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DIY De-Skunk Your Dog

DIY De-Skunk Your Dog

I remember years ago I had a Chinese Crested dog named Wendy.  She was quite a character.  One night we were walking in the yard and in the dark, around 15 feet away I saw what appeared to be the cutest little black and white kitten.  As we got closer, I realized that it was not a kitten.  It was a baby skunk!  I scooped up Wendy and quietly walked away.  If Wendy had seen it we would have been skunked.  Well, not everybody is so lucky.  As we all know, SH*T happens.  So what do you do if you are not so lucky and your dog is sprayed?  Here is the best DIY recipe for de-skunking your dog.

Step 1: Ingredients

Skunk Recipe Image

Mix together:
• 1 quart (4 pints) of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at your local pharmacy)
• 1/4 cup baking soda
• 2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing soap

Many recipes call for only one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.  Dr. Karen Becker recommends using 2 teaspoons of .  I trust Dr. Becker as she is a renowned veterinary authority.



Step 2:  Preparation
Depending on the size of your dog you might want to double or triple the recipe.

The solution must be prepared when it is needed; it loses its potency when it is stored and it will not work.  Do NOT save this mixture or make it ahead of time.  The mixture could explode if left in a bottle. I suggest that you keep the ingredients, measuring tools, and some sponges together so that you will not need to go hunting for the supplies when the event happens.

Try to use this solution ASAP after the incident.  The longer you wait, the more effort it will take to remove the odor. 

Wear rubber gloves and clothing that you don’t mind messing up.  The solution can be irritating to your skin.  The peroxide in the solution might bleach out your clothes. 

Step 3: Clean
If you have a hose outside, it is best to do this outdoors.  If you don’t, you will have to do this in your bathroom.  Apply the mixture to your pet’s DRY coat from the collar back toward the tail. Do NOT pour it near the face.  The solution can burn their eyes and be sure that your dog doesn’t drink it. DO NOT get the solution in the dog’s eyes. It is very irritating to the eyes and it is strongly advised that you see the vet if you notice any irritation or excessive blinking or squinting of the eyes.  You don’t want infections to develop so be very careful.

Lather for around 5 minutes. You will notice that the odor will begin to dissipate. Many times dogs will be “skunked” in the face.   If that is the case, use a sponge to apply the solution to your pet’s chin, cheeks, forehead and ears.  Avoid the eye area.

Step 4: Rinse
To rinse the head area, first use a sponge dampened with clean water to remove the bulk of the solution.  You don’t want anything to get into the eyes.  To remove the remainder, tilt your pet’s chin upward and carefully and rinse with clean water so the solution does not run down into the eyes. After completely rinsing, begin the process again. Do not repeat the process more than three times.

Step 5: Final Shampoo & Rinse
Next, wash your dog with a gentle pet shampoo (puppy, oatmeal, or gentle shampoo).  Do NOT use human shampoo as the pH level is inappropriate for dogs. Rinse thoroughly. 

Step 6: Dry
Towel-dry your dog as best as you can.  You may allow him to dry naturally outside on a towel, in a well-ventilated sunny room, take him on a long walk, or you may blowdry him.  NEVER use the high heat setting on a blowdryer.  I have used medium and as it heats up, there is a button that blows out cold air.  Do not get close to the skin when you are using a blowdryer.  Keep the nozzle of the blowdryer at least 6 inches away from the surface of the hair.  If you dog has long fur, you may need to use a hair dryer to dry his fur.

Step 7: Human Cleanup
You can rid of the skunk odor from your clothes by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a half-cup of baking soda.

This is a strong solution and can be irritating to a dog’s skin.  If you see irritation, I advise you visit your veterinarian.

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