It is nearly inevitable. At some point in your hunting career, your dog or a buddy’s dog will be sprayed by a skunk. Because the stench is so powerful, the entire hunt can be ruined unless you are prepared with an effective solution. A great bath helps a lot of smells, but skunk spray will not be touched by a bath because the spray is oil-based and sticks powerfully. In order to end the stink, you have to neutralize the oil.
First, we will debug a few myths. Some often-heard remedies include tomato juice and mouthwash. Unfortunately these methods have little or no effect on the smell. There are even solutions that can be purchased in animal supply stores. While some of these may be effective, they are also expensive and you may be nowhere near a store when you need the product.
Instead, a compound can be made using simple household ingredients. Here are the ingredients you will need to get rid of skunk spray smell on your dog:
- ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide (a fresh bottle is the most effective)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 ounce of dishwashing soap (about 1/8 cup)
- Vinegar (white or cider)
Mix the peroxide and baking soda into a paste with gloved hands. You should see a foamy chemical reaction which will release oxygen that will break down the skunk spray. Blend in an ounce of dish soap; you should see a smooth and runny consistency. The dish soap helps dissolve the skunk oil. This mixture is massaged into the dog’s coat, avoiding the eyes. Leave the mixture on for 10 to 30 minutes. If you have a large dog or a dog with long fur, you may wish to double or triple the recipe to ensure full coverage.
Rinse the dog’s fur with a mixture of vinegar and water. The vinegar will help to neutralize the remaining odor. The entire process can be repeated, but the second rinse should be completed using plain water.
This should eliminate much of the odor that your dog carries, and the ingredients can be safely stowed in your hunting supplies so you are prepared when the black and white critter strikes.
Do not let your dog lie on his bed or climb on furniture until the oil has been neutralized. The skunk oils will transfer to the fabric, effectively ruining anything it touches.
It is best to clean only the area that is affected. The skunk oil can be spread easily, escalating the problem.
Wash the dog immediately, before the oil dries to the fur.
The peroxide mixture cannot be made ahead of time or kept for another time. It must be fresh to be effective.
If the dog has been injured by the skunk, visit a veterinarian immediately, as skunks can carry rabies.