Skunks are Out and About – Be Prepared

As the weather gets warner sunrise and sunset brings out, particularly in more rural areas, these potentially “highly fragrant” critters called skunks. They can spray you, and also your unaware furry child(ren).   Speaking from personal experience, the stink can and does linger and be brought inside you house by our “best friends” as well.

Skunks are not typically aggressive and usually retreat when they are fearful, but if startled or eagerly approached for playtime, it can quickly turn to spray time. 

How to prepare?
There are specific skunk sprays, Skunk Off being one, and other skunk spray eliminating shampoos on the market.  Some are effective; others not so much.  The Humane Society and our vet recommend the following.

  1.  Act fast.  The longer the spray stays on your pet’s coat, the stronger the scent will become and the harder it will be to wash out and eliminate.  Sat outside to prevent the odor from setting into carpets, etc.
  2. Put rubber disposable gloves on your hands before bathing your pet.
  3. Now for the bathing recipe-1 QT. hydrogen peroxide, ¼ CUP baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to remove the smell.  Be careful top use recommended measurements especially of hydrogen peroxide as this can burn the pet’s skin.  Make sure your ingredients are not too old (old means older than one year). Also leave on the dog after scrubbing it into fur 5 minutes. 
  4. Be sure to mix ingredients and do not cover your container afterwards as this can cause a chemical explosion otherwise.  DO NOT STORE THIS SOLUTION, even though you may have to repeat washing your pet to get rid of this foul smell.
  5. Often effective after washing the dog with the solution above is soak the dog in tomato juice or apple cider vinegar.

How to handle various scenarios of skunk interaction your pet?

  1. If you dog was bitten-see vet asap.  Skunks can carry rabies and if the skin was broken your pet should be quarantined.
  2. If you dog was sprayed in the face, avoid getting any shampoo or cleaning liquid into the irritated eyes, nose and mouth which will probably be watering as the scent is so strong.  This is usually a temporary state until you are able to wash the odor off.

How NOT to be an inviting home for skunks?

  1.  Block under home crawl spaces
  2.  Have tightly sealed and washed down garbage cans
  3.  Have no open storage chests, plant shed, rock piles, large open cartons.
  4. Don’t leave out pet food.
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