Home Remedies

Yikes! My Dog’s Been Sprayed By A Skunk!

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Like dogs, skunks spend a bit more time out and about when the weather is warm. Skunks like to hang out under houses, in bushes, near haystacks – all the places that curious dogs like to check out.

When a skunk is startled, it normally makes an odd purring sound, sometimes growling. Before it emits mercaptan, that stinky sulphuric spray, in self-defense, it will first warn the target. The four-legged, striped little creature will raise its tail, stand on its hind legs, and stomp its front feet. If this behavior isn’t enough to scare off your dog, he’s probably going to get sprayed.

The mercaptan it usually sprays not only carries a terrible, unforgettable odor but, if it hits the target’s eyes, it can cause blindness for a couple of days. If this happens, get your dog to the vet right away to make sure he makes a full recovery.

If it’s just the smell you’re dealing with, keep reading. The smell is very difficult to remove from dog’s fur. If you do not act immediately, your pooch may smell for quite some time.

What to Do before Bathing your Smelly Pooch

Before you handle your “skunked” dog, you’ll want to put on some old clothes. Because skunk spray is actually oil, it is very difficult to get rid of from your clothing. If possible, leave your pet outside to keep the stinky oils from getting inside your house. Also, determining where the spray struck your pooch would be helpful as you may comb out or trim away some of the affected fur depending on your pet’s hair type.

Before you start washing your pooch, use paper towels to soak up the odor-ridden oils from his coat. Avoid spreading the oils from one part of your pet’s coat to another. It is important that you wipe only where the oils are already so you can prevent the problem from getting worse.

How to Get Rid of the Odor

For dogs with thick double coats, it may be especially hard to get the odor out. If immediate action is not taken, it is likely that the stench will remain for up to a couple of years, particularly when the pooch gets wet. It is recommended that you start bathing your dog with a shampoo before the sulphuric spray of the skunk dries on your pet’s fur.

After washing your dog, quickly get to the nearest pet supply store for a skunk odor eliminator. Home remedies like bathing your dog in tomato juice are not only ineffective, but can also stain your dog’s coat. (We’ve heard great reviews of Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover)

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  1. Avatar Of Tina Lake

    Tina Lake


    I’ve had this happen to my walker coon hound twice, both times in the chest. I tried tomato juice – it did not stain her but it didn’t work either. What worked was using baking soda, peroxide and dawn dish detergent. 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at your local pharmacy)
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap
    That applied with a sponge got out the stain of the oil and “most” of the smell. She did have a slight odor for a few days but not nearly as bad as before washing. I’d be curious to try that douche method mentioned in an earlier comment but hoping that this never happens again!

  2. Avatar Of Lynda



    We’ve had first-hand experience with this. Our two big golden retrievers were sprayed right in the face early one morning about 2:00. As my husband took down the shower curtains, removed all the towels and wash cloths from the bathroom I went to the all night grocery and bought every box of feminine douche they had on the shelf. The clerk looked at me like I had a horn growning out of my head! We made an assembly line in the bathroom: me snipping the caps off of the bottles, dog in the tub, and my husband working the douche into the fur! It was quite an ordeal, but the next morning after they were dry, there was absolutely no smell! I don’t remember where I heard about the douche remedy, but I can say from experience that it works!

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