Skunked!

Skunk kit

by Betsy Lane, MA

The days are getting shorter, temperatures are beginning to fall, and the animals outside are getting bolder as they single-mindedly prepare for winter’s chill.  Just when you think it’s safe to go for a nice evening walk… SKUNKED!

So, that funny-looking black-and-white cat wasn’t a cat, after all—and you have the stinking-to-high-heaven dog to prove it. What do you do now?

Growing up in California, skunks were an integral part of every summer. Back in the bad old days, treating a skunked dog meant clamoring around for gallons of tomato juice, endless cleaning up of said juice, and—adding insult to injury—discovering your dog still smelled horrible! Everyone was miserable, and there was little to do but wait for the stench to dissipate… which usually happened right about the time the dog got sprayed again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Most dogs are surprisingly slow to learn that chasing a skunk never ends well. This means we, as dog guardians, have had a whole lot of opportunities to figure out what works to get that nasty stink out of our furry friends. The recipe below is cheap, easy, and effective. I keep the ingredients in a bag in the pantry, right by my back door—so I can grab it and use it on the dog outside, with the hose. (Better yet, put it in a small plastic bucket.) I marked the bag “SKUNK KIT” and put instructions inside, in case I’m lucky enough not to be the one doing the de-skunk-ifying (hope springs eternal). This system is so easy, the trickiest part is remembering to restock the kit after using it.

Of course, you can always take your skunked dog to a professional groomer—PetSmart has salons in more than 1,000 locations across the country—but give this a try in the meantime. I think you’ll be surprised by how effective a 5-minute bath with this concoction can be!

Skunk kit

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 quart hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
  • 2 teaspoons dish soap (preferably Dawn)

I also add a teaspoon measure and a ¼-cup measure, plus an absorbent towel or two.

Instructions:

Combine the baking soda, peroxide, and soap in a bucket or bowl. Add up to a quart of water (just reuse the peroxide bottle) to make more solution as needed for a larger dog. Saturate any stinky fur, avoiding eyes and nose. Let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse well with clear water and towel dry.

That’s it! Don’t forget to restock the kit!

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The miracle solution for skunky dogs

dog-1407324_960_720By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

Summer is almost here! We all love those long sunny days and soft balmy nights (it’s our reward for surviving the winter).

What we don’t love is the unbearable stench of a dog who thought that family of skunks was just a bunch of funny-looking cats.

Skunky dogs are not only a hazard for country folks. Skunkification can happen all-too-easily to suburban hounds with big lovely yards, and to city dogs who get taken for romps at the forest preserve.

Tradition has it that a bathtub full of tomato juice will get rid of the smell. Newsflash: it doesn’t. And with a skunky dog stinking up the neighborhood, who has time to source enough tomato juice to fill a bathtub?

But there is a recipe that will take away that smell, and it couldn’t be easier.

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 quart hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 teaspoons Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • Up to 1 quart of water to make a sufficient amount of the mix (you can double or triple the recipe depending on the size and fur density of the dog)

Saturate the fur (be careful around the eyes/mouth); leave on for five minutes. Rinse with clear water. (This is where a friend with a yard and a garden hose comes in handy. Or, in a pinch, check out your local car wash. Some of them now have self-service dog washing facilities.)

I know quite a few people who have used this on their dogs, and it only takes one wash/rinse for the smell to be gone (even if the dog has a dense coat). It’s truly a miracle solution.

If you take your dog on a lot of hikes, it’s a good idea to keep the ingredients in the trunk of your car. Nobody wants to drive home with a reeking dog in the backseat, because that smell does not want to come out of your upholstery. Or your clothes. Or the inside of your nostrils.

I sincerely hope that I never have to use this on my collies. Or my cat. Or – heaven forbid – my child. (!)

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Many thanks to Betsy Lane of PetKiDo; she’s saved a lot of noses – both canine and human – with this recipe.