Summertime, the skunks are out and you now you have skunk spray on your dog! The word skunk is perhaps the most dreaded word to a dog owner. Summer is a time of year when skunk sightings and altercations increase. In the colder months they go into semi-hibernation, living in dens underground.
Skunks are usually not aggressive; they would prefer to run than to fight. When they are threatened by your dog, as a protective mechanism, they release a foul-smelling spray up to a distance of 16 feet. This thick yellow spray is called a mercapten, which contains sulfur giving it it’s odiferous scent.
Most dogs are sprayed in their face because the skunk will arch it’s back with head and butt facing the intruder resulting in a facial coating of mercaptens.
Nothing smells worse than a dog drenched in skunk spray! If you find your dog lost a disagreement with a skunk, try the following homemade shampoo to try to cut the smell down. It helps a lot and has proven to work a lot better than other remedies including beer or commercial skunk scent remover.
Use H.B.S. (Hit By Skunk) Shampoo for Skunk Spray On Your Dog
Warning: Mix up the following in an open container. In a closed container it could explode due to a chemical reaction.
1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
1 Cup Baking Soda (not baking powder)
1 Tsp liquid soap (E.g. Dawn dishwashing detergent)
Directions: Mix together and bathe dog well. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.
Skunk Spray Removal Tips:
- Keep your dog outside
- Wear clothes that are disposable
- Examine your pet for injuries, if scratches are present bring your pet to the vet
- Don’t hose your dog down immediately, this could spread the mercaptens into wounds and result in pain and burning sensation
- Avoid eye contact or better yet, apply an eye lubricant or a few drops of mineral oil to your dog’s eyes.
- Apply H.B.S. – (Hit By Skunk) Shampoo: Mix together the ingredients and bathe your dog well. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Towel-dry-dry your dog and let your dog rest in a warm place to prevent chilling.
How does the hydrogen peroxide work? Hydrogen peroxide reacts with the chemical in the skunk spray and releases oxygen radicals that neutralize the skunk scent. The smell should quickly disappear.
If you would like to learn more about Doc Martin and the Plantation Pet Health Center, please call 972-731-0001 to schedule an appointment or complete an Online Appointment Request.