When skunks feel threatened, they spray a noxious, oily liquid from their anal glands to scare off predators. A skunk can aim this spray with remarkable accuracy for a distance of about 10 feet, and the stench can be smelled up to a mile away. Unfortunately, while your dog might just be feeling curious or playful about the new animal friend in his back yard, a skunk will think it’s under attack and retaliate with this extremely unpleasant defense mechanism.
What’s the best skunk smell removal method?
Because a skunk’s spray has an oily consistency, it is incredibly difficult to remove from hair and skin. The first step in “de-skunking” your pet is to rinse him/her off with a hose bath and pet shampoo outside. After that, bring him/her indoors for a warm bath with dish soap. Remember, when ocean birds are caught in oil spills, rescue workers use dish soap to clean their feathers, so it can work wonders for your dog or cat, too. Rinsing and repeating this process about a dozen times is usually sufficient for getting rid of the smell. However, if there is still a persistent odor once your pet is dry, you can try an application of baking soda and peroxide (recipe below). Gently shampoo the substance into your pet’s coat and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Be especially careful to avoid your pet’s eyes.
Forget the tomato juice! Try this instead:
- 4 cups of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of dish washing detergent
- 1 quart lukewarm water
Who Do I Call About Skunks And Skunk Smell Removal?
Once your family pet has been rid of the skunk smell, avoid having to repeat this arduous process by having an ABC Humane Wildlife technician inspect your property for a skunk den. Our animal experts are trained to identify the areas where skunks are living and create a trapping program to remove them from your property. After they’re gone, we’ll even animal proof your home so you’re less likely to face this problem in the future. Don’t leave your cat or dog vulnerable to skunk spray. Contact ABC Wildlife today at (847) 870-7175 so you never have to deal with skunk smell removal again!
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Karen Jesse is a wildlife writer and educator licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Public Health in urban wildlife management and structural pest control. She enjoys hiking, telling people how cool skunks are, and opera.
Image courtesy of Boviate via Flickr