Dog Sprayed By Skunk? Here’s What To Do

dog sprayed by skunk

Picture this: It’s a peaceful evening, and you’re enjoying a relaxing moment with your furry friend in the backyard. Suddenly, chaos ensues as your dog meets a skunk and falls victim to its potent spray. 

When you have a dog sprayed by skunk, the pungent odor fills the air, and you’re left wondering what to do next.

Don’t panic! We’ll guide you through the steps to handle the situation when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk. From immediate actions to home remedies, we’ve got you covered.

What To Do When Dog Gets Sprayed By A Skunk

Skunks possess a powerful defense mechanism in the form of their musk. This potent spray is composed of chemicals called thiols, which are responsible for the strong odor. 

But enough of the science … what should you do if your dog has been sprayed? 

Here’s what we recommend you do immediately:

  1. Keep calm: It’s understandable to feel frustrated, but the first thing you should remember to do is remain calm. Your dog can sense your emotions, and staying composed will help both of you navigate the situation smoothly.
  2. Act quickly: That said, time is of the essence when dealing with skunk spray. The longer it stays on your dog’s fur, the more difficult it is to eliminate the odor. So you need to spring into action as soon as possible.
  3. Isolate your dog: To prevent the skunk odor from spreading to other areas of your home (or other pets), try to keep your dog in a designated area, like a bathroom or laundry room, until you can begin the cleaning process.
  4. Check for injuries: Most skunk encounters result in a smelly annoyance at worst. But it’s still important to inspect your dog for any signs of injury or discomfort. If you notice any wounds, redness, or excessive drooling, contact your holistic vet for further guidance.

Dog Sprayed By Skunk: Home Remedy

Okay, your dog has been sprayed but isn’t injured. But boy does he smell! What’s next?

Luckily, most skunk encounters can be taken care of with a simple home remedy to treat the smell. Here’s a tried and tested homemade deodorizing solution our “dog sprayed by skunk home remedy.”

Here’s how to make it and use it:

  1. Before you do anything, rinse your dog with plain water. Use a garden hose or a bathtub to wet your dog’s fur completely. Avoid getting water in your dog’s eyes and ears. Do this as soon as you can: getting your dog wet right away will help get rid of the skunk smell faster. 
  2. Next, you’ll need 1 quart (950 ml) of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid dish soap. 
  3. Mix these ingredients together and apply the solution to your dog’s fur. 
  4. Apply the solution thoroughly and make sure to work it into a thick lather. 
  5. Leave this deodorizer on for about 5 minutes, then rinse your dog thoroughly.

That’s it! Pretty simple, right? 

Here are some other things to keep in mind as you’re deodorizing your dog:

  1. Avoid common mistakes: It’s tempting to use tomato juice or other home remedies, but chances are they won’t be as effective in completely removing skunk odor. Stick to the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution above for the best results.
  2. Focus on high-odor areas: Pay extra attention to the areas directly affected by the skunk spray, such as the face, neck, and torso. These regions tend to absorb the odor more intensely. But be careful around your dog’s eyes, ears and mouth. Keep reading for more about these areas. 
  3. Repeat if necessary: In some cases, one round of cleaning may not be enough to eliminate the skunk odor entirely. If the smell persists, repeat the rinsing and deodorizing process until you notice a significant improvement.

Special Skunk Situations

The dog sprayed by skunk home remedy above will get you out of most smelly skunk situations. 

But what if your dog has a more specific skunk issue? For example:

  • Your dog gets sprayed in the face
  • Your dog gets sprayed in the eyes
  • Your dog foams at the mouth after getting sprayed
  • There’s a lingering skunk smell (even after the home remedy above)

Read on for more skunk solutions!

Dog Sprayed By Skunk In Face

It’s not uncommon for dogs to get sprayed directly in the face by a skunk. Unfortunately, the eyes and nose are particularly sensitive areas for our pups. 

Here’s what you can do in this special skunk situation:

  1. Rinse with water: Start by gently flushing your dog’s face with water. Use a gentle stream from a hose or a cup of water to remove any skunk spray residue. Be careful not to spray directly into the eyes.
  2. Check for eye irritation: After rinsing, check your dog’s eyes for signs of redness, swelling, or excessive discharge. If you notice any concerning symptoms or your dog continues to show discomfort, seek veterinary attention promptly.

If your dog’s eyes are still irritated, ask your holistic vet about a suitable pet-safe eye rinse. Follow the instructions provided by your vet to clean your dog’s eyes effectively and alleviate any discomfort.

Dog Sprayed In Eyes By Skunk

If know your dog’s eyes were directly sprayed by the skunk, here’s what to do:

  1. Using a gentle stream of lukewarm water, carefully flush your dog’s eyes to remove the skunk spray. 
  2. Tilt your dog’s head back slightly and pour water from a cup or use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any residue.

After flushing, if your dog’s eyes appear red, swollen, or irritated, it’s best to talk to your holistic vet. She can provide specific guidance and recommend appropriate eye drops or ointments to relieve any discomfort.

Dog Sprayed By Skunk Foaming At Mouth

First of all, skunks can carry rabies. So if the skunk was foaming at the mouth, contact your vet immediately to find out what to do. But don’t panic. Your dog is likely protected by rabies vaccinations he’s had … but it’s a good idea to check with your vet. Also, rabies is transmitted by bites and saliva, so if the skunk didn’t bite your dog, there shouldn’t be any risk.

On the other hand, what if your dog begins to foam at the mouth after be ing sprayed by a skunk? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Assess the situation: Foaming at the mouth can just be your dog’s natural response to the skunk spray. However, you’ll want to evaluate the situation and ensure there are no other underlying causes for the foaming.
  2. Rinse your dog’s mouth: Using a gentle stream of water or a damp cloth, carefully rinse your dog’s mouth to remove any skunk spray residue. Be cautious not to spray directly into the throat so you avoid causing your dog to choke.
  3. Monitor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and overall wellbeing. If the foaming continues or you notice any other concerning symptoms, contact your vet for further advice.

Lingering Skunk Smell On Dog

Despite your best efforts, the skunk smell may linger on your dog’s fur or in the surrounding environment. It’s often especially noticeable if your dog gets wet in the rain a day or so later. Remember you can use our home remedy above multiple times if one round of deodorizing doesn’t do the trick. 

If you’ve already tried that several times, here are some additional steps you can take try to tackle a lingering skunk smell on dogs:

  1. Vinegar solution: Create a solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water. Use this mixture to wipe down surfaces that may have come into contact with the skunk spray, such as floors, walls, and furniture (it’s possible the lingering smell is coming from these, rather than your dog).
  2. Odor-absorbing products: Consider using odor-absorbing products like activated charcoal to neutralize the remaining skunk odor. Activated charcoal is a porous filtering agent that can absorb odors floating in the air, and it may remove skunk odor in as little as 24 hours. Follow the instructions on the product label for best results.

Final Caution: Dog Sprayed By Skunk Side Effects

Finally, there are some other dog sprayed by skunk side effects you should watch out for. 

The primary concern for skunk spray is obviously its unpleasant odor, but you should also be aware of potential side effects and skunk spray toxicosis. 

The following symptoms may indicate a more severe reaction to skunk spray and require immediate veterinary attention.

Skunk Spray Toxicosis Symptoms

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, seek veterinary care as soon as you can.


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