How to Get Rid of Skunk Spray on Dogs: A Complete Guide

Skunks are notorious for their strong-smelling spray, which can be a nightmare if your furry friend gets sprayed. The pungent odor of skunk spray can linger on your dog’s fur for days if not properly treated. But fear not, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you get rid of skunk spray on your beloved canine companion.

1. Act quickly:
Skunk spray is oil-based and becomes more difficult to remove the longer it sits on your dog’s fur. So, it’s important to start the cleaning process as soon as possible.

2. Keep your dog outside:
To prevent the skunk odor from spreading throughout your home, it’s best to keep your dog outside until they are cleaned.

3. Wear protective gear:
Before handling your dog, put on gloves and old clothes that you don’t mind throwing away afterward. Skunk spray can be irritating to the skin and difficult to remove from clothing.

4. Safety first:
Make sure your dog is in a secure area to avoid any accidents or escapes during the cleaning process.

5. Prepare the cleaning solution:
Mix one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Avoid using stronger hydrogen peroxide formulas, as they may bleach your dog’s fur.

6. Apply the solution:
Thoroughly wet your dog’s coat with water, then apply the cleaning solution. Be careful to avoid your dog’s eyes, mouth, and ears. Gently work the solution into the fur, ensuring it reaches the skunk spray-soaked areas.

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7. Let it sit:
Allow the cleaning solution to sit on your dog’s fur for about five minutes. This will give it time to break down the skunk oil.

8. Rinse thoroughly:
Thoroughly rinse your dog with warm water. Ensure you remove all traces of the cleaning solution, as leaving it on the fur can cause skin irritation.

9. Repeat if necessary:
If the skunk odor persists, repeat the cleaning process until the smell is significantly reduced. However, do not overdo it, as excessive use of hydrogen peroxide can dry out your dog’s skin.

10. Dry your dog:
Gently towel-dry your dog or use a hairdryer set to low heat. Ensure your dog is completely dry to prevent them from catching a chill.

11. Follow-up care:
After the cleaning process, you may want to use a pet-friendly skunk odor removal product or a homemade solution, such as a mixture of vinegar and water, to further eliminate any lingering smell. Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs of skin irritation or discomfort, and consult a veterinarian if necessary.


1. Can tomato juice remove skunk odor from dogs?
Contrary to popular belief, tomato juice is not very effective in removing skunk odor. It may temporarily mask the smell but won’t eliminate it entirely.

2. Will vinegar get rid of skunk odor on dogs?
Vinegar can help neutralize skunk odor. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and use it as a rinse after the initial cleaning process.

3. Can I use a regular shampoo to wash my skunk-sprayed dog?
Regular shampoos are not effective in removing skunk odor. Use the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution mentioned in the guide.

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4. How long does skunk odor last on a dog?
If not properly treated, skunk odor can last for several days or even weeks. Acting quickly is crucial to minimize the duration of the smell.

5. Can skunk spray harm my dog?
While skunk spray is generally not harmful to dogs, it can cause temporary discomfort, especially if it gets into their eyes or mouth. Rinse these areas thoroughly during the cleaning process.

6. Can I use air fresheners to eliminate skunk odor?
Air fresheners may help mask the smell temporarily but won’t eliminate it. Focus on properly cleaning your dog to remove the odor at its source.

7. Will the skunk spray come off my dog’s fur naturally?
Skunk spray will eventually fade away on its own, but it can take a long time. Cleaning your dog with the appropriate solution speeds up the process.

8. Should I take my dog to a professional groomer to get rid of skunk odor?
You can try to remove the skunk odor at home following the steps mentioned above. However, if you’re unable to do so or if your dog has a severe reaction to the spray, it’s best to consult a professional groomer or veterinarian.

9. Can skunk spray be toxic to dogs?
Skunk spray is not typically toxic to dogs. However, if your dog ingests a large amount of skunk spray or is showing signs of distress, contact your vet immediately.

10. How can I prevent my dog from getting sprayed by a skunk again?
Preventing skunk encounters can be challenging, but keeping your dog on a leash, especially during dusk and dawn when skunks are more active, can minimize the risk.

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11. Can skunk spray be harmful to humans?
While skunk spray is unpleasant, it is not harmful to humans. However, it can cause temporary irritation, so avoid direct contact and ensure proper ventilation when cleaning your dog.

By following these steps and being prepared, you can effectively eliminate skunk spray from your dog’s fur. Remember, acting promptly and using the right cleaning solution are key to restoring your dog’s fresh scent and keeping them happy and odor-free.