Animals & Wildlife Magazine

How To Remove Skunk Smell From Your Pet

By Petslady @petslady
Scrub a Dub: Image by Aine D, FlickrScrub a Dub: Image by Aine D, Flickr

Has your pet been sprayed by a skunk? Keep reading to learn how to get rid of the smell.

Be Quick

Bathe your dog as quickly as possible after he gets sprayed. After the spray has dried on your dogs fur, the smell will become much harder to remove.

Effective At Home Remedies

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, there's not necessarily any need to run out and buy a special shampoo. Here are some at home remedies that should do the trick.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be an effective solution to remove skunk smell, especially if your pet wasn't hit with a direct spray. You can use baking soda by pouring about five boxes (more if you have a large dog) into a large container with some warm water. The mixture should be thick. Cover your pets coat with it, avoiding the eyes, let it dry, and then rinse it off. To add effectiveness, hydrogen peroxide can be added to the mix.

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is one of the most effective methods to get rid of skunk smell, however, it's also the messiest and the most expensive. If you can't seem to get the smell out with other bathing methods, tomato juice can be used. You'll need a large container, enough juice to cover your pet's fur, and some diced tomatoes to complete the bath. Cover your dog's entire coat with the juice, let it sit for a while, and then rinse it off. If your pet's fur is light in color, it might turn slightly pink.

Dish Soap

Dish soap is meant to eliminate oil, and skunk spray is oil based. If only a small part of your dog's fur is affected, liquid soap can be applied directly to the sprayed area. Let the soap sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

Spotted Skunk: Image by Vladeb, Flickr
Spotted Skunk: Image by Vladeb, Flickr

Washing the Dog

Before you wash your pet, be sure to check his skin and fur for any open wounds like a bite or a scratch. Make sure there isn't any redness or discharge in the eyes. If you do find anything, consider calling your vet before you start the bath. You can put a couple drops of mineral oil in your dogs eyes to help protect them. 

Go Outside

Unless you have an easy to clean room in your house that doesn't retain smell, it's probably best to wash your pet outside to avoid spreading the smell throughout your home. Consider wearing old clothes you don't care too much about, and a pair of gloves.

Wash The Dog

For this part of the process, you can use one of the methods above. One of the most popular bathing mixtures can be made by mixing about 1/4 cup of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of dish soap and about 2 pints of hydrogen peroxide. You can double the amount if you have a large dog.

Get your pet wet with a hose and then thoroughly wash your pets fur with the mixture. Be sure to carefully avoid your dog's eyes, mouth, nose, and ears while you're doing this. Let the mixture sit for 4-5 minutes before you rinse it off. 


One bath probably won't be enough to completely get rid of the smell, so you might have to repeat it a few times. After you wash and rinse the dog the first time, repeat a couple more times until the smell goes away.

After following these steps, the skunk smell should be taken care of. If not, it's possible to buy a skunk shampoo like Skunk-Off Pet Shampoo to do the trick.

Sources: Vet Depot, and Daily Puppy 

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