What To Do If Your Dog Gets Skunked: A Quick Guide for Pet Parents

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Skunked: A Quick Guide for Pet Parents

Essential Tips for Pet Safety During the July Fourth Holiday Reading What To Do If Your Dog Gets Skunked: A Quick Guide for Pet Parents 4 minutes

There's nothing quite like the panic of realizing your dog has been sprayed by a skunk. The overpowering, noxious odor can turn a pleasant evening walk into a nightmare. If your dog got skunked, you're likely desperate to know how to get rid of the skunk smell on your dog quickly and effectively. Fear not! This guide will walk you through the essential steps to take when your furry friend has a run-in with a skunk.

Understanding the Skunk Encounter

First, let's address the concern many pet parents have: do skunks bite dogs? While skunks are generally not aggressive and prefer to avoid confrontation, they can bite if they feel threatened or cornered. If your dog has been bitten, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately to prevent any potential infections or diseases.

Immediate Actions to Take

When your dog is sprayed by a skunk, time is of the essence. Here are the immediate steps you should follow:

  1. Keep Your Dog Outside: Avoid bringing your dog indoors to prevent the skunk smell from permeating your home. If possible, keep your dog in a contained outdoor area.
  2. Check for Injuries: Look for any signs of bites or scratches. As mentioned, if you notice any, contact your vet promptly.
  3. Prepare a De-Skunking Solution: Traditional remedies like tomato juice are not very effective. Instead, use this proven mixture:
    • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
    • 1/4 cup of baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap 

Mix these ingredients in a large bowl, and use them immediately (do not store it as it can become unstable).

How to Get Skunk Smell Off Dog

  1. Apply the Solution: Wearing gloves, apply the de-skunking solution to your dog's fur, avoiding their eyes, ears, and mouth. Massage the solution thoroughly into the fur, allowing it to sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse and Repeat: Rinse your dog thoroughly with lukewarm water. You may need to repeat the process several times to fully remove the skunk odor.
  3. Shampoo Your Dog: After the initial de-skunking, wash your dog with a shampoo specifically designed to deodorize like earthbath Deodorizing Shampoo, which magically harnesses the power of rosemary oil to neutralize doggone odors while cleaning thoroughly and safely. This will help eliminate any lingering odor and clean their fur effectively.
  4. Dry and Comfort: Dry your dog with a towel and provide some comfort. The skunk encounter can be stressful, and your dog may need a little extra love and reassurance.

Prevention Tips

To avoid future skunk encounters, keep these tips in mind:

  • Supervise Evening Walks: Skunks are nocturnal and most active during dusk and dawn. Keep a close eye on your dog during these times.
  • Secure Trash Bins: Skunks are attracted to food scraps. Ensure your trash bins are sealed tightly to prevent attracting skunks to your yard.
  • Install Motion-Activated Lights: These can help deter skunks from entering your property.


A skunked dog can be a challenging situation, but knowing how to get rid of the skunk smell on your dog and acting quickly can make all the difference. Remember to use the right de-skunking solution, wash thoroughly with a specialized deodorizing shampoo, and check for any signs of bites. By following these steps, you'll have your furry friend back to their fresh-smelling self in no time.

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