Skunk Odor Remedies for Dogs
Copyright 2012 Shawn Cole. All Rights Reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
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What Makes a Skunk Spray Smell Awful
There are six different compounds of
sulfur and hydrogen that make up the smelly oil.
This oil is called skunk musk. The two musk glands can
squirt or spray musk up to ten feet.
The reason that the spray is worse when it contacts an animal's
fur is that it reacts with the animal protein. That is
why the skunk smell is is worse when in contact with an animal
than when it it sprayed on the ground.
IS WORSE WHEN IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH WATER
Only three of the compounds stink
when the skunk first sprays. THE OTHER
THREE (3) COMPOUNDS HAVE A DELAYED ACTION THAT CHEMICALLY STARTS
TO SMELL WHEN IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH WATER.
THIS IS WHY WASHING CLOTHES IN WATER OR WASHING A
DOG'S COAT MAKES THE SMELL WORSE AND IS COUNTER-PRODUCIIVE
The best thing for washing and getting rid of the skunk's smell is
When can Your Dog be Skunk Sprayed?
Your dog can be sprayed by a skunk at any time. It is
actually unusual for skunks to be out in the day time. It is
much more likely that your dog will be sprayed at night. It
may even be late enough for the stores to be closed. Even if
the stores are open, they may not sell commercial
skunk odor remover. You need to HAVE
SKUNK REMOVER IN THE HOUSE FOR IMMEDIATE USE.
There will no time to put the dog somewhere where he will
not spread the odor to your entire home while you drive to the pet
store to get commercial skunk remover. Not all
stores open late at night stock commercial skunk remover.
It may be late enough that the local pet stores are
closed. By the time you get back, your entire
house, walls, floors and carpeting stink. You do
not want to just put the dog outside until
morning. That will make it much harder to remove
the smell. It is important to remove the
skunk oil from the dog as soon as possible.
We recommend that all dog owners put together an Emergency Kit of products that you can
use if a skunk sprays your dog. Whether you use a
commercial product or make a home-made product -- you need
to gather all the products and supplies you will need
and put them in a plastic storage box for future use.
After a skunk has sprayed your dog is no time
to gather these items. The situation is now an emergency.
- Several bottles of Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover
(or other commercial skunk remover)
- A bottle of Dawn dish soap
- Medium plastic storage box
to store supplies -- also can be used to pour
the Nature's Miracle into for ease of soaking a small bath
face cloth instead o finding a bucket. If using
the home-made baking soda method and vinegar - remember
the mixture will fizz up so be sure the plastic box can hold
several quarts -- or better yet gallons -- of
liquid) The dog will be excited.
The larger plastic box will be more stable and not
tip over easily. Remember you will be
holding the dog with one hand and trying to soak a face cloth
with the other hand into the
solution. Most dogs
do not like getting a bath. You may even
want to keep the extra plastic bottles of Nature's Miracle
upright in the plastic box to help stabilize and weight down
- Several small bath face
- Two quarts of vinegar or
apple cider vinegar (if you use the home-made skunk
remove method - or accidentally run out of commercial
- Large box of baking soda
(if you use the homemade skunk remover - DO
NOT USE BAKING POWDER)
- Bottle of dog shampoo
- Latex or rubber gloves
- Protective plastic apron
- Protective eye-wear
Think of this as your EMERGENCY KIT.
That way I simply have to get one plastic box and
can immediately use it.
Remember time is important. The smell
is traveling through our house. I also keep two bottles
of vinegar and a box of baking soda
in the emergency kit. That is the back-up plan if I
use all the Nature's Miracle and forget to replace
it -- I still have something to remove the skunk odor.
(See the instructions at the end of the
article for making home-made skunk remover with vinegar and
I also know that I will not find a plastic bucket when I need
one. I simply dump all the supplies from the Emergency
Kit out of the plastic box. Now
I have a plastic box to put in the commercial odor
remover. I can then use the bath cloth to
soak the odor remover into instead of trying to pour it
out of the bottle when the dog is in the tub and very
upset. The dog could knock over the bottle
onto the floor when I would try to pour it onto the cloth.
Remember both you and the dog are very upset and
excited. There is not much room on
the bathroom floor for a bowl or bucket that could tip
over. It is much easier to soak the face cloth into the
mixture than to pour the mixture on the face
cloth. The plastic storage box has a
flat bottom. This is better than trying to use
a bowl that can tip over.
Miracle Skunk Remover Method
There are other brands of commercial skunk odor remover. I
have not tested the other brands. The following is the brand
that I have found to work well.
How to Use the Nature's Miracle Mixture
- Pour the Nature's Miracle into the empty plastic
storage box or a bucket. (I use the same
storage container that holds all the supplies)
- Soak the bath wash cloth and soak the dog's coat
- Use this mixture on your dog's DRY
- Wipe it around the ears, muzzle, head but keep away from the
- DO NOT RINSE OFF
- Allow the dog's coat to air dry
Nature's Miracle Label Directions
Shake well. APPLY FULL STRENGTH on the pet.
For face area, apply with a saturated cloth, avoiding eyes, nose,
mouth and ear areas. Allow to dry for complete odor
removal. DO NOT BATHE THE PET UNTIL
COAT IS COMPLETELY DRY AND ODOR IS REMOVED.
We recommend that you follow the directions and have the dog's hair
air dry. At this point the odor is almost if not completely
The Next Day
- If the odor is not completely gone, repeat the directions --
applying full strength to your dog's dry coat.
