When your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, there’s more to worry about than how to remove skunk smell from the dog. Although rare, compounds in skunk spray can cause chemical reactions in the body that damage red blood cells and hemoglobin. This can be deadly.
While this reaction is least likely to happen if your dog is sprayed in open air, small dogs who get sprayed while trying to dig skunks out of burrows can collapse and lose consciousness so quickly that they must be dug out of the burrow themselves to be rescued. Hemoglobin damage occurs within minutes to hours. Signs include chocolate-colored gums, chocolate-colored urine, trouble breathing, weakness, collapse, seizure, and coma. Red blood cell damage may take three days to show up. Signs include weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, and trouble breathing.
So, the first thing to do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk is to be aware of this rare but deadly consequence and carefully monitor your dog’s mucous membranes, urine, and breathing for several days after a skunk encounter. If you have any concerns, call your veterinarian immediately.
On to how to remove skunk smell from your dog. Skunk smell can last on your dog and anything else it touches for up to three weeks! The sooner you begin to remove the smell, the better.
The homemade recipe is the absolute best remedy for removing skunk odor from your dog. Nothing else comes close. Don’t waste time heading out to purchase commercial products while your dog stinks up your home. Keep these ingredients on hand at home, and you can be done with this smelly nightmare as fast as you can say “pee-yoooo.”
- 1 quart FRESH 3% hydrogen peroxide (“fresh” means a previously unopened bottle)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 tbsp liquid dish soap (preferably Dawn)
First, bathe your dog with Dawn dishwashing liquid to remove as much of the oily film as you can. Next, mix the ingredients in a bowl and use the entire contents, rubbing it into your dog’s coat, focusing heavily on the areas directly sprayed, for 5 minutes. Then rinse. As long as you have treated every area hit by spray, your dog should be fresh as a daisy and good to go. Remember that:
- You cannot mix this anti-skunk smell recipe ahead of time.
- If the dog got sprayed in the face, you must treat the face. Be careful to keep the solution out of the eyes, and hold the eyelids closed while rinsing the face.
- Do not leave this remedy on the dog longer than 5 minutes as it may bleach the coat.
- It is OK to repeat as needed if necessary, rinsing between.