10 Tips to Clean Your Dog After a Skunk Spraying

The little guys in the photo above look cute, don’t they? They won’t look so cute when they spray your dog or cat though.

My dog got sprayed by Pepe Le Pew a few days ago. I have never had a pet get sprayed by a skunk, and I hope you never have to either. It wasn’t something I was prepared for or ever even thought about. I would have never thought it would be something that would happen this time of year either—it is February in Connecticut and it is cold. However, my 10-year-old dog Sierra managed to get sprayed.

dog sprayed by skunk
Sierra was pretty sad after I had tried several different remedies and products on her to try to get the skunk smell out.

It was after 9 p.m. at night and I was already in bed when my husband had let Sierra outside on her runner. She ended up seeing the skunk and broke her collar to go chase it. She was back at the house pretty quickly because the skunk sprayed her right in the face really bad. She ended up getting sprayed on her butt and tail too.

My husband threw her in the house and told me to get her in the bathroom and start washing her and to look something up to do real quick. In the rush of things I didn’t have enough time to properly Google what would be the best thing to do. However, now after having this experience I can share with you what you should and should not do when you pet gets sprayed by a skunk. Hopefully you will remember these tips for when/if you ever have to deal with a skunk spray.

1. Do not wash the pet. The water makes the oils from the skunk spray spread. I made this mistake. I also got skunk spray on me and smelled for a couple of days pretty bad— despite taking more than four showers.

2. Put on gloves—the skunk oil can spread to you. (I wish I knew that before I touched the dog).

3. If your pet gets sprayed in the face make sure to wash out his/her eyes right away. An animal can temporarily go blind from skunk spray. I washed Sierra’s out with warm water and a wash cloth.

4. Check to make sure your pet doesn’t have any cuts from the skunk. Sierra luckily ran away before she could get scratched, however I read online many animals will get scratched by the skunk when it sprays if they are close enough and the cuts will bleed.

5. Keep a de-skunk shampoo in the house just in case. You will want it on hand for when your pet gets sprayed and the stores are already closed. There are a few different products out there. The one I ended up buying the following morning is called DeSkunk. It did help and I think it would have helped a lot more if I had it when the spraying actually happened. Order it and keep it in a safe place in case you ever need it.

6. I also found a spray online that I bought after the fact. I couldn’t find one in any of the pet stores. Luckily Amazon got this to me in less than 24 hours. I read a lot of reviews about this particular product and I wish I had it on hand when she was sprayed. Surprisingly it did help with the musk smell she still had two days later. I am pretty sure it would have done wonders if I had it that night. It’s called No Scent Anal Gland Express & Skunk. It is a little pricey, but well worth it. Buy it and put it away. This was good to use for Sierra’s face because I was able to spray it onto a cloth and then rub it into her face.

7.  I read online to use Apple Cider Vinegar. This did not help at all. I don’t recommend it.

8. Another treatment I read online that helped a little bit was a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn dish soap. I had to use this one because I didn’t have anything else to use. For this you should mix together one quart of three percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup of baking soda and one teaspoon of dawn dish soap (or whatever dish soap you have). This combination will bubble a little. Lather this remedy on your pet and then wash him/her thoroughly. Make sure not to put near your pet’s eyes. After you can wash your dog with pet shampoo—make sure to rinse well. I read you shouldn’t make this mixture and store it because it will explode if left in a bottle.

9.  Some people say to use tomato juice. We didn’t have any in the house so I didn’t try it. I read in a lot of places online that the tomato juice remedy does not work, however if you are desperate I would give it a try.

10. Our house smelled pretty bad after the incident. We couldn’t open all the windows because more skunk smell came in. We did use a window fan to blow out some of the bad air. I also read that placing bowls of white vinegar around the house helps. It did a little bit. One thing that did help the smell was buying Febreze. I bought the air spray and the spray for furniture and carpet.

If you are looking for more ways to mask or get rid of the smell, check out some great tips on DogProductPicker.com. They have some great tips for the “5 Best Stain and Order Remover.”

It has now been a few days since the spraying. We still have a slight scent to us—my husband calls it old man musk smell. I think it would help if it was warmer outside and we could really air out the house.

So I would highly recommend buying the deskunking products and keeping them in case you ever need them. I actually would recommend making a skunk kit with withe products, gloves and a spare collar in case you need it. Sierra’s collar smelled horrible after and I couldn’t get it clean.

If you have any tips that you have used in the past post in the comments below.

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36 Comments

  1. if my dogs got sprayed by a skunk I think they would stroke out hahaha PLUS having to get in the tub is bad enough so it would just be a hot mess of emotions! ha! thank you for your recommendations! It’s ALWAYS great to be prepared!

  2. Haven’t even seen a skunk in real life. Probably I’d ask how to clean oneself when that “terror attack” happens.

  3. Your dog is so adorable. I’m a cat mom and I could not imagine his reaction to being sprayed by a skunk. I doubt clenaing him would go well either.

  4. Aww Sierra doesn’t look happy there! I love dogs but sadly don’t have my own, yet! These are great tips and I’ll keep it in mind!

  5. i was sprayed by a skunk running in the evening once! it was terrible – i had to take a bath in tomato soup! i love this and will bookmark it in case it ever happens to any of my loved ones’ furry friends

  6. Well I am glad that I live in the city, and the chance of encountering a skunk is fairly limited, but I did hear about a few remedies, although better go for the skunk shampoo, most of these other ones might help with the smell or make it worse, and yea use gloves unless you want to be attracting Pepe Le Pew for a few days, glad the doggo is alright now 😀

    1. I read an article recently that said there have been a lot more skunks in cities lately, so be careful!

  7. Wow, this is interesting article. Growing up in the city, I’ve only seen skunks on TV and didn’t realize this could be such a problem for humans and their pets. Dawn and Febreeze, my two favorite products helped saved the day.

  8. We have a lot of skunks in our area and oh my the smell is horrible when one of them gets hit by a vehicle. You can smell it for miles! I can’t imagine getting it on me. I would probably end up living in the shower for the next week! I never knew that they had products to deal with getting sprayed. This is something that I will have to check out for sure.

    1. Paula I took at least 6 showers in two days and keep spraying myself with Febreze until I no longer smelled it.

  9. Oh no… poor Sierra! We have a neighborhood skunk that likes to spray near my house almost every night at the same time during the warmer weather. I can’t take that smell and can only imagine what you are going through.

  10. Very informative post. Although I don’t have dogs yet but I have friends who have dogs and so I am sharing this post with them.

  11. Poor baby. I never really experience this as I never encountered a skunk. But these are good tips for those who have.

  12. This is a lovely sharing, definitely gonna be helpful for the pet owners who sharing the same pet passion too, enjoy my reading here & learnt some knowledge 😀 Cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  13. Thanks for the detailed steps. I don’t think my dog will get sprayed by a skunk tho since we don’t have them here in Dubai. But it’s nice to know incase of emergency. I hope sierra is already completely free from the skunk smell.

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