Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to De-Skunk A Dog

Well - the inevitable happened. I worried about this many times over the years perhaps more than most "normal" people - and last night was THE night.

The trouble begins when Levi the Dog had to do his business at 3am. We trade off on night duty because no one likes to get out of a warm bed so DH let him out. We've TALKED many times about using a leash at night because we were worried about a skunk-encounter but you know how it need to find a rope and a clip and remember to hook it up in your half sleep-induced state - it SO-didn't-happen.

Since DH let him out I was in charge of letting him back in. OH oh. The dog came racing into the house and jumped up on his favorite chair before the aroma hit DH and he started to holler - GET-HIM-BACK-OUTSIDE!!!!

I was the lucky one who had to carry him back out and tie him to the cistern pump while he struggled to get away and I furiously tried to figure out what-we-were-gonna-do-now! Now the part this story that makes it especially interesting is the fact that I do not have sense of smell.  I looked up the official term: Anosmia (syn: anosphrasia)­ The medical term describing the total absence of the sense of smell, i.e., the inability to detect or recognize any vapor (including skunk-stench!).

Yup - that would be me - in the smell department.

Thankfully my worrying in the past paid off because I had come across an article a few years back on what-to-do in the case of a skunk-encounter (that didn't include the use of tomato juice which I know everyone SAYS will work but most of the reviews after the fact said it didn't help much at all and was very messy). I was thankful to quickly find the info which I had saved on my computer in OneNote (which is an amazing MS program!) under Disaster Preparations. How appropriate.

Secret De-Skunk Sauce Recipe:

1L bottle (large) hydrogen peroxide
1L of water
1/2 box of baking soda
3 tablespoons of dish washing liquid (Dawn apparently works best but I only had Palmolive).

Stir together and start soak the dog in it - do this outside - by wetting his fur thoroughly and continuing to work it through with a rag for a minimum of 15 minutes keeping it away from his eyes and mouth. We took pity on his freezing-furry-behindy and did the final long rinse in the bath tub. He came out clean-as-a-whistle and they tell me he smelled great - like he's just had a bath - no skunk smell at all! I don't think it was a direct hit - that might have required a double application and a clothespin for DH.

Of course he smelled fine to me to begin with! Imagine for a moment if I had been home alone...

Another disaster averted. My son asked me if I thought this would end Levi's skunk-chasing days...somehow I doubt it. The lady whose recipe I used said she was thrilled with the de-skunk sauce and she knew it worked really well because they'd already used it 4 times on their dog.

OH dear. Time to get that leash hooked up and resupply the De-Skunk kit.


  1. This has happened on our farm, and may I say you did really really well ! There also are a couple of other effective alternatives. There is a commercial preparation that one can buy from farming supplies shops, a liquid detergent which works very well, and is often used by vets. Also, the worse parts of skunk spray can be effectively removed by hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, followed by rinsing with lots of water. The peroxide will lighten the dogs hair for a time....ours did not care.
    Once a couple of years ago, my sons car got skunk sprayed on the underside. It was so bad that we thought we might have to part with the car. It took months for all of it to be gone !

  2. I have had that fear ever since we moved to the country. Great to find the recipe and will keep it handy. Funny thing, I was letting my dogs out around that time too!

  3. I guess using peroxide on the car would have eaten the paint off :) I was just glad I had everything necessary in the house and didn't need to make a trip to the store at 3am. Hurray for being prepared for the right thing for a change :)!