Skunked Dog Remedies

| Modified: Jun 01, 2017
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Is there any pet owner who has not had to deal with the delightful task of ridding your pet (and eventually yourself), of the horrid odor caused by skunk spray? If you haven't yet encountered this then you are one of the very few, and very lucky. Be warned, it can happen to any curious pet and at any time. Though if you're like most of us it will probably happen during that last walk of the evening just before you're ready to hit the sack for the night. When it happens, there's absolutely no mistaking it. The scent spreads quickly and it's usually a very stinky, humiliated dog that comes running back to us with its tail between its legs.

Skunked Dog

Although it may be tempting to leave him in the doghouse for the night and postpone dealing with the problem until morning, know that treating it right away means less work for you later on. The next step is figuring out what to use and it seems that everyone and their mothers seem to have the ultimate solution, i.e., tomato juice, lemon juice and even coke a cola have been tried, but none of them really work, do they?

The best solution and one that fights that nasty odor better than anything else on the market is a homemade one and was discovered by Chemist Paul Krebaum. Here's what you'll need:

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda
1-2 teaspoons of liquid soap
...and for large pets you can add 1 quart of lukewarm water

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bucket and thoroughly work the mixture into the pet's fur. It may be necessary to allow the solution to sit for about 5 minutes to ensure the best results. It is very important that you be extremely careful in keeping the solution out of the pet's eyes, and that the animal not be allowed to lick itself during the bath. To de-scent the facial area, use a washcloth dipped into the solution and carefully clean around those sensitive areas. After the solution has set into the fur, rinse the animal thoroughly. Remember that nothing works perfectly for skunk scents and it may be necessary to repeat the process until the smell has dissipated.

Don't be overly concerned about the possibility of the peroxide solution dying your pet's coat. In only a very few cases will the solution have any effect on the color of the coat at all and in those instances where it does, the change is very slight and completely temporary.

Caution!!! Never attempt to bottle this solution in any way. The gas that is generated by the formula will cause the containers lid to pop off, which could end up being very dangerous.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Kara (Wooster, Ohio) on 01/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Very early one morning before work, our chocolate lab was sprayed in the face and neck by a skunk! We didn't have much time, but I immediately went to the internet to see if there were some options to use other than tomato juice, which I didn't have in the cupboard. Apple cider vinegar worked immediately and was long-lasting. our vet said Kobe would smell like skunk every time he got wet, but instead, he smelled like ACV! Better than skunk!

Replied by Erin
Naperville, Illinois
5 out of 5 stars

Living in a semi-rural area, skunks are something we are very familiar with. Our dog has been skunked at least 8 times. I've tried absolutely everything to rid her of the smell ... all the commercial stuff and the Internet remedies. Nothing ever worked as well as claimed. The last time it happened, I mixed up the usual hydrogen peroxide/baking soda/dish soap bath, but on impulse, I grabbed my bottle of ACV and tossed about an 1/8 of a cup in (I have a large dog). While bathing her, I noticed her fur became squeaky clean and to my utter amazement, when I rinsed her off, I could not smell ANY lingering skunk odor! Even after she dried there was none. Best of all, her fur was silky soft. Because of ACV, what normally would be a week-long ordeal of eradicting the skunk odor from her and everything she came in contact with as well as keeping her confined and away from the family (which she hates) was only a 15 minute blip in our evening.

Replied by Carol
Elyria, Oh

I used peroxide, baking soda and Dawn. He still had a terrible smell around his eyes so I used baby shampoo to wash out his eyes.

Replied by Lana

We live on a farm with our Charpie Redbone Coonhound named Gladys. She's incredibly fast, exceedingly curious, and undeniably in denial. Gladys gets sprayed by a skunk at least once a week. If she could speak, she would say "this one was different- it was my friend, and then it didn't want to play anymore." Nevertheless, the stench has invaded the home and everything in it.

My question is: Can we apply this solution to Gladys's stank-face?

EC: Always dilute with half water when using the ACV spray on the skin/fur. 

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Lana,

I would cover the eyes with your hand before spraying the face, and wait until the spray settles before removing your hand.

Perhaps you could use diluted baby shampoo to clean around the eyes, or even the entire face instead of the ACV.

