My Dog Was Skunked!

My Dog Was Skunked!

We have a Golden Retriever. He is very playful and curious. This is his favorite time of the year. He enjoys pouncing on leaves and chasing them and watching the squirrels and chipmunks. This past  Friday night Shadow was in our vehicle with us. We let Shadow out of the vehicle to let him do his business before going into the house. When he came back, we knew who he ran into.

He Was Skunked!

Behavior Of A Skunk When Encountered

When a skunk is startled it will make a peculiar purring sound, sometimes growling. Before emitting its sulphuric spray (mercaptan) in self-defense, it will warn its target by raising its tail, standing on its hind legs and stomping its front feet. The mercaptan it sprays not only carries a terrible odor but, if it hits the eyes, will bling the skunk’s target for up to two days. The skunk’s spray is not only extremely foul smelling, but it is very hard to get out of a dogs fur. Your dog may smell for quite sometime if you do not act quickly. A fresh spray smells so bad it burns your nose. If you or your pet gets sprayed it is important to work quickly to get the skunk oil out and neutralized. If you do not act quickly the smell can last up to 2 years!

First Aid

First check to see if your pet was injured by the skunk. If your pet is bleeding or appears to have been bitten, consult a vet immediately.  Skunks may carry rabies.  If vaccinated, your dog is safe from the rabies virus.

Forget the tomato juice, vinegar or mouthwash. The effectiveness of these methods are questionable and it is said that the tomato juice will leave your dogs coat all red. These seem to just mask the odor- it doesn’t remove the smell. Usually pets take a hit in the neck area. Typically they are sprayed while provoking the skunk and turn their head, while being sprayed, in order to avoid it.

When you have pets, and children even if you are safe accidents happen! What do you do when your pet gets skunked?

What To Do Before You Bathe Your Skunked Pet

  • Before handling your pet, you may want to put on some old clothes. Skunk spray is actually an oil and is very difficult to remove from clothing. Do not let your pet get on furniture or on it’s bedding, or the skunk oils will get onto them.
  • If possible, leave your pet outside  on a leash or in your garage to prevent the odor ridden oils from getting into the house.
  • Determine where the spray hit your pet. Depending on your pet’s hair type, you may be able to trim away or comb out some of the affected hair.
  • You can use paper towels to soak up the oils from the coat before you begin washing. If you use a real towel you will most likely have to toss it as the oils may not come out 100% and your towel may smell for a long time. Be careful not to spread the oils from one part of your  pet to another. Only wipe where the oils are already to avoid making the problem worse.
How do I get the odor out?
It is difficult to get the odor out of those pets who have very thick coats. If quick action is  not taken and the spray dries, you can possibly smell the odor for up to two years. Wash your pet with regular pet shampoo, afterwards you may try the following methods…
Store bought De-Skunking Products
There are several products you can buy at the store to de-skunk you pet, which I think work best, but one does not always have them on hand when their dog gets sprayed.
Nature’s Mirale Skunk Odor remover Earth Friendly Skunk Odor Remover
Another Method
Go to the drug store and get the following, if needed:
1 quart (or liter) of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, H2O2. Use fresh (unopened) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide eventually turns into water (H2O).
1/4 cup (50 ml.) of Baking Soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml.) of liquid Soap
1 pair of plastic or latex gloves
To Use
Bathe your pet outside or, if it’s too dark or cold, in the bathroom with the door closed and the window opened. If you don’t have a  window put the vent on.
Mix the ingredients in an open bucket or bowl, ( do not store in a sealed bottle – it will explode.) The mixture will fizz. Using gloves wet your pet  thoroughly with lukewarm water and  massage the solution into the coat. Work the mixture well into the fur. Be sure to keep the mixture out of your pets eyes, nose and mouth. If it is necessary to apply it to your pets face, very carefully use a washcloth or a sponge. I kept the mixture away from Shadow’s face because  (it’s a harsh solution.) I used on Shadow’s face  Tricotine Liquid Douche Concentrate. You can use any over-the counter douche. After applying the mixture to all parts of your pet that may have been sprayed, rinse your pet thoroughly. After bathing, check your dog’s eyes. If they are red and watering, your pet may have taken a direct hit in the face. Skunk spray won’t blind your pet, but it’s very painful. Contact your vet.
How it works
First a quote from Dr. Caceci of  Texas A&M University:
Skunk spray is mainly composed of low molecular weight thiol compounds. (“Thiols” are compounds with the “-SH radial” attached to a carbon atom.) In industrial applications, alkaline hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is used fro scrubbing similar compounds from waste gas streams.
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, when combined become a “chemical engine” for churning out oxygen. That’s why it has to be used immediately after mixing. The soap breaks up the oils in the skunk spray, allowing the other ingredients to do their work.
This mixture can be explosive, as it will fizz and creates pressure if it is enclosed in a seal tight container. Never store unused portion, always discard. Be sure to only mix in an open container and do not try to store or cover it in any way. Do not get the mixture into the dog’s eye’s, nose or mouth.
“Safe Cleaning Your Pet”
Hope you find this helpful, I look forward to your comments


  1. Bongo says:

    Sorry about the stink..but good info here,,thanx….As always…XOXOXOX

    • cathy says:

      Thanks, Shadow is embarrassed he said, because I told the whole world about what happened to him. He especially didn’t like it when I told everyone about the douche I put on his head!

  2. Skunk spray is a scent that I just can’t handle. If one of our dogs gets sprayed, which hasn’t been in a long time knock on wood, I have a difficult time getting close enough to do anything about it. I definitely have to call in hubby for his assistance

  3. Hi Cathy:

    Love the picture of Shadow. Sorry to hear he got skunked. Thanks for the important info on what to do if this happens to one of our kids. You’re a font of information.

    Keep it up!


  4. jim says:

    Good tips lol I am so glad I never had to worry about this.. I had a dog attacked by a raccoon but never a skunk!! Up to two years wow never realized that!!!

    • cathy says:

      Raccoons can be mean. When I was a kid I had one for a pet for about a year. My father found him, his mother was hit by a car, so he kinda became my pet until he started getting old enough to go back into the wild.

  5. Shadow seems like such a lovely fellow. Poor fellow! Am I glad we don’t have skunks in India!

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