Being a dog owner brings many great joys, yet having your beloved pet sprayed by a skunk surely is not one of them. Whether your dog has just been sprayed or you have witnessed skunks lurking around your backyard, it is important to know how to handle this situation to have the most successful results. Keep in mind that skunks are nocturnal animals, so your pet could very well be sprayed at a time when you would least expect it and be the least prepared. That is why it is critical to have everything you need on hand before this actually happens, such as commercial skunk cleaners. If you are in a bind however, you can use a combination of vinegar, baking soda and dish soap instead.
Keep the Dog Outdoors and Gather Up Your Supplies
When you realize that your pet has been sprayed, try to keep him or her outdoors for as long as possible. Once your dog enters the home, it will not take long before the skunk odor absorbs into the household, especially fabrics and furniture. If you cannot contain your pet outside, choose a room that is well ventilated, open the windows and shut the door. Preferably, choose a bathroom in the home so that you can give your dog a bath in.
Next, gather your supplies, such as a pair of rubber gloves, skunk cleaners that you may have previously purchased and paper towels. Commercial skunk cleaners are the most effective, as they are made up of enzymes and microbes that tackle the skunk odor, breaking up unpleasant smells and deodorizing your pet. If you do not have these products however, opt for ½ cups of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of dish soap and 1 quart of vinegar. Mix the ingredients together, but be sure to dispose of any leftovers immediately.
Wipe Off Your Dog Using Paper Towels
Using a roll of paper towels or an old rag, wipe off your dog and try to absorb as much of the skunk odor as possible. You will see the area where your pet was sprayed, so try to soak up the fluid until your dog is dry. Now it is time to wash your pet, so using skunk cleaners or your own mixture, wash your dog from head to toe, being careful to avoid the eyes. If you notice that the eyes are red and irritated, try a saline solution to reduce the redness. If it persists however, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as skunks can carry certain diseases.
Wash Your Dog Using Skunk Cleaner
Apply the ingredients to your dog’s fur and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Rinse your pet and repeat if necessary. If you are using your own mixture, make a new batch, as the chemicals in the mixture will run out and no longer be effective. If using commercial products, most labels suggest that you put your pet in a bathtub or outdoor tub, rinse him or her with warm water, and apply the cleaner to the pet’s fur. Just as if you were using your own ingredients, leave the cleaner on for about 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water. If you would like, you can follow up with a dog shampoo to help improve the smell and have your pet’s coat look conditioned.
Since skunks can carry rabies, it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian if he or she becomes irritated on the skin or eyes after the spraying occurred. Other symptoms to look for include vomiting or being lethargic. Otherwise, taking the proper steps will ensure that your dog will be rid of the skunk smell in no time!