De-Skunking our Dogs…YUCK!

Have your dogs been sprayed by a skunk? Here’s what to do!

dog sprayed by skunk

At 2:30am this morning, I woke-up to our dogs barking, which usually means that they need to go outside to the bathroom.  We keep our dogs, Cocoa Puff and Cream Puff, in an indoor kennel at night with nice comfortable bedding, so I had to go downstairs to let them out.  As soon as I opened the door to let them outside, they ran around the corner and started barking non-stop. In the dark, I couldn’t tell if they were in a fight with another dog or what was going on, so I stayed away. As I watched the dogs fighting and barking, I smelled something disgusting like burnt rubber or burnt plastic. I ran inside to see if there was something on fire, and then it hit me, a skunk had sprayed the dogs. This skunk wasn’t nearly as cute as Pepe le Pew from the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon.  It was disgusting. Cocoa Puff was still barking and Cream Puff was attacking the skunk, which she eventually killed.

dog sprayed by skunk

I had to keep the dogs away from the skunk or they would have continued to mess with it.  So I brought the dogs inside and put them back in their kennels.  MISTAKE! I tried to go back to bed, but the dogs wouldn’t stop barking.  Somehow, my fiance Patrick was able to sleep through this whole ordeal!  Imagine that?!  To keep the dogs from barking, I came back downstairs and slept on the couch with the blanket over my face to partially block the smell. In the morning I went upstairs and Patrick woke-up and said, “What is that smell?  Did you cook that dinner last night with a lot of garlic?”  I told him the whole story, and he said, “We have to get those dogs outside!”  I said, “How?  The dead skunk is still out there in the back yard.”  He said, “Put them on leashes away from the skunk and I’ll move the kennels outside and take care of the skunk.”

dog sprayed by skunk

I texted our dog groomer about 3:00am telling her about the incident, and asking if she could come early the next day to clean the dogs.  She runs a mobile grooming service.  She is really terrific, but “conveniently” (for her) she was unable to come today to de-skunk and bathe the dogs, and even tomorrow was iffy.  Patrick called a couple of other mobile grooming services and all were booked today.  A couple of them offered to come tomorrow, and would charge us $115 per dog, but we read that you should de-skunk the dogs as quickly as possible after they get sprayed, and the clock had already been ticking for some time.

dog sprayed by skunk

We found the de-skinking formula online, and went to the grocery store to get the ingredients. If your dogs get sprayed, don’t use the old “tomato juice” method to clean them.  The reasons can be found here.  Use the new de-skunk formula.  Everything online and the professional dog groomers all agreed on this, and even though I’ve never tried tomatoes, the new age mixture worked 99% great. Our daughter, Shea, agreed to help me clean the dogs for a “modest fee.” We also found a guy online that could remove the dead skunk for $100, although we already had put it into a plastic bag and moved it from the back yard to the front next to the garbage can.  We didn’t want to put in into our garbage can and cause yet another odor problem.

dog sprayed by skunk

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t bring “skunky” dogs inside.   If you do, you can remove the skunk stink from the house by boiling vinegar, and placing cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract throughout the house. (Although we tried both of those, and are now lighting candles and thinking about baking cookies and cooking bacon tomorrow morning if all else fails.)
  2. Use the de-skunking formula as quickly as possible after the pets have been sprayed.  If you don’t have the proper ingredients on-hand or cannot quickly acquire them, then use vinegar as a substitute for the de-skunking formula.
  3. If you need to clean the dogs at the house, do it outside.  We considered taking them to a dog cleaner, but it would have “skunked” the car, causing even more issues.
  4. Adding a quarter-cup of baking soda with your laundry soap can clean your clothes, dog bedding and anything else that came into contact with the skunked pets.
  5. Put saline solution in the dogs’ eyes.  It will help with the stinging and the burning.  We read that dogs can be blinded by for one or two days if they get sprayed directly in the eyes.
  6. If you need to explain to a Hispanic housekeeper what happened:  El Zorillo.  She will understand.

dog sprayed by skunk

Has your dog been sprayed by a skunk? What did you use to get rid of the odor?

 

Amanda Cascadden
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Amanda Cascadden is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, photographer, web designer, mom, and freelance blogger living the luxury and active lifestyle in San Diego.

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