Dog vs. Skunk: Getting Rid of Skunk Odor with a Homemade Solution

One of the pet owner’s worst enemies is the skunk. Nothing fills you with dread more than the smell of skunk in the air- especially if you know your pet is outside. No pet owner wants to deal with a “skunked” pet. We thought we were pretty safe from the threat of our dog tangling with a skunk. Our backyard is completely fenced in with wire fencing- animals can’t get in and our dog can’t get out. We were wrong!

One early June morning my husband let our 4 year old Golden Retriever out to do his thing. There shouldn’t have been a skunk in our backyard, but there was that morning and Scooter saw it and went after it. To my husband’s horror, not only did Scooter get sprayed, he picked up the skunk and proceeded to come across the yard with it. My husband, of course, was yelling at him to drop the skunk, which he did. Scooter was banished to the garage until we could figure out how to “de-skunk” him. The skunk was limping around in the backyard obviously injured. We called the police to have someone come and take care of the skunk and we set our sights on de-skunking Scooter.

I went on the internet to find the best way to get rid of the skunk smell on Scooter. It was just a baby skunk and, thankfully, didn’t have its full spraying power, but it was still pretty bad. I found a recipe using peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap (recipe follows). I mixed up a batch and after hosing Scooter down, dumped the mixture on the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. We dumped a couple of batches on him just to be safe. Poor dog! He looked like a drowned rat! We hosed him off really well, toweled him off, and let him come back into the house. Although it didn’t completely get rid of the smell, the mixture definitely reduced the skunk smell quite a bit where we could let him back in the house.

Here is a word of caution, however, when using this mixture. Later that night I decided a bath wouldn’t be a bad idea for Scooter and another dose of the mixture couldn’t hurt either. The kids and I got him into the tub with no problems- he even laid down. We got him wet and proceeded to dump the mixture on his affected area. Before I could stop him, Scooter licked his paws and within seconds starting throwing up. He then decided he had enough of the tub and started climbing out soaking wet and still throwing up. Apparently, peroxide is what you give a dog if you want him to throw up and it doesn’t take a lot to do it. I told the kids that Scooter’s tub time was done. So be aware that if they ingest even a small amount of the mixture it might cause them to throw up.

I wish our skunk experience ended there, but Scooter was sprayed a 2nd time two days later. Baby skunks can fit through small openings in wire fencing. We repeated the “shampoo” recipe, fixed our fence and thought we were in the clear. Scooter, who has a lot of thick fur, ended up with a nasty hot spot and had to have the area shaved. It was awful. He was not himself for over a week. To this day, we still cringe when we smell a skunk or see one.

Homemade Skunk “Shampoo” (from www.makeyourown.net)

1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
¼ Cup Baking Soda
1 tsp Liquid Dish Soap

Mix the ingredients and apply to affected area. Allow to set for a few minutes and rinse completely. Be careful not to get the mixture in their eyes. Try to avoid them ingesting the mixture or it could induce vomiting.