How To Remove Skunk Smell From Dog – The Best Skunk Smell Remover For Dogs

If you are reading this, chances are good your dog just had a close encounter with a skunk and got sprayed as penalty for his curiosity. Or perhaps you are worried about a skunk spraying your dog and you want to be prepared.  I’ll cover how to best remove the skunk smell from a dog and cover the best skunk smell remover for dogs.  

Now, your first thought may be to let your dog in the house, bring them to the bathroom, and try to wash him off.   I recommend that you don’t do that. Keep your dog outside. It is important to understand that smelly skunk oil on your dog’s fur coat will linger in the air until he’s clean.  I am sure you have experienced how terrible that smell is.

What Is Skunk Spray?  

skunk spray on dog

Since skunks can spray their foul-smelling liquid as far as 15 feet, it’s common for dogs to get a blast directly in the face.

These cute but stinky little animals have two glands, one on each side of the anus. These glands are what make the skunk’s stinky spray, which is a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals that result in a powerful odor.  Bears and other large animals are wise enough to steer clear of a skunk’s back end but unfortunately your dog probably missed that lesson in doggy school.  

What To Do If Your Dog Get Sprayed By a Skunk

If your dog does get on the business end of a skunk and gets penalized for his curiosity its time for you to take action to help your dog (and yourself) out.  

Step 1.  Check out your dog’s eyes: Let’s face it, chances are good your dog took the spray in the face.  Check their eyes to see if they are irritated and red. Immediately flush them with cool water.  There are eyewash products that are safe for dogs too and may not be a bad idea to keep these on hand if you know you have skunks around and want to be prepared.  

Step 2.  Remove the skunk oil from your dog’s coat as soon as you can: You definitely want to keep your dog outside – DO NOT bring them in the house unless you want your house to stinks for weeks.   If you can set up a bathing station in your garage, a shed, or a barn that would be ideal. Below I have an assortment of home made remedies and pre-made skunk smell removers if you want to stock up on those just in case.  

Step 3.  Wash Your Own Clothes: You will likely get some nasty skunk smell on you during the clean up process for your dog.  You are definitely going to wash your clothes in regular laundry detergent and about a 1/2 cup of baking soda.

How To Remove Skunk Smell From Dog – Household Options To Help Neutralize Skunk Smell

Tomato juice is certainly not the best remedy to get rid of skunk odor from a dog. Below are a few options that will work far better.  I’d recommend keeping these common household ingredients on hand so you won’t have to live with the foul skunk smell.  

Vinegar For Neutralizing Skunk Odor on A Dog

Be sure to keep your dog outside and then prepare this solution.  The vinegar remedy is a long-used skunk smell remover for dogs that have been sprayed before.  For this solution you will want to mix 1 part apple cider with 2 parts water. Set that solution aside for now.  Put some rubber gloves on if you have some (I’d recommend keeping some on hand).

Next, wet your skunk-smelling dog’s coat thoroughly with water from the hose. After that you will want to work the vinegar solution you just made through your dog’s fur. For the next step you will want to let the vinegar solution sit on your dog’s for at least 5 minutes.  Then rinse your dog’s hair off thoroughly. Try to keep the solution out of your dog’s eyes. Note: You might have to repeat the process more than once.

Vanilla Extract To Help Remove Skunk Smell From A Dog

Keep your dog outside and pour about a cup of vanilla extract diluted into a gallon of water to help get rid of the terrible skunk smell.  Let your dog soak in the vanilla extract and water solution for about 10-15 minutes. Then you will want to apply dog shampoo and rinse them thoroughly.   Note: You might have to repeat the process more than once.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, and Dish Washing Liquid Skunk Smell Remover For Dogs Who Have Been Sprayed

This one is a time-tested skunk-odor removing remedy that’s been used by dog owners unfortunate enough to have had their dog sprayed over the years.  To make this you are going to mix 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of dish-washing liquid. After that you will want to work the mixture you just made through your dog’s fur. For the next step you will want to let the solution sit on your dog’s for at least 5 minutes.  Then rinse your dog’s hair off thoroughly. The amount listed above should make enough de-skunking mix for a medium-size dog (30 to 50 pounds) which is plenty if you have a dog like a French Bulldog. Note: You might have to repeat the process more than once.

The Best Skunk Smell Remover For Dogs – Pre-made Mixes To Help Get The Smell Out

Wondering what neutralizes skunk smell?  Here are a few commercial options that have helped many other dogs owners.  

Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover

Van Den Heuvel’s R86 Industrial Odor Eliminator

Skunk-Off Liquid Soaker

6 Tips To Keep Skunks Out Of Your Yard

The absolute best way to eliminate skunk odor from your dog is to completely avoid having your dog get sprayed at all. Here are some tips to help skunks out of your yard completely:  

  1. Keep your trash locked up.  Skunks are happy to dig through your trash IF you leave it out and accessible.  Keeping your trash out of reach or locked away from them will prevent them from coming around altogether.  
  2. Don’t leave food sources around for them.  Skunks like berries, nuts, crab apples, grass clippings and more are all possible food sources for skunks so if you don’t want them around rake your lawn and clean up.  
  3. Shut down the Skunk motel.  Skunks like to make their dens in wood piles, under decks, under sheds etc.  If you remove the possible living dens for them you likely won’t see them around your house.  
  4. Use chemicals to repel skunks.  Dog and Fox urine deters skunks since both animals are skunks’ natural predators.  Your dog is likely already doing a thorough job of peeing in your yard but you could pick up some Fox urine to further your skunk deterring efforts.  Pepper sprays can also work as effective skunk repellents. Spray them on trees and other areas where you’ve seen skunks. 
  5. Hang a deodorizer in your shed.  As funny as this sounds, skunks dislike strong odors. You can help deter skunks from living in your woodshed by hanging a bar of strong disinfectant or room deodorizer in the space.
  6. Light it up.  Skunks are nocturnal animals and like their dark nights.  Lighting up around your property can help deter skunks from hanging around your yard.  Motion lights and landscape lighting can be great to help keep the skunks away.  

Conclusion – Exactly How To Remove Skunk Smell From Dog

Hopefully you found some helpful tips to deal with the unpleasant situation if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk and how to best deal with it.  Good luck and keep your distance!


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