Dog Sprayed By Skunk? Here’s What To Do!

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

Gotta love that dog sprayed by skunk odor… well, maybe not so much! If it happens to your dog, forget the tomato juice and follow our tips to get that stink out!

Dogs are notorious for getting into things that they shouldn’t and for finding new ways of getting into trouble. Whether you live in the country or in a more urban area, there is always a risk for your dog coming across a skunk. Unfortunately, dogs do not understand what a skunk is capable of so you are left with a big smelly mess. So how do you de-skunk your dog if he gets sprayed? The solution may be easier than you think. Here’s what to do for a dog sprayed by skunk.

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What to Do After Your Dog Gets Sprayed

Before you make any attempt to de-skunk your dog there are a few basic things you should do. First, keep your dog outside – if you let your dog into the house you will end up cleaning more than just your dog. Skunk odor is incredibly stubborn and pervasive, so you don’t want to deal with the consequences of letting your dog inside before he’s been de-skunked. You also need to check your dog to make sure that he didn’t get sprayed in the eyes. Check your dog’s eyes – if they look red or irritated, immediately flush them with cool water. If the irritation persists, you may need to visit your veterinarian. If your dog’s eyes are okay, however, you can move on to de-skunking your dog.

Related: What Animals To Watch Out For While Hiking With Your Dogs

How to De-Skunk Your Dog

You’ve probably heard that the solution to de-skunking a dog involves tomato juice or ketchup. Not only is this method ineffective, but it is a big hassle as well. The real solution may be easier than you think – all you need is some hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap. To prepare the solution, combine 1 quart (4 cups) of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing soap. Place your dog in the bathtub and, while wearing rubber gloves, pour the solution over your dog and work it into his skin and coat. As you clean your dog, make sure you don’t get any of the solution in his eyes and try to keep his nose, eyes, and ears dry.

After you’ve rubbed the mixture into your dog’s coat, you can let it sit for a few minutes but don’t leave it on for too long. Rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water to remove the solution then give him a traditional bath with pet shampoo. Lather and rinse your dog thoroughly until you can no longer smell either the skunk spray or the cleaning solution on him. Towel your dog dry to get rid of most of the moisture then place him in a warm room to air-dry or use a hair dryer on the cool setting. Once your dog is clean and dry you should remove any clothing that carries the skunk odor and throw it in the wash with regular laundry detergent plus a half cup of baking soda to neutralize the odor.

Additional Tips and Tricks for a Dog Sprayed by Skunk

If you don’t have any hydrogen peroxide or baking soda on hand, you can mix distilled white vinegar with water instead and use it to wash your dog. You can also choose to follow the traditional method of dousing the dog in tomato juice to cut through the oil of the skunk spray followed by several shampoo baths. Once you’ve gotten rid of the odor and dried your dog off, try to avoid letting him get wet for at least a few days. Water tends to reactivate the skunk odor so you might end up having to go through the de-skunking process all over again.

To keep your dog from getting skunked, take some basic precautions to ensure that skunks do not have a reason to visit your property. Keep your trash in sealed, inaccessible containers and be careful about letting your dog out when skunks are most likely to be hanging around, at dusk and dawn.

Best Professional Dog Skunk Odor Removers

While home remedies can help to an extent, the best way to tackle skunk stench is by using heavy-duty, professional solutions. But, when it’s your pet that’s been skunked- you can’t just go for the chemical-laden stuff and call it a day. You have to use pet-safe products that won’t do more harm than good. And having a reliable, efficient skunk odor remover on hand is particularly important if your pooch has a knack for getting into all kinds of smelly troubles. While it’s not easy finding odor removers that are non-toxic for dogs but yet work on skunk smell, there are formulas that manage it. Here are our choices on best dog de-skunking products on the market.

Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover

Whether you need to obliterate skunk smell from your pet, carpets, furniture, or anything else, really, this potent odor remover is the go-to option. The fast-acting formula doesn’t cover up the stench with a fragrance, but rather uses bio enzymes that eliminate the smell altogether. Just apply the solution directly on the coat, let sit for five minutes and give your pooch a regular bath – and all traces of their stinky encounter will perish!

De-Skunk Odor Destroying Shampoo

As any pet parent unfortunate enough to have experienced their pet being skunked knows, the foul stench of the skunk is carried in an oily substance. That’s why this de-skunking shampoo is so efficient – it contains the most powerful degreasers out there, so it successfully dissolves skunk spray. A little bit of scrub-a-dubbing in the bath and your pooch won’t be making you gag!

Bodhi Dog Pet Deskunk Odor Eliminator

Yes, it’s possible to have a natural formula that is effective in odor removal- even skunk. This potent odor eliminator contains a proprietary blend of over 12 essential oils to successfully neutralize the skunk stench. Use it around the house and the yard, and directly on your pet without worrying about staining or toxicity. You don’t have to wash this spray out of your pooch’s fur- just spray and leave to air dry. To boot, your pooch will smell like ‘violet potpourri’ afterward!

Thornell Skunk-Off Pet Shampoo

Preferred by veterinarians, this dog shampoo is a great way to instantly eliminate skunk smell from your dog’s coat. It neutralizes odor on contact, and all it takes is some rubbing and washing to completely remove all traces of the foul stench from your pooch. The fact that it is a potent odor remover doesn’t mean that this shampoo is harsh, though: the mild formula won’t dry out your dog’s skin or hair.

NonScents Skunk Odor Remover Head & Face Foam

Fragrance-free yet extremely effective, this foam cleanser destroys odor-causing thiol compounds at the molecular level. Just apply foam at the areas sprayed by the skunk, wait for 10 minutes for it to start working and rinse. It even comes with free latex gloves so you can thoroughly rub the foam in without getting stinky yourself.

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Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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