- After the dog's coat air dries again - you can wash
the dog with a solution of Dawn Dish Soap and
water. This product has been used on the
birds that have been caught in oil slicks -- and used
successfully in breaking up the oil deposits. Since the
skunk spray is very oily - washing the dog's coat with Dawn
dish soap will help break down any oil that may remain on
the dog's coat.
- Rinse the dog's coat completely with warm water and allow to
completely air dry.
- DO NOT USE A HAIR DRYER.
Heat activates any skunk oil that may have remained on the
Repeat the directions on the label
on Nature's Miracle to the dog's DRY
COAT if you still smell a skunk odor.
Allow the dog's coat to again air dry. This two day process
has worked well for our dogs. There are times when this
process works the first time -- with no need to repeat the
process. It depends on how much the skunk sprayed his oil
stink on the dog. A full, direct hit may require
the repeating the process. A light spray hit may work
completely the first time.
In a few days, I wash the dog again in a good dog
shampoo. Be sure the shampoo has a good cream
condition to restore the condition of the dog's coat.
If you have not purchased a commercial skunk odor remover, you can
make a home-made odor remover from items that you probably
have in your house. You may have a box of baking soda in your
refrigerator that use to absorb refrigerator
it is best to put together an Emergency Kit BEFORE THE SKUNK
SPRAYS YOUR DOG.
See the list of supplies listed earlier in the article for both
commercial and home-made skunk remover.
The Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine
tested and recommends using a mixture of 1/3 part white
vinegar mixed with 2/3 parts water. They allowed it to
sit on the dog's coat for 15 minutes.
Rinse the dog 's coat with warm water and reapply the
vinegar, and water solution until the odor is
gone. The university researchers do admit that sometimes
a faint odor may remain. Then the process must be
repeated. The Home-Made Recipe listed below also uses
Dawn dishwashing liquid. This is an excellent product to
break up the oil.
If the first application did not remove all the skunk odor -- repeat
the process again and allow your dog's coat to dry. If any
odor remains, wash the dog's coat with Dawn dishwashing
soap. Dawn soap is used when birds are
caught in an oil slick. It is excellent at removing the
oil by breaking it up. Skunk spray is an
oily mixture that contains sulfur. Wash the
dog's coat in the dish washing soap. If any odor remains,
repeat the process of soaking the dog's coat in the home-made skunk
The Home-Made Skunk Odor Remover
CAUTION: Of the
Six Compounds in the skunk's spray -- three (3)
become active when in contact with water.
Do not wash your dog until the odor from the vinegar, baking soda
and Dawn dish wash liquid have removed the skunk's
odor. Doing so before the odor is removed WILL MAKE
THE ODOR WORSE IF YOU USE WATER.
- 1 quart (32 oz) oz of white vinegar (you can also use
Apple Cider Vinegar)
- 1/4 cup baking soda (not
- 1/8 cup Dawn dish-washing liquid
NOT USE WATER !!
Never attempt to bottle this solution in any bottle or
container. the gas that is generated by the formula will cause
the container lid or bottle cap to pop off. That can be
dangerous. ALWAYS MIX THE VINEGAR
AND BAKING SODA AT THE TIME OF USE. Throw away any
mixture that was not used during the current treatment.
Make a new batch for another treatment.
- Pour the baking soda and vinegar and dish-washing soap into
a bucket or the plastic box containing your emergency kit of
supplies. It is better to use the storage container for
your Emergency Kit than run through the house trying to find a
- The mixture will bubble and fizz up so be sure the bucket or
container is large enough to hold 2 quarts or more of the
liquid. Most storage containers that you will use
will hold at least a gallon - probably more
of liquid. It needs to be that big to store all the
equipment and products that you need in your Emergency Kit.
- Soak the bath cloths into the mixture and apply directly to
the area of the skunk spray oil.
- Make sure the dog's coat is well saturated and let stand for
at least 15 minutes. This will allow the mixture
to work to remove the skunk smell in the oil spray.
- Gently rub the mixture into the dog's coat to help saturate
all layers of the dog's coat -- not just the top layer
of the coat.. Many dogs have a thick coat and rubbing
the mixture in will help penetrate the bottom layers of the
dog's coat. The most common reason for the skunk odor to
remain is that the mixture is not fully saturating the
dog's coat down to the skin.
- Rinse the dog's coat with warm water.
- Check for any remaining odor.
- Repeat the process if any skunk odor remain
- If this Home-Made recipe does not completely remove the
skunk odor -- you probably want to purchase a bottle of
Natures Miracle or other commercial brand of skunk odor
- Use a dog shampoo with a cream rinse and/or conditioner
after the odor is removed. This will help restore
your dog's coat texture and shine.
Using 3% Peroxide Instead of Vinegar
The Home-Made Recipe can also use 3% hydrogen peroxide instead of
the white or apple cider vinegar. Be aware that hydrogen
peroxide will bleach the dog's coat. If you have a dark
colored dog, the coat may become bleached out or even turn a reddish
or orange color. (The same thing can happen to women who use
peroxide to bleach their dark hair). It does not
always happen but hydrogen peroxide has been known to bring
out any red highlights in the person's or dog's hair)
Skunk's Tail is not Up In the Air
If a skunk is walking at night and
his tail is not up -- he is not about to spray. It is when
the skunk raises his tail that he is ready to shoot that awful oil
and smell. Try to quietly walk your
dog away from the skunk into a safe area or into the
house. A skunk is only capable of
shooting out his spray once per day.
If You See a Skunk During the Day
immediately. That skunk could be
rabid. If it is walking in an unusual
manner, call the local authorities and report it.