Dealing with a smelly situation.

Posted By elaine on September 1, 2009

spraying skunkYesterday evening I was out walking my three dogs as I always do when I get home from work.  Normally it’s a very relaxing time that both the dogs and I enjoy very much, as we stroll down the country roads near our home. Yesterday was a little different.  As we were walking, my puppy Gilda saw something move in a nearby ditch and before I could lock the retractable leash she pounced.  In an instant she regretted her decision.  What looked like a fun animal to harass fought back and we all paid the price for her decision and my slow “trigger” finger.  Soon all the dogs were rolling on the ground trying to get the stinging and stench from the little skunk’s spray.  While we all got a little “mist”, Gilda took a direct hit to her face and neck and she was in misery for the rest of the walk back home.

  During warmer months dog/skunk contact is pretty common and owners are often left trying to figure out how to get the stink out of their roommate’s fur.  I can tell you as a long time dog owner and breeder of Bernese Mountain Dogs living in the country I have tried just about everything to get the smell out.  Nothing I have tried eliminates the skunk smell, but I have been able to make it subtle enough to live with.  Also skunk spray intensity varies from skunk to skunk and just how much your dog gets on him will dictate the end result of the smell removal process.  A really pungent skunk’s spray will linger for months and will be particularly noticeable when your dog gets wet.    I have tried a lot of other home remedies, but there is one that seems to work the best, and it is not tomato juice!  I mix a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and a teaspoon of dog shampoo(liquid dish soap works too!).  I put it on the area where the skunk spray is and I wait about four minutes and then thoroughly rinse.  This mixture tends to dry out coats and since it has peroxide in it I worry there could be some fading in darker coats, so I am careful to use it sparingly, only on areas where the skunk spray is at.   I also make sure to re-wash the dog with a dog shampoo and a good dog conditioner.  Never use human shampoos because the dog’s PH is different than ours.  If the spray is particularly bad I will use a commercial skunk shampoo like “Skunk Off” in place of the regular shampoo.

Unfortunately, the spray often happens in the face area.  If the dog gets hit in the eyes you may want to rinse them out with saline solution or cool, clean water to help with the discomfort.  Also before you wash their faces with above solution make sure and cover their eyes.  If you have to really soap up their face I suggest an ophthalmic eye ointment.

Lastly the peroxide solution was created by a chemist and he was never able to patent it because it creates a gas and can’t be bottled, so only make what you will use.

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