How to Clean a Dog Sprayed by a Skunk – and Keep it From Happening Again

We all know the smell. Learn how to get rid of it and how to avoid it in the future.

Dog sprayed by a skunk, being washed in bath tub by owner wearing yellow gloves.

The longer the spray has to settle in, the harder it will be getting it out.

It happens to the best of pets, especially during the warm weather: An overly curious canine comes in contact with a frightened skunk, and before you know it, there's a terrible stench.

There's no time to waste. The longer the spray has to settle in, the harder your job will be getting it out.

The source's first piece of advice is to call your local groomer. If he or she can take an emergency visit, your groomer will be better trained to deal with the skunk stench fallout than you. If not, there's a DIY solution. But start by grabbing some ratty old clothes you don't mind tossing out and a pair of rubber gloves. Then follow these steps.

Assemble your materials

You'll need a hose, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, liquid soap, and an open bowl to mix them all in. Make sure you don't mix your ingredients in a closed container since the mixture will cause a chemical reaction. Pour a quart of the hydrogen peroxide in with 1/4 cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of the liquid soap. Add a little water to cut the mixture. Don't use old ingredients, either.

Begin cleaning

Take the mixture and massage it into your dog's coat where the skunk's oils hit the worst. Like a carpet stain, don't spread the skunk spray. When you're cleaning your dog's face, be very careful to avoid his or her mouth, eyes, and nose. Let the mixture sit in your pet's fur for about 10 minutes before washing him or her down with lukewarm water from the hose. Then you'll want to repeat the cleaning process. And remember to keep the dog treats flowing freely – this isn't much fun for your dog, either! With any luck, the stink will be gone after a few more thorough washings. At the very least, you'll have thoroughly cut down on the stench.

It's also important that you inspect your dog for signs of injury before cleaning. If there's a cut or scratch, take your pet directly to the vet and skip washing altogether.

Avoid a second incident

The keys to keeping this from ever happening – or happening again – are tall fences that go at least a foot underground, states The Daily Puppy. Also, keep your dog inside at night when possible, and don't let him or her roam after dark off the leash.