Our Mini Aussie, Lilly, recently met her first skunk. Sadly, she didn’t realize that her new friend’s adorable little foot-stamping routine meant that she was about to get a face full of super stinky spray, and sadly, we did not have a chance to block the doggie door before she could sprint through it and bring that little gift home.
Thus, our first word to the wise: as soon as you realize that your pet has been sprayed by a skunk, keep the smell out of your home by IMMEDIATELY CLOSING ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS…don’t forget the garage! It’s tempting to approach your pet to sniff twice or thrice to see how badly they got hit, but believe me, a quick shake on their part will make you regret that. It’s far better to direct your pet to a safe grassy place where they can do what they naturally need to do which is to rub as much of the scent off as they can. This will also give you a moment to regroup and plan your attack.
Hmmm, what to wear, what to wear!
As some skunks have been found to carry rabies, it’s always advisable to use rubber gloves, glasses and a mask or bandana to cover your mouth while you wash your pet. If you have a swim or shower cap to keep the smell out of your hair, wear it. Choose clothes you won’t mind throwing out…that T-shirt your ex gave you…yeah, wear that. For best protection, add a couple of kitchen trash bags taped on for boots and cut head and armholes in a contractor size trash bag for a tunic. To complete your look, add a duct tape belt.
- Tomato Juice: Turns out this age old trick doesn’t quite work like they say! There are better options available, don’t go straight to the vine!
- Hose them down: Skunk spray is an oily substance, by hosing down your dog you are likely just spreading it throughout their fur!
- Let it settle: TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY. The smell will not go away with time, waiting a day to take action could keep that skunk smell in your house for an extra week!
To clean a medium to large sized dog, mix:
- 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Dawn dishwashing liquid*
- *DO NOT store this mixture in a closed container as it will explode.
Work the mixture into your pet’s coat. Although you should make every effort to avoid the eye area, mistakes can happen. Rinse quickly with water if your pet gets this in their eyes. Once you have given your pet a good soapy scrub (with lots of loving reassurance) thoroughly rinse the mixture off and follow with a soothing pet shampoo and rinse. Your pet should then smell considerably better.
Keep in mind that the skunk who sprayed your pet was protecting its home territory. If that happens to be under the garden shed in your backyard, chances are you will have a repeat performance of this unpleasantness sometime in the near future. To avoid this, consider leashing your pets for evening walks and speak to your local wildlife officer for advice on how to encourage the skunk to find a new home.
The Lilly Brush Team