There are few things more disgusting than being around your dog after he has been sprayed by a skunk. Skunks smell bad enough from a distance, but up close it can be enough to make you gag. If your dog has gotten himself sprayed by a skunk you have several options for how to remove the odor.
First of all, the age-old remedy of using tomato juice to remove skunk odor actually doesn’t work. It does help neutralize and mask the odor, but it does not completely remove it from your dog’s fur. If you use tomato juice to try to get rid of the skunk odor on your dog you will likely notice it reappearing after a short time.
Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a little bit of dish soap do work to eliminate skunk odor. Mix together a box of baking soda, a small bottle or hydrogen peroxide and a few squirts of dish soap in a gallon sized bucket and then fill the bucket the rest of the way with water. Scrub down your dog’s fur with the solution, making sure to avoid the eye area since hydrogen peroxide can cause serious damage to your dog’s eyes. Allow the solution to sit on your dog’s fur for about 5-10 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly.
Be aware that the hydrogen peroxide can bleach your pet’s fur causing it to turn orange or brown if your dog has dark fur. The fur color should return to normal as your dog’s hair grows out.
If you prefer not to turn your dog “bottle blonde” you can instead try using vinegar to bathe him and remove the skunk odor. Vinegar won’t turn your dog’s fur a different color and is effective in removing skunk odor. Mix up a 50/50 mix or vinegar and warm water and scrub your dog’s fur with it, rinsing thoroughly when you are done. If there is any remaining skunk odor after the first washing you may need to repeat the process again.
If your dog smells like vinegar after his vinegar bath you can buy a slightly scented dog shampoo and give him a bath with that to remove the vinegar odor.
It probably goes without saying, but you should not allow your dog into your house or on your furniture while he is covered with skunk spray. The spray can transfer onto your furniture and carpeting and then you will have to clean the whole house to get rid of it. If you do get skunk spray inside your house you will need to clean any surfaces that your dog came in contact with using either the baking soda/hydrogen peroxide solution or vinegar to remove the odor. Be sure to test any items like upholstery or carpeting for color fastness in a hidden spot before cleaning them.