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What to do if your dog gets skunked

Getting sprayed by a skunk sometimes happens to curious canines who stick their noses where they don’t belong. The up-close and personal smell is a far cry from the one on the side of the road — it’s an acrid chemical that grasps your lungs and hurts your eyes.

If you have this reaction, imagine what dogs, with their highly sensitive noses, feel. If your pet gets skunked, this is the best formula* we’ve found:

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup baking soda

1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap

Mix the formula in a clean plastic bucket and apply it immediately (do not store it in a bottle as it may explode). Wash your dog as soon as possible in the solution; outside and with gloves on is best. Before wetting the dog, work the solution into the fur, being careful to avoid the eyes. Leave the solution on for 5 minutes and then rinse it with lukewarm water.

Wash the dog as many times as it takes for the dog to smell like a wet dog rather than a dog sprayed by a skunk. Severely skunked dogs should be monitored closely for 12 hours for signs such as lethargy, weakness or lack of appetite. Rarely, extremely severe cases can cause damage to red blood cells resulting in anemia. Contact our 24/7 emergency veterinary hospital if your dog looks ill.

*Safety Warnings: This mixture is flammable. Toss what you haven’t used – do not store it in a bottle or it will explode. The solution will bleach out fabric. Keep the solution out of your pet’s eyes.


Wilvet South 24/7 urgent care 444 B Street, Springfield, OR 97477

Emily Kalenius, DVM


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