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The Dog Got Skunked!

A way to get rid of that skunk smell on your dog...and it really works!

I’ve had quite a few inquiries lately asking if I had any insider tips for removing the skunk smell from a curious pup’s fur.  So, here’s my story from when my dogs were sprayed a few years ago.

Of course, it was about 9:30pm, and I let the dogs out into my fenced-in backyard. I then went downstairs to flip over the day’s load of laundry.  Several minutes later, when coming back upstairs, I could smell the familiar aroma of a skunk outside.  I’ve smelled it before, time to bring the dogs in, just in case.  As I opened the door it was different, and the dogs were nowhere in sight.  Oh crap.  I ran in and got some shoes and flew out into the yard.  As I stepped into the thick stench, I could see Farley running back and forth behind the trees, frothing from his mouth.  I called and both dogs immediately came to me, eyes glazed over and saliva dripping steadily from their muzzles.  As I grabbed each dog and sniffed them, neither dog seemed to smell as bad up close as the air around us did…maybe they had seen the skunk, but not gotten sprayed?  I prayed, and we went into the house.

As my husband came down the hall, he asked if the dogs were in because he could smell a skunk.  I worriedly smiled at him as he came around the corner and we both realized they brought the smell in.  We inspected the dogs.  Again, neither seemed particularly stinky up close, but there was an increasingly obvious odor filling the house.

Being a dog trainer, I have a close friend who is a groomer, THANK GOODNESS!  I frantically called: “Hi Christa, are you still up?  Could you do me a REALLY HUGE favor?  Could you bring me some de-skunker-stuff right now, PLEASE?”  Lucky for me (and my dogs), she was up, and she did come right over.  She had a recipe for a magical skunk-smell remover that simply amazed me and I had to share it with you.

We immediately put both dogs into the tub, as opposed to letting them “air out” for a day first. 

The recipe is this (makes enough for 1 medium sized dog):
2 16oz bottles of hydrogen peroxide (or 1 quart)
¼ cup of baking soda
½ - 1 cup of original Dawn® dishwashing liquid

Mix these ingredients in a bucket.  Put dog in tub, slightly-filled with water.  SLOWLY pour mixture over dog and scrub in good as you go along.  Leave on for ten minutes.  Drain tub and rinse dog.  Then shampoo with the pleasant-smelling doggy-shampoo of your choice (I used baby shampoo).  Rinse.  Towel dry. 

I also soaked their collars in the remaining mixture (enough to cover the collars) overnight (outdoors). Do not store this mixture in your home.

Oh, I also sprayed diluted Listerine into their mouths to try to help with the odor inside their mouths.  The skunk didn’t make it. I found him the next morning under the tree. RIP Mr. LePew.

Michelle Douglas, CPDT-KA, CDBC is the owner of The Refined Canine, LLC, providing dog training and behavior consulting services in Southern CT since 1997.

*Special Thanks to Christa Parady, owner of Zoey Girl Pet Services – 185 Boston Post Road in Orange.*

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