Tip 51 – Dog sprayed by a skunk – cat got skunked – what to do
If your dog or cat gets sprayed by a skunk the first thing you want to do is make sure your pet is physically OK. If your dog or cat was scratched, it’s best you contact the vet asap to find out if your pet is up to date on its rabies shot. Some skunks carry rabies so you must be 100% sure. Rabies is fatal.
Next you want to check your pet’s nose and eyes. They often get blasted there and it’s very uncomfortable. Take a wet cloth or some baby wipes and gently wipe these areas clean. If the eyes took a direct hit or if the eyes remain watery or extra red after cleaning, then an immediate visit to the vet is called for. Skunk spray in the eyes is extremely painful.
Next it’s time to get the smell out of the fur/hair. The traditional way is to use tomato juice. Cover the dog or cat’s fur with liberal amounts of tomato juice and work into the coat. Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Rinse well. Shampoo with your normal pet shampoo and rinse extra well. This method works pretty well for most cats and dogs. Sometimes, depending on how bad the dog or cat got sprayed, there may still be a bit residual skunk smell. Repeat the procedure again if necessary. The smell is usually bearable at this point and goes away completely after a few days.
Here’s another way to get rid of skunk smell. It is reputed to be better than the tomato juice method.
1 quart (or liter) of never opened 3% Hydrogen Peroxide available in most drug stores.
1/4 cup (50 ml.) of Baking Soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml.) of liquid dish soap
Using a pair of rubber gloves mix the ingredients together IN AN OPEN container like a bucket and watch it get fizz up. Try to see where your pet got hit and rub the mixture well into the fur while avoiding the eyes, and other sensitive parts like the nose and mouth. Let it stay on for 5 minutes or longer if the smell keeps lingering. Rinse extra well. This usually works well once but you may need to do this twice if your pet took a particularly nasty spraying. The solution will not change the colour of your pet’s fur. DO NOT STORE or REUSE THE MIXTURE as it will build up pressure in a closed container and possibly explode. Dump it all after using it once.
If after your best attempts at bathing and cleaning your pet is still very uncomfortable, especially regarding its eyes (red, watery) then a trip to the vets is a must.