How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dog Face, Breath, Home and Natural Remedies

Dogs and skunks
Dogs and skunks

Dogs are a playful lot and at times they play with the wrong things. Skunk smell is common on dogs and it is horrible. We explore how to get rid of skunk smell on dog including on the face and in their breath. You will learn about over the counter products, home remedies, and natural products as well.

How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dog

Skunk smell is bad when it hits any surface. Even worse is when it is on an animal’s fur since it mixes with animal protein to give away a more terrible smell. The offensive skunk odor is as a result of methyl, sulfurous chemicals and butyl thiols which are contained within the anal glands of a skunk. The chemicals are meant for defense against any danger the animal may be having. Although there are various options on how to get rid of skunk smell on a dog, the spray is oily and thus a bit tough to get rid of anything it gets on including pet fur.

Skunks with tails raised ready to spray
Skunks ready to spray

A skunk is quite accurate and can spray up to 15 feet away. This though is normally an act of last resort and the best way to avoid the smell is to stay away from them. Learn to tell the distance and keep your dog away from skunks. In most cases, dogs get sprayed while provoking a skunk. In the process, when the skunk tries to attack, the dog will tend to turn its head and shoulders making its neck and area around the shoulders the most vulnerable part. This area should, therefore, be given much attention in the deodorizing process.

Whether you are in a city or in the countryside, there are skunks all over and it is possible for your dog to get sprayed at any time. Once this happens, the terrible smell can make your dog unattractive. Fortunately, you do not have to withstand the smell since there are over the counter products as well as home remedies that can be used on how to get rid of skunk smell out of a dog. These are discussed in details below.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda for Skunk Sprayed Dog

When combined, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide produce oxygen. When used together with soap, the ingredients help to break down the oils in the spray. This gives room for the other ingredients to efficiently do their work in deodorizing the pet.

Baking soda skun remedy
Baking soda to de-skunk dogs
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix four cups of three percent hydrogen peroxide with a quarter a cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap.
  2. Before handling the dog, put on hand gloves and wash up the pet using the solution. Be cautious enough not to get it into the dog’s eyes.
  3. Once done, rinse off the mixture thoroughly and ensure no traces of it are left on the dog. To even make the process more effective you can shampoo your dog.
  4. Thoroughly towel him dry and in case he has too much fur use a hair dryer to get the moisture out. Let him remain in a sunny or warm room for a few hours after de-skunking.

Caution: Never be tempted to make this solution ahead of time or store it in a bottle. This could cause explosions. Also do not leave the solution on the dog far too much as this could cause a bleaching of its fur. This mixture should be kept away from the dog’s face and eyes.

White Vinegar to Remove Skunk Smell from Dog

This household remedy works directly to get rid of skunk spray residue effects and prevent the proliferation of the smell through your home. White vinegar is acidic and will cut through the oily residue and thus render it odorless. When mixed with water, white vinegar can be used to counteract the smell of skunk spray. This it does by dissolving and removing the oils which cause the odor. Below is a bath recipe for your skunked pet.

  1. Mix the vinegar with some water. According to colerepair.com, the recommended mixing portions is one portion of vinegar into two portions.
  2. Rub this mixture on the dog’s coat starting from the collar downwards.
  3. Allow the treatment to soak in and take effect for at least 10 minutes before washing it off.
  4. In case a faint odor is left after the first wash, you can add dawn dish-washing liquid soap to the remedy to help break down the oils. Repeat as may be necessary.

Home Remedies for Skunk Odor on Dogs Removal

Lemon juice to eliminate dog skunk odor
Lemon juice to eliminate dog skunk odor

Although some of these are not recommended, they can be of great help where you are not in a position to get to the store and have no supplies for de-skunking. The following is a list of some items that people have used to get rid of skunk stench on a dog.

  • Mouthwash
  • Lemon juice
  • Pepsi
  • Women’s douche
  • Febreeze
  • Garnier Fructis
  • Beer

Natural Products for Dog Skunk Smell Removal

There are natural skunk odor removal products available in the market that can help you get skunk smell off the dog and inside the house. Some of the recommended include Skunk-Off shampoo. This is a mild shampoo that has been designed to get rid of skunk odor. You could also try Nature’s Miracle Stain and Odor Remover which is made using natural enzymes. Another product would be biodegradable Earth Friendly Skunk Odor Remover. These are safe for the environment and will have no harm to your pet.

How long does Skunk Smell Last on a Dog?

If it is left unattended, the skunk smell can last up to four months on surfaces. When it is on a dog, the dog is likely to rub itself all over the furniture, the floor, and yard. This keeps spreading the bad smell lingering on every after a dog has been de-skunked.

However, when dealt with immediately, how long the skunk smell on your pet lasts will depend on how long it takes before the action is taken, the efficacy of products used and the amount of spray on the dog. The best way to deal with this is to conduct the process immediately after the spraying has happened even when it is at night.

