What Do You Do When Your Pet is Sprayed by a Skunk? | PetFirst
What to do if Your Pet is Sprayed by a Skunk?
Pet Care & Health

What Do You Do When Your Pet is Sprayed by a Skunk?

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

We all know the unmistakable smell of skunk spray. It’s one of the most pungent odors there is. Unfortunately sometimes your pet may be the carrier of that smell if they have had an encounter with these creatures.

My pet has in fact been sprayed… what do I do?

  • First, do not panic. You are not the first pet owner to meet this fate.
  • Keep pets outside if possible or in a contained area like a garage or outbuilding
  • Check for any injuries to your pet
  • Check your pet’s eyes carefully

If you pet’s eyes appear to be red or irritated, flush them immediately. The best method is to flush your pet’s eyes with is cool tap water. Rinse the eyes repeatedly until irritation appears to dissipate.

Once you determine there is no immediate need to get your pet medical attention, the task of removing the smell begins. Skunk oil can quickly set into your pet’s fur, so removing it as quickly as possible is of paramount importance.

There are store bought products that can help remove the stench from your pet, however there are also some DIY solutions that have proven to be effective.

  • Tomato juice baths have long been the go to method to help lessen the smell, but usually does not fully remove the odor. This can be a good first step if you don’t have anything else on hand. Keep in mind this might also irritate your pet’s skin.
  • Diluted vinegar water mixture can also serve as a first step, as the ingredients are usually readily available.
  • A mixture of 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of dish soap is a highly suggested home remedy. Use this mixture immediately after mixing and do not store it for later use. It can explode if kept in a closed container.

We highly suggest wearing rubber gloves while using any of these DIY methods and wash the solutions off your pet as quickly as possible. These methods may require multiple applications. After any of these efforts, use a regular dog shampoo to remove any residual solution.

Some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Be careful not to get the solution in your pet’s eyes.
  • Don’t use a hydrogen peroxide solution stronger than 3%, it can irritate your dog’s skin
  • It may be impossible to get rid of the odor completely, especially if your dog is sprayed in the face.
  • If you live in an area prone to skunk sighting and/or sprayings, it might be beneficial to invest in a store bough product specifically designed to remove skunk odor like Nature’s Miracle or ECOS

Hopefully this smelly situation is a rare occurrence for you and your pet. 

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

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