How to Remove Skunk Odor From a Dog

By John L


An encounter with a skunk rarely has a happy ending for a dog. The stench the canine comes away with gets even worse, if this is possible, when the dog gets wet. There are products on the market such as Skunk Off and Skunk Kleen that are designed to get rid of horrible skunk odor, but there is also a simple home recipe that can accomplish this task.

Step 1

Attend to your dog rapidly after it has been sprayed. The smell will be much more difficult to remove after the chemicals in the skunk's spray have dried on the dog's coat. Realize also that if nothing is done, most of the odor will eventually go away on its own, but this will be only after several weeks; dogs with longer hair that happen to get wet will have the foul smell return.

Step 2

Take the dog outside to wash it. Change into an old set of clothes for this task that you can afford to dispose of right after the washing and use a pair of gloves. Keep the dog contained after it has been sprayed so that it will not contaminate the interior of your home before you can attempt to deal with the odor.

Step 3

Combine 1/4 cup of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of a dish washing product (such as Dawn) along with 2 pints of hydrogen peroxide in a basin. If you have a very large dog, simply double the amounts of these three ingredients. Use your outside hose to get your pet wet, then begin to shampoo the hair of your dog thoroughly. An old sponge will come in handy while using your mixture. Do not be alarmed that it will be fizzing as this is what happens when the baking soda and peroxide are mixed. Avoid getting any of this mixture in your dog's eyes or on its nose.

Step 4

Leave this concoction on the dog for as long as 4 minutes before rinsing it. One application will not be enough to have removed the entire amount of skunk spray, so you will have to repeat this process a few times. After applying it once and then rinsing, resume right away with another shampooing. There's no need to let the dog dry off.

