General Information
The scent of a skunk can not only be powerfully malodorous, but also very irritating to the eyes and mucus membranes. The secretions contain multiple chemicals. One group, the thiols, are responsible for most of the strong scent. Others are acetate derivatives of these thiols. They are responsible for the smell, that tends to linger and become worse if the pet becomes wet.

Toxic Dose
Not applicable

Of course, the most obvious sign is the smell. The pet may roll on the ground attempting to rid himself of the smell. The eyes may water, and the pet may be nauseated and retch.

Immediate Action
Either use a treatment specifically formulated for use on skunk odors like Skunk Kleen or Skunk-Off, or use the following formula:

  • 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide

  • ¼ 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.

Veterinary Care
General treatment: Bathing with a special formula will continue, and the eyes will be flushed with water or sterile saline.

Supportive treatment: Medications may be administered to help with the nausea, if present.

Specific treatment: None


Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc. 


Recipe #1: 

  • 1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide 
  • ¼ cup Baking Soda  
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap

Mix in a bucket (it will fizz).
Soak your dog's fur, but be careful not to get any in his eyes.
Use a sponge to clean off his head and around his eyes.
Knead solution into the fur and be sure to get every part of him with it. 
Rinse thoroughly. Do not get into eyes!

Recipe #2: 

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup of dish soap

Lather WELL, add water until a good thick coat of lather is worked up and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well, followed by ½ cup of vinegar in 1 gallon of water to rinse and leave on. Do not get into eyes!

Recipe #3: 

  • 1 pint hydrogen peroxide
  • 2/3 cup baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon of citrus-based liquid soap

Sponge mixture onto the dog's fur.
Let sit two to five minutes then rinse with plain water.
Second batch may be needed. Use fresh ingredients. Do not get into eyes!

Recipe #4: 

  • 2/3 water 
  • 1/3 organic apple cider

Rinse the dog thoroughly. Do not get into eyes!

  1. One 16oz. bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide + one regular size box of baking soda + 3 tablespoons Dawn dish soap. Bathe animal with concoction and then rinse well with tap water.
  2. Mix mouthwash + dish soap. Bathe animal with concoction and then rinse well with tap water.

  3. Mix 1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid detergent. Bathe animal with concoction and then rinse well with tap water.
  4. Tomato juice only works if you bathe dog in it and let pet dry with it on, then re-bathe.
  5. Bathe pet in a vinegar and water solution or use Massengill douches. Bathe animal with concoction and then rinse well with tap water.
  6. Dilute Dawn dish liquid and use like shampoo to bathe dog. Rinse well. Soak wet dog with undiluted white vinegar (the water-soaked hair/coat serves to dilute the vinegar.) Wait 15 minutes, rinse, repeat the bath and the vinegar. Don't rinse the last vinegar application off, towel well.
  7. Toothpaste works to get the smell off of your hands.

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