That Stinks! What to do When Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk

“Ugh. That stinks! What is that smell?”

“It’s skunk…It’s the dog!!!”

Skunks are non-aggressive animals that prefer flight to fight; however, when threatened, they are capable of spraying an incredibly foul substance up to a distance of 16 feet. This stinky spray is thick, yellow, oily and is degraded from urine and released from scent glands located on a skunks back end. This secretion is called mercaptan. An interesting fact; mercaptan is added to odor-free natural gases so that we can tell if we’ve sprung a gas leak.

Animals that get sprayed by skunks tend to take the brunt of it in their face. So if you notice any redness or irritation, it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet. You’ll want to change into some old clothes before you bathe your dog. Wear a pair of gloves you can throw away. Also, make sure you inspect your dog for any type of wounds. If you see any openings in the skin, bring your dog to the vet immediately. Besides spraying your dog, the skunk could have bit him or her as well. Try to rinse your dogs eyes out before bathing him or her.


Try to wipe off the oil on your dog’s coat first with paper towels or old towels that you can throw away. Prep your dog’s eyes by applying a drop or two of mineral oil. Then, in an open plastic bucket combine:

1 quart Tepid Water

1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

1/4 cup Baking Soda

1-2 teaspoons Ivory Dish Detergent

Do not add more than the recommended amount of Hydrogen Peroxide, because you risk the chance of burning your dog’s skin. Use a sponge to massage in the concoction on your dog. Leave it sit 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse your dog very well.

What doesn’t work?

Tomatoe juice. It doesn’t remove the smell, only masks it.


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