Pepe-Le-Pew may have been provocatively aromatic to all his female skunk friends. . . . but if you have ever experienced skunk odor sprayed on your family dog, you might just start to wonder what the attraction was all about!
In real life, skunks use their strong-smelling spray as a defense mechanism against possible predators, dousing their attackers from a gland located under their tails. Once anything is sprayed by a skunk, the smell can last for days, especially since it cannot be washed off. It has to be neutralized. An old wives' tale has had people using tomato juice as a neutralizer. But all that really does is make your pet smell like an overripe tomato!
If your pet has been sprayed by a skunk:
Corral him or her in a place where the skunk's spray will not soak into fabric or carpeting.
Mix the following ingredients for a cleaning solution to be used on your pet:
- 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide - check expiration date to make sure it is still effective.
- Baking soda - also check to make sure it is still viable.
- Dawn liquid dish soap - any liquid dish soap should work, but this one was recommended and found effective.
DO NOT mix this solution until necessary. If it is mixed and stored, it could expand and explode the container. If you do not use all of the mixture, discard when finished.
With a washcloth or pet brush, gently work the solution into the fur. Be very careful not to get this solution into the dog's mouth, eyes, or ears.
Rinse with warm water until the solution is entirely out of the fur. Towel dry your pet.
This solution will discolor certain fabrics. If the skunk's spray has landed on the carpeting or fabric, test check a small portion of the flooring at a hidden spot. When rubbing a small dab of carpeting with the solution, if it discolors, you will have to resort to traditional carpet cleaners or professional cleaners. The same goes with clothing that may have been damaged by the skunk's spray.
Prevention is the best solution. Skunks feed on grubs that can be found below the grass surface. If given the chance, they will dig up large circles of the lawn in search of their next meal. Talk with your local nursery or lawn care company and rid your yard of grubs. That alone with discourage skunks from coming in close contact with your family pet.
Just remember . . . skunks will retaliate when feeling threatened. It is best to give them a wide berth!