Skunking is one of a dog owner’s big fears. The stench is dreadful and not easy to remove. Your team at Union Lake Pet Services is here to tell you how to get skunk smell out of a dog

Skunk is an odor that everyone recognizes. Whether you are driving down a highway or camped at your favorite spot, that distinct smell can only mean one thing: a skunk. 

They make their homes in every state and have adapted to urban environments, too, where they thrive in cities. In most cases, skunks keep to themselves, but they can emit a terrible odor when they feel threatened. 

The Skunk’s Stink

Skunks, as cute as they are, have one dangerous weapon, their smell. Not only does it stink, it is almost impossible to wash off. Skunks have special anal glands that release a powerful scent. They can spray their oily substance out to about 10 feet in diameter. The composition of the scent is a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals, such as thiols or mercaptans, an oil that lingers and that even humans can smell up to 3 miles away!

Pet-ty Le Pew

If a pet corners or startles a skunk, naturally the skunk will rely on its best defense. Unfortunately, because dogs are highly curious and have a strong prey drive, it’s not surprising that many dogs get skunked each year. 

If your fur friend had an encounter and was sprayed, what can you do? Never fear! We can walk you through the steps for how to get skunk smell out of a dog.

    1. Get your pet to a safe outdoor place. Resist the temptation to take your dog straight to the bathtub, since the oils will transfer to everything your pet comes in contact with. Keep them secured on a leash or tie-out in the backyard or other suitable place.
    2. Check your pet’s eyes. If they were sprayed in the face, quickly rinse them by using a pitcher to pour clean water over their eyes. These oils can cause injury to the eyes if not washed away right away.
    3. Look for injuries. Next, make sure to do a once-over to see if your pet has scratches, bites, or any other injuries. Skunks carry several diseases, like rabies, that are harmful to pets and people. Don’t wait to follow up with your vet if there is any sign of injury.
    4. Using gloves, lather your pet with a skunk odor removal solution or a DIY concoction. One simple solution with few ingredients we recommend combines 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of dishwater soap. Let the solution soak on your dog for about 10-20 minutes.
    5. Rinse and repeat. Continue the process until the smell disappears.
    6. Dry your pet thoroughly. Make sure to towel dry your dog with something that you can throw away, in case there are any traces of the oils still present. 
    7. Reward your pet and let them rest. This has been a stressful situation for the two of you!
    8. Have it done for you. In the event you simply cannot tolerate the stench, we offer deskunking services at Union Lake Pet Services.



Wildlife Encounter Prevention

The best way to avoid having your four-legged friend collide with a skunk is through awareness and prevention. 

  • Keep your pet with you on a leash when you are out hiking or on a walk.
  • Give any wild animal a wide berth by either backing up or going around them.
  • Never let your pet chase or corner any wildlife.
  • Remove pet food bowls from outdoor areas.
  • Bring trash bins inside the garage at night, or use a wildlife proof garbage container.
  • Keep grasses cut short and remove all standing weeds and foliage that could conceal animals. 
  • Make sure your pet has their vaccinations and is current on parasite control to avoid diseases and illnesses contracted through wildlife.

When Your Pet Gets Skunked

We hope your furry one never has to experience getting skunked. You can go a long way, though, in avoiding this through using prevention. If they do encounter a wild animal, please contact our team. Even a simple scratch can turn into a more serious problem, so a thorough examination can help to ensure your best friend is safe and sound. 

Also, please remember that even after bathing with de-skunking solution, the odor can return for many months afterward when your pet becomes wet or damp. This is especially true for long-haired/thick-coated dogs.

To make an appointment, or to answer additional questions about what to do if your pet gets skunked, contact us.