Getting Sprayed By a Skunk Isn’t All You Should Worry About

by Claire H. on September 5, 2012

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Skunks are naturally skittish, but will fight when neededHaving a dog here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin generally means at some point or another you will need to deal with them being sprayed by a skunk.

Although I haven’t seen half as many skunks here in Rhinelander as I did when I lived in lower New Mexico, I definitely do smell them a lot. Smelling skunk doesn’t always mean that there is one in close proximity though. If your neighbor hit one with their car, you could smell that; or you could smell it from quite a distance depending on the breeze that day. The scent from a skunk can travel up to a mile if not a little more under the correct conditions.

Everyone knows you can definitely tell when your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, but do you know to check your dog to make sure they didn’t get into a fight with it? Although skunks try to avoid humans as well as other animals, a skunk will fight if the need arises. Skunks have well- developed claws intended for digging, but they definitely would be an advantage in a fight. They also have sharp teeth which can do damage. Skunks can carry rabies, so if your pet isn’t up to date on their shots when they are bit, they could become infected if the skunk is rabid.

Keeping their pets safe is always a number one priority for owners; therefore, this is just one more step to doing that. This doesn’t just apply to dogs; this is something pet owners of any type of animal need to know if their pet spends time outside.

If your dog is sprayed, you can make a mixture of the following and use as directed:

  • 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap

This recipe can be doubled for bigger breeds. Wet your pet down and work the mixture through the pet’s hair. Leave it on for three to four minutes and rinse. This will generally need to be repeated several times. Be sure to throw away any excess mixture. Do NOT get any of the mixture in the eyes; as a precaution, place protective ophthalmic ointment in the eyes. Note that the above mixture may bleach the hair color temporarily until the animal sheds and new hair grows in. Common antidotes like tomato juice, vinegar, or regular shampoos will not be as effective.

Contact your veterinarian, if the eyes are severely affected, or the pet continues to vomit or retch.

If you don’t feel comfortable making your own, we do offer Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover.

To Learn More About This Topic:
Removing the Smell of Skunk From Your Pet at PetEducation.com

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Claire is a mom to three children. She has owned dogs and cats in the past, and currently has one calico cat named Potatoe. Although never owning them, she is very interested in reptiles, and has assisted friends in the past who owned a reptile store.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Petmeds September 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

Some great advice – It’s also worth keeping dogs on their leads when walking through an area where skunks or skunk sightings have been an issue.

Claire H. September 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

Thank you, that is a very great point!

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