Help – my dog was sprayed by a skunk!

Dear Pet Lovers:

My dog Lucy was sprayed by a skunk and she absolutely stinks. What do you recommend to remedy this situation? I remember hearing something about a tomato juice bath?

Lucy’s Mom

Dear LM:

Hurry up as time is of the essence and you need to act fast when your dog is sprayed by a skunk. Before you do anything you should inspect your dog for any cuts and take a look at her eyes to see if they are red and watery, which could mean she was sprayed by in the eyes and should get to the vet. Your dog won’t be blinded but it is very painful.

Tomato juice is a time-honored way of covering the smell up, but it doesn’t necessarily get rid of it. The hydrogen peroxide solution beloshould do the trick, but do it outside and be extra careful to not get any in your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth as it is a harsh solution.

Directions to de-skunk your dog:

1) Put on latex gloves, go outside and mix together in a large open bucket or bowl (the solution will foam up and should never have a top):

  • 1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap  (Dawn Dishwashing Detergent is often recommended, but any dish soap will work)

2.) Thoroughly wet your dog with warm water and then the solution while it is still bubbling. Knead it well into her coat and be careful to keep the formula out of her eyes, nose and mouth; you can use a sponge to carefully wipe it onto her face.

3.) Let the solution stand for 10 minutes before rinsing. Follow the bath with a thorough rinse. Be sure to protect her eyes when rinsing her head. Chances are you will not get all of the smell off of your dog’s face and will have to live with that as it wears off.

4.) Discard excess solution.

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