Wear rubber gloves when handling your dog to prevent spray from getting on your hands.

Spot Treat, Don’t Soak

Veterinarian checking dog's eye

Your first instinct may be to soak your dog in water or tomato juice, but neither of these are good ideas because:

  • Skunks will often spray into a predator’s eyes, nose, and face first
  • Water can make skunk spray compounds much stronger and harder to remove
  • Tomato juice will only mask, not eliminate skunk spray

The best things to do are:

  1. Check your dog’s eyes for redness and watering and flush them with cool water.
  2. Examine your dog for spots of strongest odor—these will be where they were sprayed initially. Address these spots first.

Make and Apply a De-Skunking Mixture

Baking soda in jar

Skunk sprays occur quickly and unexpectedly, making it unlikely that you’ll already have a pet shampoo for skunk odor on hand. These skunk spray recipes can be made in minutes using products you probably already have in your kitchen and medicine cabinet.

Recipe 1:

1 tsp liquid dish soap

¼ cup baking soda

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide (no stronger)

Combine ingredients in a full bucket of water.

Recipe 2:

2 parts water

1 part apple cider vinegar

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle.

Method

Regardless of the mixture you’re using, you’ll want to work quickly, one section at a time.

  1. Keeping rubber gloves on, rub whatever mixture you’ve made into your dog’s fur, ensuring their entire coat is treated. Caution: never allow your dog to lick either mixture or allow it to get into their eyes.
  2. Leave the mixture to sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Wash your dog thoroughly with de-skunking shampoo, rinsing from front to back, and then down.
  4. Towel dry thoroughly.

You may need to repeat the entire process until the smell is completely eliminated.

Tip: If skunk oil gets on clothes, wash with regular laundry detergent and hydrogen peroxide in cold water.

Another Way to Remove Skunk Smell

Striped Skunk

Although the above recipes have worked for dog owners, they may not work the same way for every situation. For example, both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are well-known skin irritants, and so they aren’t recommended for pets with sensitive skin.

As well, if you share your property with several skunks, the above methods can become labor-intensive. Is there another odor remover that eliminates skunk spray from your dog’s coat the first time? The answer is yes.

Chlorine dioxide (Cl02) is a chemical compound that breaks down and oxidizes odors. Because it degrades very quickly into saline solution, Cl02 is completely safe and non-toxic to humans, pets, and the environment.

Where to Get Cl02

Chlorine dioxide CIO2 Odor Eliminator

In the past, chlorine dioxide was only able to be used on an industrial scale. This is because it wasn’t possible to apply it over small areas. As well, there was no way to make it instantly or on an as-needed basis.

We have developed a way to make Cl02 available on a small scale. We are Biocide Systems, and our innovative technology allows you to completely eliminate skunk smell from your dog, guaranteed!

Our DoggiCLEEN Skunk Spray is the choice for a growing number of pet owners because:

  • It is 100% non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.
  • It eliminates skunk spray odors immediately, with the first use.
  • It is safe to use on dogs and cats.
  • It is safe for humans and the environment.

DoggiCLEEN Skunk Spray is a two-part product, consisting of spray and activator. Simply mix right before you need it and apply—even to your dog’s face!

Don’t be caught off-guard by skunk spray ever again; learn more about DoggiCLEEN from Biocide Systems today!

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