What to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk

Pet Sitter Cheshire

If possible, keep your dog outside so he doesn’t get the skunk smell in your house.  It can be challenging to get the smell out of furniture or carpets.  Use gloves when handling your pet and be very careful not to rub your face or eyes. 

Check to make sure your dog’s eye are not red.  Skunk spray is an irritant and can cause pain and other problems if it gets in your dog’s eyes.  If his eyes appear irritated, or red, you can gently flush them with room temperature eye wash.  (The kind made for humans works just fine.) If you don’t have eye wash, bottled or filtered water can be used in a pinch.

There are several methods that are known to remove skunk spray fairly effectively.  I have listed them here in no particular order:

Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover

This product can be purchased in most pet supply stores.  Apply the product to the coat of the dog at full strength.  Use a cloth to apply to the face, avoiding eyes, nose, mouth, and the inside of the ears.  Allow the product to sit on the coat for five minutes.  Rinse with clear water. Bath your dog with his regular shampoo.


This product is available through some pets supply stores and many vets.  Apply the product to the coat of the dog at full strength and allow to dry.  It may take a few applications to completely work. Be careful with this product as it has been known to cause eye and skin irritation. This product can be used on carpets and furniture as well.

Tomato Juice

This remedy is an old favorite.  Bath your dog with his normal shampoo, rinse, and dry him off.  Then apply tomato juice liberally to his coat.  Allow it to soak in for 15 minutes.  Rinse off the juice and wash him again with his normal shampoo.  You may have to repeat this procedure a few times before it is effective.  WARNING: White dogs will often turn orange for a while after this.

Homemade Skunk Remover

Mix together:

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (available at your local pharmacy

1/4 cup baking soda

1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap (Dawn works best)

DO NOT MIX EARLY AND STORE.  This mixture will not keep and may explode if kept in an air tight container.

Wash your dog with the solution as soon after he gets sprayed as possible.  Keep the mixture out of his eyes as it may cause irritation.  Do not leave the mixture on for more than five minutes.  It can cause bleaching in darkly colored dogs.  Rinse with clean water.  Bath your dog with his normal shampoo.

Vinegar Water

Mix together one part vinegar with one part water.  Apply to your dog.  Allow it to sit for five minutes.  Rinse with clear water.  Reapply the vinegar water solution. Rinse again, and then bath your dog with his regular shampoo.

Rub your dog briskly with a towel to begin the drying process.  If you have a forced air dryer, that would work well to help dry them faster. Keep your dog in a warm area to dry.  Give him a towel to lay on to help wick water from his under coat.  If you chose to use a human hair dryer, be very careful to not overheat your pet, and keep the hair dryer well away from him to prevent burns.  

If your dog got any of the skunk smell on his collar, leash, your clothing, or anything else that can go into the washing machine, you can remove the smell by adding a half cup of baking soda to your regular laundry detergent.  

If any of these options are impossible for you, contact a local groomer.  Many of them will have special rates and be available for last minute ‘de-skunking’ appointments.  If it is necessary to put your dog in the car while he is still skunked, put down plastic tarps or lots of towels to keep the spray from contaminating your car.

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Petco Wallingford