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Skunk Odor Remedies for Dogs

( Copyright 2012 Shawn Cole. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.).

Cole Home Maintenance is an exterminator Located in Palatine and serving towns in
Lake County, Cook County, Mc Henry County, Du Page County, Kane County
$60.00 to spray up to a 2 bedroom apt for bed bugs

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. 




The best thing for washing and getting rid of the skunk's smell is peroxide formula.

 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.

Emergency Kit

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. 

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 baking soda). 

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.    

Nature's Miracle Skunk Remover Method      (Commercial Product)

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

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 gone.

The Next Day

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. 

Home-Made Skunk Remover

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 odors.    Remember 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 mixture.

The Home-Made Skunk Odor Remover Recipe

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.


CAUTION  !!    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.

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

Stay away immediately.    That skunk could be rabid.     If it is walking in an unusual manner, call the local authorities and report it.