~Mama to Many~

Dish Soap

Posted by Jayme (Vancouver, WA) on 09/05/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Skunk spray is oil-based. This is the first thing that every dog's person should know. Since it's oil-based, you need a product that will cut the oil. The rescue workers who save the sea animals when there's been an oil spill use Dawn dishwashing detergent. I used to be a dog groomer and can tell you unequivocally that this one does the trick! Make sure you have a "bath puff" (one of those net balls people use in their baths) on hand... Get your dog all wet. Pour a little bit of Dawn onto the bath puff and work up a good lather. Rub that puff all over your dog's body, making certain you get the smelliest spots, and let your dog stand there for 1-5 minutes, depending on how well-mannered your dog is. :) Rinse off, sniff, and repeat if necessary. When you do around their eyes, be careful not to get too close, as this will sting.

Dish Soap, H2O2, Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Dean (Perry, NY, USA) on 12/03/2008
5 out of 5 stars

This is what I put together and it takes the smell out almost completely. It is similar to the 1st treatment listed but with a few added ingredients:

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda
1 - 2 teaspoons of liquid soap - preferably Dawn
1 quart apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of powdered OxyClean
1 quart of lukewarm water

Mix all these up together and wash your pet with this making sure they are completely soaked with the solution. Let it stand for about 15 minutes and then rinse them well.

Posted by Erin (Naperville, IL) on 12/01/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My dog has been skunked many times and I've tried lots of remedies over the years. They all worked "okay," but she would still smell kind of skunky for weeks and if she got wet, the skunk odor would become reinvigorated all over again. Over the summer, she got skunked again and I tried a recipe of Dawn dishwashing soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. I didn't measure anything, just dumped it in a bucket, added some water and ran outside to bathe her. It worked "okay" again, but was probably the best of all the remedies I'd used up until then. Well, last week, she got skunked again and this time when I mixed up the skunk shampoo, I grabbed my bottle of ACV and poured some into the mixture. What a difference that made! When I was bathing her, I could actually feel her fur become squeaky clean. When she dried, none of us could detect any skunk odor whatsoever and best of all is that her fur is SO soft!

Replied by Nicole
Schnecskville, PA
5 out of 5 stars

My do got sprayed heavily by a skunk, I've tried other home remedies in the past, but the smell was not completely neutralized. Tonight I tried the Dish Soap, Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar and it worked like a charm! I would highly recommend this and will use it again!

Replied by Elise
San Antonio, TX
5 out of 5 stars

We are a family that has always lived in the city, so we have never had much experience with skunks. Our shelties (yes, lots of long hair) were sprayed in our backyard and this remedy worked beautifully - dish soap, H2O2, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar - I just mixed everything together (I did not take the time to measure) and poured it over the dogs. I rubbed it in and let it sit for about 3 minutes, then rinsed. The smell is gone!!!!!

Replied by MandyMc
Kokomo, In, USA
5 out of 5 stars

This mix works great!! It is difficult to apply if you have a large dog. I made a large batch in the bathtub, put the dog in , and poured large cupfuls over the entire dog. This is the only remedy that I have found to work. I have tried plain dishsoap, tomato juice, special shampoo, and nothing worked as well as this odor neutralizer.

Replied by Melanie
Boston, Ma
5 out of 5 stars

Used Erin's recipe above on my Golden Retriever and was amazed at how well and how fast it worked! A family of skunks has made its home underneath my shed for years and my dogs have been skunked so many times I've lost count. I tried everything, both commercial products and home remedies. Nothing ever really worked very well. There was always a lingering skunk odor for a couple of weeks. This recipe though was like a miracle! It took the skunk smell out completely the first time! I have since told friends about it and they too have had the same success. THANK YOU!

Feminine Hygiene Product

Posted by Jean (Akron, NY) on 08/14/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I do not know why it works but it does. Any brand will do. All you have to do is squirt it on your pet, let it set and rinse it off. You may have to repeat but it really does work! Quantity needed depends on size of pet.

Fresh Rosemary

Posted by Lily (Patterson, Ca) on 07/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Fresh Rosemary!!! If your pet has been skunked, bath them with shampoo, rinse well. Then get branches of fresh rosemary, bend it into a form of hand brush, and brush the pet all over. The oil from the rosemary removes the skunk smell. It also works well for people. If your car has a skunk smell, put fresh branches of rosemary in car and shut up for a day. And if your cloths have been skunked, put in a sealed bag with fresh rosemary branches for 1 day, then wash.

