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Dog Bathing is Essential When Your Pooch Tangles with a Skunk

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Most dogs are curious about skunks at one time or other in their life; perhaps he sees the skunk as a potential friend. However, usually the skunk isn’t curious about the dog and just wants to be left alone! Yet, walking away doesn’t always work and a skunk might have to make his point more loudly to a persistent dog—and bam! It’s now dog bathing time. But is there anything that will get rid of that atrocious smell on your dog? Yes, but it’s not tomato juice; that’s a myth. Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover works; but Skunk Off works the best. Yet you need to bathe your pooch as soon as possible so if you don’t have either of these items in your home—and the nearest Petco or Petsmart is 15 minutes away—you’d have to come up with something else.

Before proceeding, make sure you keep your dog outdoors so the ghastly smell won’t permeate your home. Put on old clothes and rubber gloves and check your pup thoroughly to make sure he hasn’t been scratched or bitten---inspect his eyes for discharge or redness too. If he’s been hurt, call your veterinarian immediately.

If he’s not injured, you can use household items as a temporary fix which are listed below. If you’d rather not handle it yourself, give us a call—we will de-skunk your fur-baby for you!

Required Items for Removing Skunk Smell

  • 1 32 fl. oz. of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1-2 tsp. of liquid soap like Softsoap or Ivory Liquid Cleanser
  • ¼ c. of baking soda—not baking powder
  • Plastic, clean utensils for stirring
  • Rubber or latex gloves and old clothes
  • Old bath towels and lots of dry paper towels
  • Mineral oil or eye ointment for your canine’s eyes
  • A plastic, clean pail without a lid

There are some cautions to be aware of:

  • Never swap comparable products for true baking soda and never buy higher concentrated hydrogen peroxide. This will change the chemical reaction and your canine and you could be seriously hurt. Furthermore, always use fresh hydrogen peroxide because over time it’ll be less concentrated; if your hydrogen peroxide is past the expiration date or you don’t know how old it is, buy new bottles to be on the safe side.
  • Typically, skunks will spray a dog in the face. This means skunk oil gets into his nose, eyes, mucus membranes and mouth. Those sensitive areas are hard to wash as it is and you should not use the above peroxide mixture on your pup’s face. Skunk Off should be used in its place to carefully wash these tender areas.
  • Don’t ever make the solution ahead of time and under no circumstances should you put it in a spray bottle or sealed container. Why? The contents will build up pressure and cause an explosion; thus, severely injuring your furry buddy and you. Also, you need to use this solution immediately after making it.


Again, if you'd rather not deal with a stinky pooch, please call us and we'll do it for you.


It’s going to be more difficult to get rid of the horrible odor the longer you wait to bathe him—so do it as soon as you can. You can bathe him in the bathroom, laundry room or basement—anywhere that there’s a window to open; but we can’t stress enough that we strongly recommend washing him outside so as not to stink up your house or transfer the skunk oils to your carpets or furniture! Before you begin, put in his eyes 1 or 2 drops of mineral oil or a little strip of gel lubricant like Puralube. This lubricant will give his eyes protection against any dripping or splashing solution.

  1. Before you wash your pooch, pat his sprayed areas with several dry paper towels. This will soak up any extra skunk oil on his fur.
  2. Grab your pail and carefully pour in 32 fl. oz. of Hydrogen Peroxide, 1-2 tsp. of liquid soap and ¼ cup of baking soda. If you have a large dog, like a St. Bernard or Great Dane, you’ll need to double the ingredients. Blend the ingredients thoroughly. As a chemical reaction occurs, the mixture will fizz. Again, do not store this solution—use it promptly.
  3. Using a washcloth or sponge, rub the cleanser deeply into your furry friend’s dry coat starting at his neck and working toward his tail. Remember to keep this solution out of his face; the Skunk Off works better for neutralizing the nasty skunk oil on his face. There’s no need to wet down his fur beforehand as the mixture works better on a dry coat. 
  4. The mixture should sit in his coat for 5-10 minutes. If a strong smell remains, you may need to leave it on longer.
  5. Using warm water, thoroughly rinse the solution from his coat. When you’re rinsing his head, gently tilt it back so he’s looking at the sky; this will make the water and solution run down his neck rather than dribble into his eyes and mouth. But don’t get any water and solution into his ears! If he still stinks—even just a little—you’ll want to perform steps 1-4.
  6. Once your fur-baby smells good, rinse him one more time (step 5) to make sure you got all of the mixture out of his fur; then use that old bath towel to dry him off completely. Don’t forget to reward him with a treat for good behavior during the bath!

If your dog gets skunk stench on your clothes or carpets, this mixture can be applied. Just keep in mind it could bleach some fabrics.  Due to this slight bleaching, you might discover that your pup’s fur gets a bit lighter—not to worry, your chocolate lab won’t turn into a blond and his fur will go back to normal after a while.

If a skunk likes the smell of your property, there’s a good chance he and your canine will meet again. So try to keep the allure factor of your property for skunks to a minimum. That means never leaving any food outside; this includes fruit that’s fallen from your tress and bird seed. Keep your garbage tightly secured and throw some mothballs in the can if a skunk—or any animal—continues to get into it. You could also scatter some ammonia-soaked rags or mothballs around the perimeter of your land to keep skunks away. Likewise, if you let your pooch run unleashed in the woods at dusk or dawn, you should always accompany him; even if he’s just in your backyard he should always be within eyesight.

Maybe your furry pal will learn his lesson the first time and maybe he won’t; we’ll be happy to take care of the de-skunking process for you, so please contact us for an appointment. We’ll take good care of your dog.

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