Step 5

Apply a crème rinse to restore moisture to your dog's coat, but only after about a week has passed since it was treated for being sprayed. Do not do it during the treatment as this will be very counter-productive, since it will keep the mixture from being effective. Bring your dog to a veterinarian if it shows any ill effects from its meeting with the skunk.
Comments (22)
Jul 22, 2009 KrystaH
I live out on a farm and we use peppermint mouthwash... All you do is pour it onto a cloth and wipe the dog down... The dogs love the taste of it and I have had people come over in the past after the skunk and they have not smelt a thing... Even the dogs smell good!!!
Jul 26, 2011 lynnbear58
Thanks Krysta! Much easier...all I had on hand was a bit of Scope, but made a difference from the V8 and vinegar already on his head! Smelled like a skunk salad before! Will go to Whole Foods in the am for natural peppermint mouthwash to finish the job.
Oct 4, 2011 rescueddogs
Oh my goodness!!!!! I can not THANK YOU ENOUGH KRYSTAH!!!!! I almost put that hydrogen peroxide mix on my beloved Blue Boy, whom is one of my many dogs I have rescued through my life & because of the economy, couldn't find him a home, so I kept him. He has turned out to be the bestest boy ever!!! Like lynnbear58, I didn't have peppermint mouth wash but the mouth wash I used worked GREAT!!! And yes, it was much easier & SAFER!!! Why they even put that stupid "poison mix" in writing is beyond me, when the solution is as easy as mouth wash!!! Somehow, this easy solution of mouth wash for skunked animals must be known nation wide. Again KrystaH, A GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!!!!
Oct 26, 2011 SydB
People, moutwash simply masks the odor. It doesn't take the skunk oil out. The peroxide and dish soap break down the oil. The baking soda absorbs it. Putting mouthwash in your mouth only hides bad breath. It comes back then next morning.
Nov 1, 2011 JeannieM
Hmmmmm, our Schnoodle got sprayed last night (Halloween, what a horror!)Took the full blast in the face & ears but miraculously, didn't get it in her eyes. Immediately washed her head and face with Hibitane, a surgical anti-bacterial soap that was at hand. This took about half of it away. Didn't have tomato juice, so hubby brought in a can of diced tomatoes and I massaged that into her coat. It was going great until she got out of my grip and shook. There were gory bits of tomato flung all over the shower and bathroom walls. It looked like a scene from a slasher movie, very appropriate considering the date! Rinsed her off and shampooed with Hibitane again. Thought her coat had burrs in it, then I realized they were tomato seeds, so a comb out was required. Poor Penny dog. By morning, she was not too smelly except on her one ear...until she went outside and got damp from the grass and then it was like I'd done nothing. Looked up the "recipe" on the internet but it said that vinegar could be substituted for the peroxide if coat bleaching was a concern. So I did it with vinegar. Didn't make much difference. I'll try the mouthwash and failing that, Miss Penny might be getting a really, really short hair cut. Having handled her so much in this process, I smell almost as bad as her, even after showers and shampoos.
Nov 14, 2011 trishwin03
my dog was sprayed last night i used the peroxide,baking soda, and dishsoap but i also added halved potatoes, i had heard that halved potatoes(raw of course)absorb the smell from the fur. it seemed to work real well. the article also said to use fabreeze for the smell in the house, it did help. I might try the mouthwash next time. this happened at 4 in the morning and the mouthwash seems alot easier! man was I tired lol hope this helps.
Nov 17, 2011 JJ Henry
The only product I have had success with is Doggi Cleen. As far as I am concerned it is the best stuff on the market. It works and it's safe for the dogs. Check it out at odor.html
Nov 21, 2011 sandy the dog
November 14 2011 My golden retriever was sprayed by a skunk on the face ears and snout. wow the smell was horrible. she ran inside got on the guest bed with laundry on it. ran to the front of the house iam glad not to the stairs and the house stunk so bad. i stayed up until 4am cleaning to no avail we all humans stunk as even if washed the clothes. I had to in reality washed the clothes five times in sanitary wash. throw out some clothes along the way got rid of the mattress and bx spring cleaned the sofa and area rugs having Stanley steamer coming out for the area room I tried everything from to tomatoes juice to the hydrogen peroxide i followed the recipe and to no avail. I aired out the house by opening all windows on a windy day still neighbors say they can smell the mask of skunk..... I hate skunks........
Jun 28, 2012 nmckinley
We have had this happen on more than one occasion. *sigh* We found a non-toxic product called Quick n Brite and decided to give it a try. I didn't like the mixtures I found online that you had to make sure they wouldn't explode or get in my dogs eyes. Quick n Brite is actually an all purpose cleaner, but when we talked to a representative at the company they were very confident that it would work and it did! I included a link to their blog but basically you mix the concentrated Quick n Brite solution with water and spray it on your pet (or carpet or whatever else it gets onto) and let it sit then hose it off. My dog allows it to soak in for about 10 minutes before we rinse and we found that the longer it sits the better job it does. We also use this product to clean our dog (when he is not sprayed by skunks!) and it is great to make his fur soft and doesn't dry out his skin. Would recommend ordering this product as it is far better than anything we have tried. http://quicknbr ml
Aug 29, 2012 Raggedyjan769
I tried peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent to remove the skunk smell from my dog and it worked great. Thank you...thank you...thank dog Zander, my husband and I really appreciate the advice.
Dec 2, 2012 Caringcatlady
What works best for a cat that has been sprayed and is there anything to do if they have been sprayed in the eyes? Can they go blind?
Dec 13, 2012 PetSafetyFirst
This is a terrible solution. You're telling people to use peroxide? So, basically, pour TWO PINTS of a chemical that will dry out and destroy my dog's fur? (Think about how quickly it dries out your fingertips just from a cottonball). I like for "de-skunking." SO much safer. Yes, I'm shilling for them...because I used it and like the company and the product. BTW, @CaringCatLady, they say it works on cats too.
Dec 30, 2012 mongran
A friend's dog was skunked 2 months ago. They told me they used the peroxide/baking soda mix and then Nature's Miracle "Skunk Odor Removover" They dropped the dog so I can dogsit while they're away. The dog got wet with rain and the stink came back. Is this possible and what can I do to remove it? Please help.
May 4, 2013 swlms1955
Use HYDROGEN peroxide from a pharmacy, not the peroxide that is used in hair bleach.
Sep 17, 2013 /Z0MBEESNOWMAN
I don't know why anyone would douse their dog in a chemical. It basically eats the fur while it discolors it. Second, it will dry out your dog's skin terribly. You can also blind your pet. Found this via Twitter, which barely scratches the surface of the problems w/this mix: es/peroxideDog2.gif
Oct 19, 2013 ilovemydogtoo
The hydrogen peroxide that you buy at a pharmacy is generally 3% solution. It is VERY VERY mild. The peroxide that will dry the skin and potentially discolour the hair IF left on and not rinsed off is the kind we hairdressers use, and that is sometimes a 20% but usualy a 30% solution, mixed with a bleaching powder or cream. This mixture here works well, does NOT discolour the hair or dry the skin but should be rinsed off after the scrubbing is done, the same way you do after shampooing your hair. I have used it on two separate occasions. Does the trick!
Nov 5, 2013 cee65
If it gets in the eyes , flush eyes with cold water , you can use a dropper to do this if need so , make sure you flush them good, and cold water only.....
Nov 5, 2013 cee65
I was told to use tomatoe juice, rinse and follow behind with mouthwash, rinse and follow behind with a shampoo ..It worked and my dog took a direct hit and smelled like he took a skunk bath, this worked for me there was still a little smell left behind but not bad ...
Nov 22, 2013 /darsella
hi - our dog, Beau, was just skunked for the second time in two months. Shame on him! in the face, too. i followed this poster's hydrogen peroxide recipe last time and i have to say, it worked really well. i did a LOT of research because Beau has skin allergies. my derma vet confirmed that this recipe is safe and wouldnt harm Beau at all. My advice is that you do have to make sure of two things: (a) the concoction should be fizzy (its the baking soda), so work fast. if the fizz goes away, it's not going to break down the skunk oil; (b) you do have to rinse well. beau is charcoal colored but now he looks like he's wearing a poorly matched brown toupee. :) i was so eager last time i don't know if i rinsed well enough. this time I'm shampooing him afterwards.
May 6, 2014 exring
I got some stuff from my dog groomer called odorxit concentrate that really works beyond belief. I even got the smell out of his mouth in less time than it took to give him a bath. I just washed him with shampoo, rinsed with water then rinsed with the odorxit concentrate 1 ounce to 1 quart of water and the odor was gone.
Oct 6, 2014 ZedaJackson
Thanks so much for sharing these steps! I was up in the canyon with my champion and he came across a skunk and got sprayed. There is nothing worse or that smells bad!! It was also such a process just to get rid of the odor. I'll make sure to keep these instructions in mind if that ever happens again. .il/services/professional-carpet-cl eaning/pet-urine-odor-removal
Dec 5, 2014 Beagle1975
While the hydrogen peroxide might work, I would never risk using it on my animals. Use something all natural. I like Dee Dee Stink by Organi-Gro /dds2000.html I used this on my dog and the smell was gone within a few moments after application.
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