How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Your Dog

The end of Winter is upon us, and wonderful scents are in the air, unless a skunk has sprayed your dog. There aren’t many odors as recognizable and as unpleasant as the smell of a dog that’s had a run-in with a skunk. It’s a horror every dog owner fears, and the scent can be challenging to get rid of, despite lots of suggestions from well-meaning friends. So how DO you get rid of the skunk stink? Here are some remedies suggested by veterinarians and dog groomers with plenty of experience!

If at all possible, keep your dog outside until they’ve been thoroughly bathed and treated for the smell, as it can rub off onto furniture and permeate fabrics in your house. Also, check to make sure your dog’s eyes aren’t irritated or red, which could mean the spray got into their eyes. If the eyes are irritated, flush them out with lots of cool, fresh water.

It’s important to remove their collar and other items such as their leash that have been sprayed. Woven collars and leather collars are absorbent and probably soaked up the oils from the skunk spray. If this is the case, you’ll need to wash them the same way you wash your dog. You may not be able to get rid of the odor in some cases. One way to prevent this is to invest in a stink-free dog collar and leash. At Pupups, every dog collar and matching leash is waterproof, so they will never absorb odors and can be cleaned with a quick rinse.

Skunk Remedy #1 – Baking Soda/Peroxide Mixture

The Humane Society recommends this method, and most people swear by it. It’s a bit messy but worth the effort. Combine one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Wear rubber gloves to thoroughly bathe your dog in the solution, making sure it gets down into the coat to clean the skin. Don’t rub your eyes! Leave it on for about 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly, following up with a warm bath using a dog-friendly shampoo.

Precautions: Don’t let it set on your dog too long, as the peroxide could bleach their fur if left on for more than 20 minutes. Don’t store the mixture for future use, as it could explode due to the baking soda and peroxide reaction.

Skunk Remedy #2 – Tomato Juice

First, bathe your dog with pet shampoo, toweling him dry. Follow up with a generous coating of tomato juice, being sure to saturate the coat and letting it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing. Bathe again using the dog shampoo. 

With this one, you may have to do this several times. It works, but only if you are willing to commit to several rounds of tomato juice. (Public service announcement: bathing your dog in tomato juice just once may get you nothing but a dog that smells like a wet dog and a skunk simmering in pasta sauce).

Skunk Remedy #3 – Feminine Hygiene Products

We know you’re saying, “WHAT?!” Hear us out – feminine hygiene douches can be effective for removing skunk odor. No, you don’t use it that way. Using a product like Massengill douche, mix in water at a ratio of two ounces Massengill to one gallon of water. Thoroughly soak your dog in this and let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Follow up with a dog shampoo. Do this twice if necessary.

Skunk Remedy #4 – Retail Skunk Products

Your veterinarian can suggest safe and effective skunk shampoos and deodorizing products specifically designed to remove the unpleasant odor. Some work better than others, but they are handy to have around if your dog regularly tangles with stinky animals. Be sure to follow the directions on the back of the bottle carefully.

No matter what remedy you use, be sure to avoid getting it in your dog’s eyes. Also, be sure you carefully wash and dry your dog’s collar. If the collar isn’t washable (and many aren’t), you may have to toss it and get something new. Pupups offer a full line of stink-free dog collars that last for years without fading, soaking up odors, or getting grimy. Each waterproof collar can be quickly cleaned with a simple rinse with water. Protect your dog AND your nose with a beautiful, designer dog collar from Pupups!

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