How to Deskunk Your Dog

Two Parts:Prepare Your Dog for BathingDeskunking Your Dog

The strong, pungent odor of skunk spray is easily recognizable, but unfortunately not easy to get rid of. While the spray can cause temporary irritation for your dog, the smell is the biggest threat to her and your entire family. If you act quickly and follow a few steps, you will be able to get rid of the odor as easily as possible.

Part 1
Prepare Your Dog for Bathing

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    Pay attention to your dog's mouth. It is highly possible that your dog may get sprayed in the face. When a dog is sprayed in the face, it can cause vomiting as well as mouth and throat irritation. You need to rinse out her mouth with water and look for areas of extreme irritation. You also may need to use a rag to wipe out her mouth as well is washing it doesn't get rid of the skunk spray. This irritation is temporary and should improve within 24 hours.
    • Until her condition improves, it may help to feed softened dry food to your dog. You should also eliminate any excessive chewing activities.
    • If your dog vomits, you should wait several hours before offering her food again. When you do, try giving her a small amount of something bland, such as chicken and rice or chicken broth. If vomiting or other symptoms continue, consult with your veterinarian.[1]
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    Wash your dog's eyes. When you dog gets sprayed in the eyes, it causes redness, irritation, and, in extreme cases, temporary blindness. If you notice redness or irritation, or if your dog is rubbing at her eyes, flush her eyes with cool water.
    • Keep a close look on your dog's eyes. If you continue to see redness or irritation, take her to the vet. You don't want to run the risk of infection or possible blindness.[2]
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    Be aware of rabies. When a skunk sprays your dog, it may have also bitten your dog. Skunks can transmit rabies by biting, so you need to look over your dog for any injuries or bite marks.
    • If your dog has evidence of a bite wound, contact your veterinarian immediately.[3]
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    Keep your dog away from other things. Skunk spray is actually an oil. The longer it stays in contact with your dog, the more difficult it will be to remove. This oily nature allows it to adhere, and easily transfer, to anything it comes in contact with. This makes it very hard to get out of a dog's coat or any other surface. While you're getting ready to bathe your dog, try to not let her come into contact with anything.
    • The odor will remain on anything that your dog touches, such as her bed, toys, clothes, or any furniture.
    • Also prevent her from playing with any other animals you have. She may transfer the smell to them as well.[4]
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    Take the dog outside. It is best to wash your dog outside. The skunk smell can permeate your house, but it can also cause respiratory problems for you, your family, and your dog. If it is cold, try to keep the dog into a large, open area of your home and keep your windows open or have fans blowing the smell out of the room.
    • As long as you have plenty of clean smelling air that does not have the skunk particles in it, you shouldn't have any adverse effects.[5]
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    Gather old towels. When you bathe your dog, you need to gather some towels that you don't mind throwing away or getting ruined. Any towels that you use when bathing your dog may not come clean and may need to be thrown away afterward.
    • You will want to make sure that you are able to keep her warm both during and after her bath, so have some extra towels or blankets around in case they get cold.[6]
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    Wear old clothes. Since you have to get up close to your dog to bathe her, you might get some of the wash or skunk spray on your clothes. Because of this, you should wear old clothes that can be thrown away if necessary.
    • You should also wear rubber gloves as well during the bath to prevent the oils from getting onto your skin. The oil can cause skin irritation as well as smell transfer.[7][8]

Part 2
Deskunking Your Dog

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    Soak up the oil. It's possible that your dog only gets sprayed on a small area of her body. Once you've located where your dog has been sprayed, try to soak up as much of the oil as you can from her coat. You can use paper towels or an old towel. After soaking up the oil, at least initially, you will want to focus your bathing in this area.
    • Make sure you clean everywhere she was sprayed. Try not spread the oil into other areas that haven't been sprayed.[9]
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    Use a commercial de-skunking product. There are several commercial describing products available. These will typically give you the best results because they contain enzymes to help neutralize the odor while they clean. Apply it like normal shampoos, but leave it on for 10 minutes to soak on your dog's fur to help break up the oil.
    • Try brands such as Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover.
    • You more than likely will need to bathe your dog multiple times to eliminate the odor.[10]
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    Make a home remedy. Sometimes, you may not have commercial products on hand. Since it is important to start the cleaning process as soon as possible, you may not have time to get one. For the most effective home remedy, combine 1 US-quart (950 ml) of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, liquid hand soap, or baby shampoo.
    • This amount is enough for a small dog. Double or triple these amounts depending on the size of your dog.
    • This mixture can explode if left in a closed container, so discard any solution that is leftover.[11]
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    Apply the home remedy. Once you have mixed up the solution, you need to bathe your dog. Apply this mixture to your dog like you would any other shampoo. Rub the mixture into the coat, making sure to get all the way down to the skin and cover all the affected areas. Let the mixture stay on your dog for 10 minutes. If necessary, cover your dog with an old towel or blanket to keep her warm while you wait. After 10 minutes, thoroughly rinse your dog.
    • Avoid getting the mixture in her eyes, mouth, and ears. Use a cloth or sponge to bathe around these areas.
    • Peroxide can cause some discoloration of your dog's fur, depending on your dog's hair color and how long it is left on the hair. Be careful if you are worried about the color change.[12]
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    Re-bathe your dog. Once completely rinsed, bathe your dog in her regular shampoo and rinse again. Next, dry your dog as much as possible. Make sure you use a different towel. You don't want to transfer the oils back to her skin.
    • Check the coat thoroughly for any lingering odor and repeat this process as needed. If the odor persists you may want to try one of the commercial products or an alternative method.[13][14]
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    Use peppermint mouthwash. One common alternative method of removing skunk smell is the use of peppermint mouthwash. Apply the mouthwash to your dog's coat and massage it in all the way down to the skin. Be sure to avoid getting it in her eyes. Be aware that mouthwash can cause a burning sensation if applied to cuts and scrapes.
    • Let the solution sit on the coat for 10 minutes and then bathe her in her regular shampoo. Let the shampoo sit on the coat for another 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
    • Repeat as needed. This can also be used as a spot treatment to help eliminate any lingering odors.
    • This may help with the odor, but will usually not get rid of the oils that cause it.[15]

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Categories: Dog Grooming