What To Do When Your Dog Meets A Skunk
Like many dog owners, you probably have a fenced in yard. And like many dog owners you probably don’t give it a second thought when it comes to letting Fido out into the yard to do his business. Unfortunately, this fairly normal way of thinking can pose a problem if your pooch happens upon a skunk.
Your Pup and a Skunk
Chances are, your beloved pooch failed to recognize and retreat when Mr. Skunk gave his warning to back off, resulting in a dog that has been enveloped in the misery that is the distinctive, fetid smelling spray (mercaptan) of a skunk. Even if your dog was able to pick up on the warnings the skunk tried to communicate, the spray of a defensive skunk can travel a distance of up to 15 feet, which could mean even a pup with the instinct to stay away might still have been exposed.
If you were lucky, you made the stinky discovery before you let your pup back into the house. If not, as soon as you do realize Fido has acquired a new perfume, take him back outside immediately. Continue reading to learn how to help Fido in his post-skunked time of need.
What You Will Need:
- Old cloth towels or paper towels
- Rubber gloves
- Eyewash – if your pup was sprayed in the eyes.
- Garden hose or bucket of water
You may also want to invest in a skunk removal product like Nature’s Miracle Skunk Remover. You can also make your own skunk remover by following Chemist, Paul Krebaum’s recipe and mix the following ingredients together in an open bucket:
Skunk Removal Recipe
- A quarter cup of baking soda
- 1 tsp. of liquid soap
- A quart (4 cups) of hydrogen peroxide
If you have a large dog, add an additional quart (4 cups) of water to the mixture.
Note: Use immediately, leaving this concoction sitting for too long can make it explode. Also, this recipe loses its effectiveness after awhile.
What To Do:
Read the following instructions thoroughly before beginning.
- DO NOT RINSE YOUR DOG WITH WATER FIRST!
- Safely secure your dog with a leash or with the help of a friend or family member.
- Put on your rubber gloves to protect your hands from picking up skunk oil – make sure your helpers have gloves too.
- If using a store bought skunk remover, follow the directions on the bottle. If making your own proceed to step 6.
- Look for any scratches or bites. Note: If your dog has been bitten or scratched by the skunk, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- If you have made your own mixture: thoroughly work the mixture into your dog’s fur. Pay attention to where the skunk scent is the strongest on your dog. Note: Be careful of your dog’s eyes, skunk remover stings.
- Let mixture sit on dog for 5 minutes.
- Rinse your dog thoroughly and repeat if necessary.
- If your dog’s eyes (face) were skunked, use eyewash. Follow provided directions carefully on store bought eye wash.
Follow up with your veterinarian if your dog starts acting strangely and/or exhibits excessive squinting or vomiting.
Helpful Hints for Keeping your Dog Skunk-Free:
- Skunks are more active at dawn and dusk so keeping dogs indoors during those times is a good idea.
- Keep your dog on a leash with supervision.
- Avoid high grass, as you never know where a skunk may be hiding out.
Discovering Fido has been skunked is never a pleasant experience. However, knowing how to handle the situation will definitely make it less traumatic for you and your pup.
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