Skunks use their anal scent glands to protect themselves from predators. And since dogs are curious by nature, they are often victims of skunk dousing. The same situation applies to cats as well. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true ways to de-skunk your pooch if they ever cross the line with a defensive skunk.
Continue reading to learn one method that seems to do the trick for most pet owners, and what you can do about getting rid of nuisance skunks on your property.
Why Skunks Spray
Understanding why skunks spray can help you defend your pet from future attacks. You see, skunks have this built-in weapon as their last line of defense against predators. Mothering skunks are more likely to spray attack, however, any skunk that is provoked too much will spray to gain freedom or space from whatever it is that is provoking them. Dogs are “sniffers” and like to get to know other animals by smelling their rear sides; skunks do not like this behavior and consider it a threat, making dogs a common victim of skunk spray attacks.
Skunk Smell Composition
So what is it that you smell on your dog? The oily liquid that comes out of the anal glands is a chemical compound called a thiol. In fact, there are multiple types of thiols that make up the chemical composition of their spray, two of which are the root cause of the signature skunk odor. Since it is oil-based, the odor can linger for a long time. Also, it requires a certain approach to completely remove it from pet fur.
To Get Rid of Skunk Smell, You Will Need:
☑ Baking Soda
☑ White Distilled Vinegar
☑ Liquid Hand Soap
☑ 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
Now Follow These Steps:
Check your dog’s eyes, mouth, and nose to ensure the spray has not come into contact in these areas. If they have, it can cause serious inflammation and irritation. Take your pooch to the vet right away if they were sprayed in these areas. Do not wait to clean them first. Your vet will also ensure that they were not bitten or scratched in addition to the spray attack.
If your dog’s eyes, mouth, and nose are okay, you can continue by thoroughly rinsing them with clean water. It is recommended to do this outdoors; NOT in a bathtub or shower. If you bring them indoors, the smell will come inside with them! It can be made worse if your pooch decides to jump on your bed or couch!
After the rinse, mix together 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of liquid hand soap (do not use detergent). Generously bathe your dog in the solution, and then rinse them clean with warm water. You may need to repeat this step 3 to 4 times, depending on the strength of the smell.
Once your pet dries, you can finish the job with a little pet perfume, available at any local pet store. Or you can get their hair trimmed to remove some odorous fibers. For really strong, lingering smells, you can finish their fur with some natural essential oil, like lavender or lemon. Just put a few drops in a spray bottle with water, and then spray their coat while avoiding the eyes and nose.