With warmer weather, you and your dog will likely be spending more and more time outdoors. Spring and summer are a great time for hikes, swimming, and just hanging out in the park or backyard. However, there are a few things to watch out for when your pet is spending time outdoors. We’ve already shared our tips and natural remedies for ticks and fleas on dogs. In this article, we’d like to share our advice for dealing with skunks and natural ways to remove skunk odor from dogs.
Protecting your dog from skunks:
Skunks are wild animals, so you can never fully protect your dog from a skunk encounter. However, skunks are more likely to be out at dawn and dusk, so you can be extra vigilant during those times. Also, consider keeping your pet indoors on moonlit nights and cloudy days, when skunks are more likely to be active.
There are also a few things you can do to keep skunks out of your yard. Make sure to always empty the trash and keep the lids on tightly. If you have fruit trees in your yard, pick up the fallen fruit as soon as possible to avoid attracting skunks with food. Take a look around your yard for potential skunk hiding spots and clear out those areas.
If you live in an area where skunks are present, or are planning a hike in an area where skunks might live, be prepared. Make sure to have baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and mild dish detergent on hand. Also make sure you have a washcloth, bucket, gloves, and treats to keep your pet calm while you wash them.
What to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk:
Most of us think that tomato juice or tomato sauce is the all natural remedy for skunk spray. But, that’s actually a myth! Tomato doesn’t actually remove the skunk oil or dilute the skunk smell from your pet. It only ‘works’ because it’s actually just exhausting your sense of smell. But it’s a myth that tomato sauce removes the skunk smell from dogs!
So what do you do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk? The smell can last up to 3 weeks, so it’s important to act fast! Start by keeping your dog outside or contained to a smaller part of the house to limit the spread of the skunk smell.
Natural ways to remove skunk odor from dogs:
Once your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, the oils won’t hurt your dog any further. Yes, it smells terrible, but there’s no additional danger to your pet.
Wash the skunk smell and oil off of your dog as soon as possible. Use the recipe below, mix the ingredients and use the solution immediately (it won’t be as effective if you pre-mix it to have it on hand for future use). If you don’t have all the ingredients, you can also use 2 parts water and one part apple cider vinegar.
Recipe for getting the skunk smell off dogs:
1/4 cup baking soda
1-2 teaspoons of mild dish detergent
1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
When washing your dog, focus on the areas where your dog was hit by the skunk oil. If they were hit in the face, use a washcloth to keep the solution out of their eyes, mouth, and nose. Leave the solution on for 5 minutes. Be prepared to keep your dog occupied during that time with plenty of treats. Otherwise they might go running through your house or yard spreading more skunk smell!
After 5 minutes, rinse out the solution. You can use regular dog shampoo afterwards, if you want.
If the skunk sprayed in your dog’s face, you can also try using baking soda paste. Simply mix 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water. Let it sit for 3-4 minutes and then rinse or shampoo it out. We recommend using a washcloth on your dog’s face to keep the paste out of their eyes.
Make sure to dry your dog thoroughly before letting them back in the house or out of the bathroom. If their fur is still wet, they are more likely to spread the skunk smell around.
Natural ways to get rid of the skunk smell inside your house
If the smell does get inside your house, there are a few things you can do to naturally get rid of the skunk smell. Vinegar will be your best friend here. Boil vinegar in a pan to help clear out the smell. You can also set open containers of vinegar around the house. The vinegar is an all-natural way to absorb the skunk odor. Just make sure that kids and pets can’t tip over the containers!