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What to Do if Your Dog is Sprayed by a Skunk

The smell of skunk spray is not only unpleasant, it can also cause nausea and other problems. Unfortunately, dogs are oblivious to the danger and have a habit of sticking their noses where they don’t belong. If you live in an area with skunks and your dog is allowed to explore outdoors, you might come home one day to the smell of skunk spray. Getting rid of the smell is not an easy task, but it’s possible with the right tools.

Dish Soap

Skunk spray is oil-based, and liquid dish soaps are designed to remove oil. If only a small area of your dog’s body is stinky, apply liquid soap directly to the affected area (do not rinse with water first) and massage the soap into your pet’s skin and coat. Allow to sit for several minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat as necessary.

Baking Soda

An indirect spray is sometimes removable with a baking soda bath. Buy four or five boxes of baking soda, pour the contents into a large container, and mix with a little warm water. You want to form a thick paste. Apply it to every bit of your pet’s coat, making certain you do not miss any spots. Let the paste dry and then wash it off. Adding hydrogen peroxide to the mix will increase its effectiveness.

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is one of the most effective remedies for skunk spray smell, but it is also very messy and expensive, which makes it a last resort. You’ll need a tub large enough for your dog to fit inside and enough juice to thoroughly soak his coat and body. Use diced tomatoes and fresh juice, when possible. Put your dog into the tub, pour the juice over his body, and rub it around to saturate his fur. Let it sit before rinsing. Warning: light colored dogs may turn slightly pink from this bath.

Commercial Products

Several products are available over the counter to remove skunk odors from animals. Look for one that actually eliminates the odor instead of masking it like Skunk Off Shampoo. Use the product liberally, according to the package directions. This should remove any lingering smell.

If you notice any bite marks or scratches when cleaning your dog, contact your veterinarian right away. Such injuries are prone to infection and require professional evaluation and treatment. Your dog may need antibiotics or stitches.

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