Its spring and skunks are on the move. Most active during dusk, dawn and during a full moon, a startled skunk is likely to react by lifting his tail and letting loose his powerful defensive mechanism – and oh does it smell!
Skunks can carry rabies, so if you realize your dog has been sprayed, the first thing to do is put on protective rubber gloves and an apron or other coverall. Check your dog over for bites or injury. If any are found, stop and call your veterinarian right away.
If the dog hasn’t been injured, other than the insult of the smell, then a bath is in order.
While Coca-Cola or tomato juice is the storied remedy, experts seem to agree that the best recipe is this one:
1 quart hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup baking soda
1-2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap
This recipe works because of the chemical reactions, but there are some cautions to be aware of:
Do not store – it could explode
Do not substitute other ingredients
Do not get this solution near your dog’s eyes, ears or mouth!
With the solution ready to go, do not pre-rinse your dog, but just start right in with the solution, massaging it in and then if possible let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Repeat the process a second time and perhaps a third if necessary. Dry your dog well.
The oils from the skunk spray can re-surface with time, so if the smell comes back, another bath might be needed.
This peroxide solution can lighten what it comes in contact with, so be careful with your clothes or rugs.
It’s no fun for anyone to get skunked, but with this recipe handy, you’ll be prepared if your dog gets it from that “black kitty cat with the stripe down its back.”