Skunked!

Like most brachycephalic dogs, B doesn’t do well in extreme temperatures. In the summer, our usual walk time is between 9 and 9:30 PM to avoid the heat. At the end of our walk, we let him off-leash in a park by our house so he can get out some of his crazy (being a 2 year old boxer, B has a lot of crazy to spare). On Friday night, B was running around the park (don’t worry, he’s incredibly well-trained and has near-perfect recall) when all of a sudden he ran back towards us and started rolling around on the grass.

Immediately, JP reached down to see if B was okay and his hands got covered in incredibly foul, sticky oil. That was when the smell hit us and my incredibly perceptive question of: “oh my god, JP! Was B just sprayed by a skunk?!” was entered into the mix. I’m nothing if not observant.

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The walk home consisted of me frantically Googling how to rid B of skunk smell, praying that Walmart was still open, and trying to avoid letting B press his face against us to share his newfound stench. Apparently, tomato juice is an old wives tale remedy that can also dye your dog’s fur pink. I would not recommend going the tomato juice route if your dog gets skunked.

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There is actually a proven mixture that works to break down the nastiniess that is skunk oil, which is not water soluble. Plain old soap and water simply will not cut it. We were just given the all clear to bathe B after his health challenges earlier in the year, so I suppose this was as good a time as any for his first (and hopefully last) face full of skunk and subsequent required bath times. Thankfully, his eyes did not get burned by the skunk oil.

What did we do?

Of course, I want to share B’s unfortunate experience on my blog so that I can help other dog guardians who have to deal with this stinky inconvenience.

This is what we used (at 10:46 PM on a Friday night…perfect):

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Here is the recipe:
  • Pour one quart (the entire 946 mL container) of hydrogen peroxide into a large plastic bowl (do not use a metal bowl, which can apparently encourage a chemical reaction)
  • Add two teaspoons of Dawn dish soap to the peroxide and stir it around with a wooden spoon (there are varying theories about using Ivory over Dawn, but I assure you that skunk oil is very greasy and Dawn works famously)
  • Add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the mixture and stir it around with a wooden spoon
Pro tips:
  • Do not save the mixture for future use. Apparently, it will explode. I know, I know, this doesn’t inspire your confidence about putting it on your dog at all, let alone your dog’s face. After you smell a skunked out dog, trust me, you’ll do it. I love B as much as a child and I promise I would not do anything that could potentially cause him harm
  • Use a wash cloth to carefully apply the mixture to your dog’s face (skunks tend to aim for the face, unfortunately) and be very careful not to get any in your dog’s eyes
  • Let the mixture sit on your dog’s fur for about five minutes and then rinse it off very thoroughly. You can repeat the process but be aware that peroxide can lighten your dog’s coat. Again, weigh skunk smell versus a bad dye job and the choice is obvious
  • The mixture can be poured down the drain but be very careful which drain you select. I’d highly recommend one in the basement or that you immediately pour bleach down the drain after the mixture (a chaser, so to speak) to wash away the stench. I can still smell skunk from the pipes every time I run the water in the bathroom and it is not pleasant to say the least
  • Put air fresheners everywhere
Results
  • On Friday night, we put the concoction on B’s face twice. On Saturday morning, we used two more applications of a new mixture. This essentially rid him of skunk smell in four applications. If you literally put your nose on B’s face, you can smell skunk faintly. Otherwise, he is as good as new (and his fur did not change colour)

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Has your dog ever been sprayed by a skunk? What did you use to get rid of the smell?

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5 thoughts on “Skunked!

    1. For someone who failed high school chemistry (badly), I think I did pretty well, lol. B is back to smelling like his usual self, which I suppose is a positive thing in comparison.

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  1. This is the exact process I went through except it was 4am and I had to call out of work with “yah…I am not leaving my girlfriend home alone to deal with this dog” but at least two weeks later when he got sprayed again we caught it earlier and had the science down!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! Sprayed two times in a row would be the worst. We seem to have a skunk problem where we live, so we’ve been checking the yard before we let B out every single time. We’ve had to chase a few away but at least they didn’t get him!

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