Pet Care Resources How to Remove Skunk Odor From Your Pet

Emergency Medicine, Urgent Care

How to Remove Skunk Odor From Your Pet

Skunk in grass

Skunks are well known for their unique defense mechanism of spraying an oily, thick, and stinky secretion from the anal glands when they feel threatened. If that threat was your pet, it can lead to a stinky situation. You may have heard that bathing your pet in tomato juice is the best way to get rid of the odor, but it seldom works. Instead, keep reading for our at-home remedy to remove the oils and odor if your pet is sprayed. 

Ingredients for Home Remedy to Remove Skunk Odor

  • 1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1-2 teaspoons of gentle dishwashing liquid, i.e. Dawn
  • Pet shampoo
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves

Follow These Six Steps to Remove Skunk Odor

  1. If your pet was sprayed in the face, begin by gently rinsing their eyes with cool water to remove the oils.
  2. Mix the Hydrogen Peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid in a bowl.
  3. While wearing rubber gloves, lather the mixture throughout the skunked area on your pet.
  4. Being careful to avoid the eyes, rinse thoroughly with warm water after about five minutes.
  5. Next, wash your pet thoroughly with a pet shampoo.
  6. Towel dry your pet and let them finish drying in a warm area.
Person giving a dog a bath

Other Tips

  • Keep your pet outside as the oils from the skunk’s spray can be difficult to remove from fabric.
  • DO NOT make the mixture ahead of time or store in a closed container, as this may result in an explosive chemical reaction.

When to Seek Medical Help

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, problems resulting from skunk spray are typically mild, most commonly including drooling, conjunctivitis, squinting, face-rubbing and rolling, temporary blindness, and vomiting. However, severe and life-threatening red blood cell damage (Heinz body anemia and methemoglobinemia) occurring within a few hours to 24 hours post-exposure was documented in some dogs. Changes to red blood cells result from thiols in the skunk spray reacting with the blood.

If you believe that your pet is having a medical emergency, please contact your family veterinarian or find your nearest MedVet.

By MedVet |
April 21, 2022