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A white and brown dog with pointy ears and a wagging tail is running on a sandy path with its tongue out. The background shows green grass on the left side.
Pet Blog

How To Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs

If you thought smelly frito paws were bad, let's talk about the stench of a skunked dog. Skunk spray is produced by the anal glands of the skunk to protect it from predators. The spray contains stinky sulfurous chemicals called thiols. Since skunks can spray this liquid as far as 15 feet, it’s common for dogs to get blasted.

What To Do After You've Noticed Your Dog Has Been Sprayed

It’s important to leave them outside to avoid bringing that noxious smell indoors. Then, you can begin the process to deskunk your dog.

At Home Cleaning Solution

Deskunking a dog can be inconvenient, but it is something that can usually be done at home. The best way to remove skunk smell from dogs is to follow the simple steps below:

  1. If possible, leave your dog outside while you gather your supplies so they don’t bring the stink indoors. If you must take them inside, it’s best to leave your pup in the bathroom.
  2. If their eyes seem red or irritated, flush them with fresh water immediately. There are also veterinary eyewash products that are safe for dogs, and if you live in an area where skunks are common, it may be a good idea to keep some on hand.
  3. You can purchase over the counter deskunking products, or you can make your own mix using 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, and 1/4 cup baking soda. (Do not make this product ahead of time and store it, as it can explode in a container.)
  4. Put on gloves and thoroughly shampoo this mixture onto your dog’s fur, taking care to avoid their eyes. Don’t leave it on after you’re done shampooing - rinse immediately, completely removing the shampoo from their fur.
  5. Use a regular dog shampoo to remove any residual chemicals and rinse again.
  6. Towel dry your pup and leave them in a warm room or out in the sunshine to fully dry their coat.
  7. If some of the stink rubbed onto you, you can wash your clothes by adding a half cup of baking soda with your regular laundry detergent.

After all that drama, your pup deserves a treat! Show them that you know they are a good boy or good girl by rewarding them with a tasty chew!

When To Call A Professional

It’s quite rare for dogs that have been skunked to have a serious reaction, and deskunking dogs can often be done at home. Observe them to see if their eyes become irritated, as they might need to be professionally flushed at the vet’s office.

If your dog gets skunked more than once, you most likely have a skunk living on your property. You can check your yard for skunk’s den, which may be in the ground or under a porch. You can try to persuade them to leave on their own by packing their den hole with dry leaves or straw, or filling their den with kitty litter. Skunks are turned off by brightly lit or loud environments, so you can make your yard less appealing by adding more outdoor lighting at night and putting on the radio outside.