How to Remove Skunk Odor from Dogs

Part of the Dog Grooming For Dummies Cheat Sheet

What do you do when your dog has been sprayed by a skunk? Use the following remedy to remove the skunk smell from your dog. It requires baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid dishwashing soap (the kind made for washing dishes by hand). Always keep these ingredients on hand in case your dog runs into a skunk.

Here's the de-skunking recipe you need for any-sized dog:

  1. Combine 1/2 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/8 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap in an open container.

  2. Draw a tepid bath and put your dog in it.

  3. Apply the solution liberally throughout your dog's coat and suds him up well (to the skin). Avoid getting any solution in his eyes.

  4. Rinse your dog well, drain the tub, and rinse well again.

  5. Smell for any spots you've missed and repeat Steps 1 through 4 if necessary.

  6. Follow up with a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner for dogs; rinse well to remove all residue.

Don't be fooled by some of the popular remedies for removing skunk spray from your dog. Here are reasons they don't really work:

  • Tomato juice: An old standby, tomato juice does darn near nothing. It may cut through the oils in the skunk spray, but you still end up with a stinky dog — and a pinkish colored one at that.

  • Vinegar and water douche: Here's another home remedy that really doesn't do much. Yes, it may mask the smell a bit, but it doesn't do much else.

  • Professional odor removers: These substances work okay on a variety of levels, but you'll still know that your dog has been skunked.

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