What To Do if Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk

dog sprayed by skunk

Photo: Dog Day Getaway

It may not have happened to everyone, but with cabin season fast approaching, it’s good to know what you can do to de-skunk your dog if he/she gets sprayed — without using up your entire supply of tomato juice. [Related Story: 5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Pooch]

1. Keep Your Dog Outside.

Once that smell is in your house, it’s in your house. And it’s gonna stick around for a while. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard or don’t trust your buddy not to escape at the end of a lead,  a closed garage will work too.

2. Check Fido’s Eyes.

If they’re red or irritated, flush them with cool water immediately. (Aren’t you glad you’re already outside? You can get the water everywhere without worrying about a mess!)

3.  Mix It Up.

Here’s what you need:

  1. a quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
  2. a quarter-cup of baking soda
  3. a teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap

While we don’t typically recommend using dish soap on your dog (their skin is far too delicate and has a different pH level than ours), desperate times call for desperate measures.

Also, and this is crucially important, do not make this mixture up ahead of time or try to save extras in a bottle; there’s a high likelihood that it will explode. Seriously.

4. Scrub ‘Er Down.

Wearing rubber gloves, wash your dog with your mixture as soon as possible after the spraying. Be extra careful not to get any of this solution in your dog’s eyes! Rub the mixture thoroughly into the fur, but don’t leave it on too long. Try to be as efficient as possible (get someone to help you if you need), as leaving the mixture in too long could bleach the fur. Then rinse and rinse and rinse again.

5. Shampoo your Pooch.

Wash your dog as you regularly would, with his/her regular shampoo. Make sure you rinse thoroughly, of course, and rub down with a towel to wick away excess moisture.


And that should do it! On warm summer days, your buddy is safe to air dry, but dogs with especially thick fur (or any dog when it’s cold out) should be dried with a hairdryer. Just be careful where you point it, as the noise can be scary and/or harmful to sensitive doggie ears.

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