Skunk Smell Removal for Dogs


Skunks utilize a nasty spray as a defense mechanism. The spray has a terrible odor and removal is difficult. Homemade and commercial odor removers are effective but often require multiple applications to remove the scent. You also must take measures to deter skunks from your property. Reducing the odds of future incidents saves you and your dog many hours of stress and cleaning.

Safety First

Check the area when you first notice the skunk smell. Look for the skunk and avoid any close contact. Call the dog and enter a kennel or an outside area where you are safe from the skunk. Rinse the dog with cool water and flush the eyes and mouth area with water. This will not remove the smell but it will help reduce discomfort if the spray made contact with the face. Do not let your dog inside as the smell will linger in your house. Wear rubber gloves during the entire process to protect your hands.

Homemade Remedy

Mix 1 teaspoon dish soap with a 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide. Rinse the dog with water then rub the mixture into the fur but do not leave on too long as peroxide will lighten the fur. Do not rub in the eyes or mouth as hydrogen peroxide burns and will induce vomiting when consumed. Rinse with water to remove the solution and the scent. Repeat a second time if necessary. Shampoo with your regular pet shampoo. Do not use tomato juice as suggested by many sources. It will cover the smell temporarily but does not actually remove the scent.

Commercial Solutions

Call a groomer to handle the problem when you are uncomfortable with the smell and cleaning process. A groomer likely will use the same method of removal for a fee. Several commercial shampoo products are available specifically for skunk odors. They are available through pet stores and are effective. Use the commercial products if your homemade remedy does not remove the smell.

Deter Future Skunks

Prevent future encounters by removing and deterring skunks. Use a humane trap to capture and relocate the skunk from your property. Cover the trap to prevent spraying when you move the skunk. Remove pet food and trash from outdoor areas to deter skunks. Food sources will draw them to your property. Keep your garbage in a garage or shed and feed your pets indoors.

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