Farm Life Stinks…of Skunk! What to Do If Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk

Last weekend our Airedale Terrier, Amos, was sprayed by a skunk. In the face of all places, poor guy! Of all the things I love about living in the country, THIS is not one of them! It is absolutely awful.

Amos Airedale Terrier

The smell and the dreadful thought of getting the stench out of a dogs coat is one of the most unpleasant things any dog owner can image. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Amos has been sprayed so we had a plan of action.  So, I am going to share with you what I have learned to help you should you find yourself dealing with a dog that’s been sprayed.

Dogwatch.com mentions that one important thing to know when dealing with this smelly dilemma is that the stinky spray is a thick, yellow, oily substance. Because it is oily, it is nearly impossible to get out of anything! Most of the time an animal that is sprayed by a skunk is sprayed in the face, so if your dog has been sprayed make sure to keep an eye on him.

Ok, back to business. So your dog has been sprayed, now what? Well, from my experience time is of the essence.  The longer the spray sits, the harder it is to get rid of.  Here is a DIY option that I found on dogwatch.com…and no, tomato juice will not work.

skunk
Photo Credit: kids.nationalgeographic.com

Sequester your dog outside. The last thing you want is that stink getting in the house. The skunk oil can be transferred to rugs, upholstery, and other items in the house, and it can last for quite a while.

  1. Put on clothes that you can throw away later and protective rubber or latex gloves.
  2. Check your dog for cuts and scratches caused by the animal; if you find any, skip the rest of these steps and bring your dog to the vet ASAP.
  3. Prepare for an outdoor bath. Get a tub if need be, towels you don’t mind throwing out after, the hose, and a helper if possible.
  4. DON’T HOSE YOUR DOG DOWN RIGHT AWAY! This can make the stink worse and make it harder to get off. Also, if your dog has any cuts or cracks in his skin, this could rinse the skunk spray into them and cause pain, burning, and irritation and could lead to skin problems down the road.
  5. Apply a bit of eye lubricant or 1-2 drops of mineral oil to your dog’s eyes. This will protect the eyes in case you get any water or other substances in them during the cleaning process.
  6. Mix up the following in an OPEN container (as it creates a chemical reaction and could EXPLODE in a closed container):
  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (check the expiration date!)
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  •  1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap, such as Dawn dishwashing detergent
  • Amos Airedale Terrier

For larger dogs, you can also add some lukewarm water to the mixture. DO NOT use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide; it can burn the dog’s skin. Also, make sure both the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are as fresh as possible. If either has been sitting in the cabinet or fridge for months, it’s best to run out to the pharmacy and pick up some fresh supplies (as they can break down over time and lose their effectiveness).

  1. Locate the area(s) where the dog got sprayed. Wet the area(s) with the solution and thoroughly massage the solution into the coat. An old sponge works well for this. Be careful not to spread it to other areas as you’re massaging, as the skunk spray is oily and spreads easily.  The oil is what makes it so difficult to remove.
  2. If your dog got sprayed in the face, you can apply the mixture to a cloth and wash the dog’s face that way, being careful to avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth. See the video below for a how-to on getting skunk spray off your dog’s face and chest.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, then thoroughly rinse the dog off with lukewarm water.
  4. Repeat steps 7-10 until the stink is gone.
  5. Dry your pup well and give him a treat – or several!
  6. Run to the pet store and pick up some skunk odor removal spray to have on hand in case this happens again. Also, take a look around your yard and identify places skunks are likely to hide, so you know where to keep your dog away from in the future.
  7. Make sure to not leave trash out overnight when possible, as this can also attract skunks.

airedale amos

Important to note

Skunk spray has been linked to incidences of various anemias in dogs due to some of the compounds in it. Watch your dog carefully for 3-5 days after it was sprayed, looking for lethargy, weakness, and/or discolored urine. If you note any of the above, bring the dog to the vet ASAP

If you find a spot in the yard that has been saturated in skunk spray, it is probably a good idea to restrict your pet from that area until the odor is gone. The oiliness of the spray allows it to linger and it could end up on your pet again if he/she plays in that area.

We used the skunk remover called Skunk Off because it is all that we could find in our town. It works pretty well.  If it ever God forbid, happens again, I will try what dogwatch.com recommends  Nature’s Miracle® Skunk Odor Remover.  and let you know how it goes.

Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear from you. Until next time, cheers!

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