dog taking a bubble bath

De-Skunking Your Dog: A Step by Step

It was bound to happen at one point: Your dog got sprayed by a skunk! Even if Rover had the best of intentions, skunks are naturally timid and will spray when threatened or cornered.

In any case, the smell can be hard to remove. Here’s how to de-skunk a dog as quickly and as thoroughly as possible:

1. Keep Your Dog Outside

While it may be tempting to bring the dog right to the bathtub, you may want to reconsider. Keeping your dog outdoors through the majority of cleaning will help minimize the spread of odors while allowing for more thorough cleaning.

2. Check Dog’s Eyes and Mouth

Skunk spray can cause eye irritation and vomiting. Before cleaning, check both these areas for skunk spray and rinse thoroughly if necessary.

3. Prepare a Cleaning Solution

While there are several de-skunking shampoos available, you can make your own with simple household ingredients. Try this recipe from The Humane Society of the United States:

  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dishwashing soap

When you’re ready to clean, mix the solution and use it immediately with rubber gloves.

4. Wash Your Dog

Wet your dog’s fur, and then gently massage in the cleaning solution or shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and immediately—leaving the solution in for too long can cause fur bleaching.

5. Dry and Repeat

Gently towel-dry your dog. Likely, your dog will still have a residual skunk odor, so you may want to repeat the cleaning process one or two times. After cleaning, move your dog to a warm, dry location so they don’t get too cold.

6. Remove the Skunk

If your dog has repeat encounters with a local skunk, then there may be a skunk den on or near your property. In these cases, skunk removal may be necessary to avoid future spraying.

For more information on skunk removal and other wildlife control services, call our team at 310- 551-0901.