How to get rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs Face

Skunk smell becomes more challenging to get rid of when it is found on the face of a dog. This is because some of the most effective skunk smell deodorizers are too harsh for the dog’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

This calls for caution when dealing with getting rid of skunk stench on dog face and head as the parts involved can get easily irritated. The best way to get rid of skunk smell on the dog face is, therefore, one that will cause no harm to the eyes.

There however are some few remedies that will work for this and which are safe for the eyes of a dog. This should be done as soon as the spraying happens to prevent the odor from spreading.

How to De-skunk your Dog Face Using Baking Soda

Baking soda for removal of household smells is popular. When it comes to pets, it is known to cause minimal irritation and is safe for use on the face of a dog.

  1. Make a baking soda paste by mixing a part of baking soda with three parts of water.
  2. Dip an old piece of clean cloth into the paste and slightly rub the paste on the face of the dog.
  3. Leave the paste to settle for around four minutes before washing it off.
  4. In case the smell keeps lingering, repeat the process.

Tomato Juice to Eliminate Skunk Smell from Dog Face

Generally, this is known to be effective in getting rid of the smell. Most people don’t use it on dogs since it would require too much of it for the whole body. However, when it comes to the face, it is great as the amount necessary is reasonable. Tomato juice for skunk smell removal on dog face is also very safe and will not have any negative effects on it. Below is how to clean it off using this remedy.

  1. Get a bowl and fill it with freshly made tomato juice. If you do not have this tomato paste can suffice.
  2. Dunk a piece of cloth into the juice.
  3. Once totally soaked, rub it down on the dog’s face.
  4. Although this remedy is not harmful to a dog, try as much as you can not to get it into the pets eyes as it can be irritating.

Pet Face De-skunking Shampoo

In case you live in a skunk prone area, you can ask your veterinarian to recommend a skunk shampoo for the face. These are subtle enough for use on the face and will not cause any irritation. Keep some at hand just in case your dog gets sprayed and use it as directed.

How to get rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs Breath

If your dog is unfortunate enough, the skunk spray may get into its mouth. When this happens, the bad breath may last a while if not dealt with immediately. I am sure this is not something you want on your pet. To help get rid of skunk smell from the mouth of a dog, below are some home remedies.

Get rid of skunk breath by brushing your dog
Brushing dog teeth to remove skunk breath

Brush your Dog’s Teeth: Another direct option on getting rid of skunk smell on dog breath would be to brush their teeth or wipe the inside of their mouth. Never use human toothpaste though. Instead, you can settle for pet toothpaste or use baking soda.

Doggy Chews: Giving your dog some carrots to chew or giving it a meaty bone will work great at eliminating the smell.

Pet Mouth Wash: This is normally made of a chlorhexidine solution. When added to the pet’s water, it goes a long way in clearing up the bad breath.

Tips on How to Remove Skunk Smell from Dog

Although there is a wide range of options on how to remove skunk smell from dogs, if done the wrong way the odor could get off your pet and onto things in your house. Some things can also make the smell worse. To help you avoid this, below are tips on how to remove the smell fast and efficiently.

  • As soon as you realize your pooch has been sprayed, keep him out of the house. This will keep the smell out of the house. Ensure that the deodorizing process is also done outside.
  • Establish if the dog has been injured by the skunk by checking if there are blood marks on him. If there are any injuries, visit your veterinarian as skunks are prone to rabies.
  • Check out the dog’s eyes just in case the spray got into them as this can cause temporary blindness. In case they appear red and irritated, flush them with some cool clean water.
  • Although skunk smell can be felt immediately, there are some compounds that remain inactive unless they come in contact with water. Skunk smell therefore keeps getting worse when you wash your dog after it has been sprayed making water counter-productive. Avoid the use of water for wet rinsing the dog until you have used other deodorizers on the coat.
  • Wear rubber gloves and old clothes that you are not afraid of losing after getting rid of skunk smell on the dog to avoid getting the odor on yourself and into your house.
  • In case all your home remedies do nothing to help and your pet keeps smelling, visit your veterinarian for professional skunk smell removal procedures.
  • The best remedy for skunk smell on your pet is one that breaks down the fats and neutralizes the spray ingredients. Avoid products that will only mask the smell.
  • To give your dog some sweet smell after deodorizing, you can add some essential oils to the final rinse.

While there are limitless options in getting rid of the odor, the best way to get rid of skunk smell on dogs depends on what is readily available, the correct usage and its ability to breakdown the oils as well as neutralize the odor. Pick whichever method you are most comfortable with.

Sources

Getsmellout.com: Skunk Smell Removal for Dog’s Face

Humansociety.org: De-skunking your Dog

Getridofthings.com: Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs

Drydog.com: De-skunking Dogs, Cats and other Pets

Colerepair.com: Skunk Odor Remedies

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 347 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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