Skunked! “~~Oh man you stink~~”
So how many times do you smell a hint of skunk odor and your first thought is….”Where’s the dog?!” Well that is how it is in my family. LOL! Actually it isn’t funny because whoa man it is horrible to “de-skunk” the dog! It is totally #1 on my list of Top Worst Chores To Do. But I get the task at least once a year. This year I get to do the task right off the bat. You’d think my beautiful, tough, German Shepard would have learned by now, after all he is 5. I guess not!
Cute little things aren’t they?
All of the lovely little critters are coming out of hibernation here in the Rockies and are definitely cranky! Skunks are super cute as animals go, and the baby ones (shown below) make you want to just cuddle them up…… and then you get the whiff of the not so fabulous odor that comes off of them. Then it is a contest on how fast you can get them down wind of your nose. Always ensuring your are at a safe distance from their spraying radius…….BTW it is up to 4-7m (13-23 ft) in a favorable wind-although they are usually only accurate for up to about 2m (6.5ft). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk . Also as a side note that if your animal did get sprayed in the face it can cause temporary blindness, so just to be on the safe side get them to the vet ASAP to have them checked out! Thank you Dr. Nicki ( p.s. love her as our family vet)
Tomato juice is for drinking
So back to the task on hand…..let’s get the major stink off of the dog! Using tomato juice is not the way to going about this. Keep your tomato juice for a nice cocktail, soup base or simply a great addition to your breakfast as a healthy choice for to start your day. It is an old wives tale that tomato juice will cut the spray or secretion of the skunk. Here is a link to the scientific breakdown of skunk spray by William F. Wood, Department of Chemistry,Humboldt State University. Yes I am that big of a nerd that I read the whole article. Who knew that only “two of the thiols are responsible for the strongly repellent odor of the secretion, (E )-2-butene-1-thiol and 3-methyl-1-butanethiol.” I just added that to the “fun and quirky facts to blurt out in conversation for no apparent reason” file in my brain. Tomato juice will only add the odoriferous smell of tomato to the skunk smell permeating your clothing, hair and nostrils for said task at hand.
What needs to happen is to cut through the secreted oil that has attached itself to the hair cuticle and top layer of skin. This is especially true if you have a short haired animal. Here is a great, all natural, recipe that gets the job done usually in the first go round. I would not recommend doing this job in your home bathtub……but each to their own right?!
D.I.Y Skunk Odor Remover
To make the solution you will generally find that these ingredients are usually found in your home already so it is something you could whip up in a snap! Plus, they are very inexpensive so why pay big bucks for something you can make for pennies on the dollar? The recipe is very basic. All you need is baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and liquid soap. You can use white or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have enough hydrogen peroxide in your house but choose one or the other. DO NOT MIX THEM. Yep that’s it! You can add essential oils if you want to make them smell better when you are done but that is entirely up to you.
You will want to have your dog already tied to the area you are going to wash them BEFORE you mix this together. The object is to use the solution while the baking soda is reacting to the addition of the hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. If it goes “flat” is looses the power to get it gone the first time. I don’t ever use gloves to do this job because I don’t have acrylic nails, do not have sensitive skin and am fine with the knowledge that I can wash a second time with the solution should I feel it might have transferred to me in the process. But that is me not you and so…….. I would highly recommend that YOU wear gloves and eye protection (I just wear my sunglasses since I am doing it outside) just in case you should get splashed in the face!
Skunk Odor Remover Recipe
1/4 c Baking Soda
4 c Hydrogen Peroxide (3% found at any local drug store or pharmacy)
1 tsp Liquid Soap (unscented if you want to use essential oils)
3-4 Drops Lemon or Orange Essential Oil (optional)
Gallon Jug rinsed out
Towel – This is for me not for him so I have a barricade for when he shakes off!
- In a large bowl mix the baking soda, liquid soap and essential oils together just to combine. Seriously clumpy is ok.
- Add the hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. You will want to stir this mixture by hand with a spoon. Yes this is a bit redundant if you have common sense but funny story……”Why make extra things to wash when I can just add it all together in the jug.” Then the cap got put on and shaken…..KA-BOOOOOM the jug cap blew off and it was a geyser. Great science experiment with the right safety equipment. 😉 And last Do not try to heat this mixture on the stove or in the microwave. You will have a serious mess on your hands and the animal will survive a small amount of cold solution.
- Pour into the gallon jug for better control when applying to the dog.
- Apply to the animal and using your fingers massage all areas of the fur and skin. Avoid around the eyes, remember this has soap in it plus you have created an active solution, you wouldn’t pour it in yours so just avoid them all together to be safe.
- Rinse. Warm or cold water is doesn’t make a difference as to the removal of the odor.
- Repeat if necessary.
There you have it!
I would love to hear your stories and your success with this solution of removing the odor. I have been using it for years as I have owned a dog for almost all of my life. Happy De-Skunking your fur baby. 🙂
Til’ next time,