Q: Help, it’s spring and the skunks are out. My dog seems to be flirting on the edge of disaster every time he goes outside. Sometimes he smells a little, but last time he got a full on hit of skunk. I tried the tomato bath thing and it was just messy. The dog still smelled like skunk. What’s the best way to remove the skunk smell from him and me. ……………James, T
A: I’d be keeping that puppy out of the house or locked in a crate until you get the smell out. According to a Popular Science magazine article from 1995 the best combination for cleaning up Fido is a few simple household products. For an average size dog, 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 tsp. liquid soap.
Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself, hose the dog down to make him wet and then slowly pour the solution over the dog making sure it does not get into his eyes. Rub the mixture into the fur but don’t leave it on too long because the peroxide could bleach the fur and lighten it. Rinse the dog thoroughly and then wash him again with dog shampoo. This should eliminate the odor and make him sweet smelling again. It is safe to repeat again if the first time doesn’t do the trick.
If you don’t have these products on hand, a diluted vinegar and water solution will neutralize the odor until you can get to washing Fido. If you get some of the scent on your clothes you can launder them using your regular detergent with an added half cup of baking soda in the water.
There are some over-the-counter products such as Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover which will work as well. They would be available at most specialty pet retailers. The “old” methods of using a tomato bath or “Massengill” douche bath never really get rid of the smell completely. When the dog gets wet from rain or shower, the scent appears again.
To avoid future issues with dog-skunk interactions, here are a few things that might make your home a less appealing place for skunks. Do not leave any food outside, including bird seed and fallen fruit from trees. Secure your garbage cans in an inaccessible place if possible, or at the very least, secure the lids so they can’t get in. Putting moth balls and ammonia soaked rags around the edges of your property should help to keep them from coming near.
Skunks are crepuscular, active mainly at twilight, dawn and full moon nights. They do not see well, so be sure to use a flashlight or motion detector lights to alert them to your presence.
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- Wednesday, 25 April 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn