What to do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk at night

When a skunk sprays your dog, it’s crucial to react quickly. Skunk spray, with its disgusting rotten egg aroma, contains oils that need to be neutralized immediately to mitigate the smell. Plus, that skunk spray can be dangerous for dogs if it hits their face, mouth, or eyes. So here’s what to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk at night.

We have two distinct yet equally crucial concerns to address. The first is eliminating the smell from your dog, and the second is eradicating the smell from your home (assuming you didn’t notice that your dog had a run-in with a skunk before letting him indoors). Ideally, if there are two people available, one can attend to the dog while the other tackles the home. It’s important to act fast in this situation.

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, the smell will be stronger than what you typically encounter outdoors. As such, it’s recommended not to let your pet inside your house immediately after the incident. The skunk’s oils can stick to your dog’s skin, making it essential to remove them as soon as possible. If your dog doesn’t show adverse reactions and is mostly bothered by the smell, here are the steps to follow: 

Keep Your Dog Outside

Try to keep your dog outdoors as much as possible after a skunk encounter. The oils that cause the skunk’s distinctive smell can be transferred to your home’s furniture, walls, and carpet if your dog comes inside, and the scent can linger for days. Therefore, until you have all the necessary supplies for cleaning, it’s recommended to keep your dog outside. While your dog is outdoors, examine their eyes, mouth, and skin for any signs of irritation. If you notice any, rinse them off with a hose or clean water immediately. Put on clothes you don’t mind discarding or washing thoroughly. If available, wear disposable gloves.

Time to Scrub

Start by creating a blend of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. Make sure to mix these ingredients in a container that’s open. Of course, if you’d thought ahead, you might have had a pre-made “skunk remedy” from a brand like Nature’s Miracle readily available. However, since it’s 1am and you didn’t prepare, your options are limited. Here’s the magic mixture:

1 quart hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup baking soda

1 teaspoon dish soap

Sponge the mixture all over the dog, avoiding the eyes. Rub it in well, let it sit for a few minutes (5 to 10 minutes), then bathe your dog in dog shampoo.

Ensure that you thoroughly wash your dog. However, this solution can’t be applied near the eyes, nose, or mouth – areas that often receive the worst of the spray. Don’t worry, we’ve discovered that cleansing their face with milk is a reasonably effective method for the typically shorter fur in those areas (don’t be surprised if your smelly dog will try to lick the milk).

House Rules

If you were unlucky enough to let your dog in the house after being sprayed by a skunk at night, your job doesn’t end at washing the smelly doggo. It’s time to turn your attention to the house, because you don’t want that smell sticking around. The first thing you should do is get air moving around the house so the smell doesn’t soak in. That means opening all windows (even if it’s winter) and turning on all fans including the ones over the stove and in bathrooms.

Don’t forget to wash all the surfaces your dog may have come across with Clorox wipes or Nature’s Miracle.

This is a lot to deal with, so let’s worry about what you’re wearing tomorrow. Put every piece of clothing that came into contact with your dog outside. The next day, wash it a few times with vinegar, add baking soda or washer-safe skunk odor remover to your laundry load.

Over the next few days, you may notice that the skunk smell is still lingering. Here are a few hacks to try:

  • Boil apple cider vinegar on the stove.
  • Soak cotton balls in vanilla extract and leave in bowls around the house.
  • Put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray into the air.

Being crepuscular creatures, skunks are most active during twilight, dawn, and dusk. To prevent potential encounters with skunks, consider altering the times you let your dog outside. Moreover, the distinct scent of a skunk can serve as a warning sign to prevent your dog from entering the yard or to change the path of your walk.

If you want to be prepared for the next time a skunk sprays your dog at night, check out these products:

Nature’s Miracle® Skunk Odor Control Shampoo & Conditioner

Being sprayed by a skunk can be daunting for you, your pet and your home. Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Control Shampoo & Conditioner is designed to eliminate skunk odors from pets. With an updated bottle design for easy pouring and cleanup, its Odor Capture 360 technology effectively controls tough skunk odors without leaving a wet dog smell. It safely neutralizes odors on contact (when used and stored as directed) and leaves a refreshing lavender scent. This formula is free from parabens and added dyes, offering a light, soothing lavender fragrance.

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Pooph Skunk Odor Eliminator

Pooph revolutionizes odor management by instantly eliminating any unpleasant smells without the need for harsh chemicals or masking fragrances. Instead of relying on slow-acting enzymatic formulas which can often leave residual odors, Pooph operates at the molecular level, effectively neutralizing organic odors and replacing them with clean, fresh air. It’s as if the odor never existed! Despite its potent effectiveness, Pooph is completely safe for people, pets, homes, and the environment.

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Bodhi Dog Skunk Shampoo

Bodhi Dog’s superior Skunk Shampoo offers a deep cleanse ideal for eliminating powerful odors from your pet’s coat. The uncomplicated concoction of four ingredients effectively eradicates unpleasant smells from your adventurous dog or puppy’s fur, replacing them with a delightful fragrance. If your furry friend enjoys frolicking outdoors in manure or other odorous materials, this shampoo is perfect! Appreciated by both groomers and families, it’s ideal for deodorizing pets with delicate skin. 

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