Pet Got Skunked? How To Kick The Odor

Spring is here, the weather is getting warmer, and that means that pets and pet owners alike are spending more time outside. However, the increased time spent outdoors equals an increased risk of getting skunked!

Skunk spray is very oily and odorous and becomes more difficult to remove the longer you wait which is why it’s important to take care of a sprayed pet as soon as possible (Unless you don’t mind the smell, that is).

As soon as a pet is found as having been sprayed, it’s a good idea to examine their eyes for any type of irritation as well as any other injuries.

How to de-skunk:

  1. Leave your pet outside or in an enclosed area to prevent the odor from spreading throughout your house while you change into old clothes and grab a pair of rubber gloves.
  2. Bathe your pet with a solution of Dawn dish soap to break up the skunk oils. Be gentle and careful around your pet’s face and eyes.
  3. Use a vinegar and water solution or tomato juice to rub on the sprayed/stinky areas of your pet’s body. Let it sit for 5-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with water.
  4. Finally, wash your pet with pet shampoo to restore the natural oils of your pet’s coat and help moisturize his skin.

Should any of your clothes become “skunked,” you can clean them with regular laundry detergent plus 1/2 cup of baking soda.

Prevent any future skunk encounters by keeping watch on your pets while they are outside. Remove any items from your yard that might be attractive and easily accessible to skunks such as pet food and trash.

Has your pet ever been skunked?

Tips from veterinary technician, Robin Maurillo for Auburn Pub.

About Stacy @Trupanion

Social Media Manager
Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

2 Responses to Pet Got Skunked? How To Kick The Odor

  1. Tony Gibbon K-9 Kreations Professional Grooming says:

    Bathing a pet with any water based product will only wick the skunk oil to other parts of the pets body. Coat Handler grooming products make a product callwed odor handler and it works. I’ve used many products and this works the best. They key. Is. Not to bath your dog with water first or use tomatoe juice.

  2. D R Thompson says:

    My dog, who passed away last year, got skunked twice – no, they don’t really learn from experience. The first time, I tried some shampoo that was supposed to descent him, which wasn’t noticeably effective, so I called his groomer who took care of it, gave me some drops to put in his eyes and some to put in his water to sweeten his breath (he took it full in the face). The next time, I had learned my lesson, rinsed his eyes and used the drops and took him straight to the groomers as soon as they opened. It costs more, but is really worthwhile as they do a much better job than I can. There is a great product out there called Get the Odor Out, available at some pet stores which is fantastic at getting the smell out of your carpet, should you be unfortunate enough that you pet beats you to it (as ours did).

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