What do you do if your dog gets sprayed in the face by a skunk?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

If your dog gets sprayed in the face by a skunk, it can be a very unpleasant experience for both you and your furry friend. However, there are steps you can take to effectively remove the odor and help your dog feel more comfortable. Here’s what you can do:

1. Act quickly: As soon as you realize that your dog has been sprayed, it’s important to take action promptly. The longer the skunk spray sits on your dog’s fur, the harder it can be to remove the odor.

2. Keep your dog outside: It’s best to keep your dog outside while dealing with the skunk odor. The smell can be overpowering, and you don’t want it lingering in your home.

3. Prepare the necessary supplies: Before you start the cleaning process, gather the following supplies: a washcloth or towel, mild pet shampoo, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and a bucket of warm water.

4. Wipe your dog’s face: Put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands, then wet a washcloth or towel with warm water. Gently wipe your dog’s face, avoiding their eyes and mouth. Be careful not to rub too harshly, as this can irritate their skin.

5. Allow the solution to sit: Mix together 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of mild pet shampoo in a bucket. Apply this mixture to your dog’s face, focusing on the areas where they were sprayed. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes. The hydrogen peroxide helps to break down the odor-causing compounds in the skunk spray.

6. Rinse thoroughly: After the solution has sat for a few minutes, rinse your dog’s face completely with warm water. Make sure to remove all traces of the mixture, as leaving it on can cause skin irritation.

7. Repeat if necessary: Depending on the severity of the skunk odor, you may need to repeat the process multiple times until the smell is gone. If the smell persists after a few attempts, you may want to consider contacting a professional groomer or your veterinarian for further assistance.

8. Dry your dog: Once your dog’s face is clean, gently pat it dry with a towel. Avoid using a hairdryer, as the noise and heat can stress out your dog.

9. Monitor your dog: Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of irritation or discomfort. Skunk spray can be irritating to the skin and eyes, so if you notice any redness, swelling, or excessive scratching, contact your veterinarian for guidance.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to skunks. Keep your dog on a leash when outside, especially at dawn and dusk when skunks are most active. Additionally, ensure that your garbage cans are securely closed to discourage skunks from scavenging around your property.

If your dog gets sprayed in the face by a skunk, act quickly and follow the steps outlined above to effectively remove the odor. It may take a few attempts, but with patience and persistence, you can help your dog feel fresh and odor-free once again.