Replied by Terry
Eugene, Or

Did you rub the rosemary on the dog when she was wet from her bath? I've done tomato juice and then 2 days later the natures miracle. No good. I rubbed the rosemary on her dry coat. Nice at first but still smell the skunk. Thinking of rinsing her in apple cider vinegar tomorrow. Maybe rub her with rosemary after that. Did you ever try making a rosemary tea and pouring it on? Ideas?? Thanks.

Replied by Kris
Cohoctah, Mi

Be careful with rosemary as it can cause seizures in dogs.

Hand Cleaner

Posted by Bob (Hood River, Or) on 12/01/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Wash your dog in "go-jo" hand cleaner. The skunk spray is an oil and if you had oil on your hands, you would use a hand cleaner. So... Your dog will smell like an orange for awhile, but that's much better than smelling like skunk.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda and Liquid Soap

Posted by Katie (Ames, IA) on 05/02/2007
5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite H2O2 remedies is my homemade toothpaste. I take one part H2O2 and two parts baking soda (the measurements don't really matter, just get a consistency that you like). Stir them into a paste and brush as usual. It's a great fix for bad breath and whitens teeth just as well as those very expensive whitening kits, but with absolutely no pain. Another great recipe is for bad body odor. Take equal parts baking soda, H2O2, and water. Add a bit of dish soap and mix together. Scrub any place that the stink won't wash off. This remedy is great for athletes and sick people. Also works for people who have been skunked (it actually gave me the idea).

Posted by Rhonda (Norwich, OH) on 02/26/2007
5 out of 5 stars

The hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap worked like a dream. I had to do it on 2 different nights, but the smell was gone after that.


Posted by Lisa (Boonville, Missouri) on 08/31/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My dog had a bad odor on him too. My vet told me to spray him down with Listerine. It doesn't harm him, and the smell is gone also! And he gets fresh clean breath after he tries to lick himself! :)

Salt Bath

Posted by Kim (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) on 09/13/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Have you been searching for a quick, easy and above all cheap method of ridding your dog of skunk odor that you havent already tried? Chances are that over the years, you have tried many, if not all, of the products and home remedies available. Most are costly, messy and just irritating to the dog as well as the owner. Washing a stinky, skunked, dog in your bathtub is quite a challenge, even for professionals, but add tomato juice, vinagar, peroxide or chemical products, and you can only expect the worst. I know from experience...I have been grooming dogs for 22 years and discovered this remedy a few years ago. Recently, my own dog was sprayed directly in her face and was in alot of pain. It was 2:30 in the morning and my family was in from out of town... it was no problem though, I knew exactly what to do. After a salt bath, she was back to normal, even sleeping on my bed. I am giving you my trade secret and lifetime of experience...all you have to do is try it. The best part is that it costs practically nothing and works the very first time, without the use of harmful chemicals. There is no need to wash your dog more than once because it washes away all traces of odor.

What I do, is dilute some shampoo by mixing it with water... any kind of shampoo or even dishsoap is fine...but the better it smells, the better the dog will smell. I use an empty milk jug or shampoo bottle from the recycling to make it easy to saturate the coat quickly and thoroughly. I dont measure the shampoo but I would guess about 1/2 cup per gallon...dishsoap is stronger so you can use less, but I dont like the smell it leaves, compared to a good shampoo. I then add a good amount of salt into the diluted shampoo, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per gallon. I shake well and let it sit for 10 minutes or longer, the longer it sits, the stronger it gets... then I get the dog wet and apply the soap/salt solution, saturating the skin and coat completely. After about 10 minutes, I rinse thoroughly, and the odor is gone. You can adjust the shampoo to make it sudsier or add water to make it less sudsier...dont worry about the mixture...the main thing is that the dog gets a good washing in soapy, salt water. (If the poor dog gets sprayed in the mouth or eyes, just use a little salt water to rinse) Of course, to achieve the best results, always brush and dry the coat thoroughly after the bath.

Replied by Jenniferlynne
Plymouth, Ma

Last night my sweet little beagle mix got a direct hit from a skunk. I immediately pulled up this website in order to see if I could find an effective remedy. I first tried ACV, but she got such a spray that it didn't even touch it....then I saw this salt bath remedy. I mixed up a batch and let it sit as described....we soaked her down good...let it sit for 10 min, then decided to go ahead and on top of the soap...we rubbed a blob of toothpaste (as described in another post) directly on the strongest smelling spot...we rinsed her...dried her...and WORKED!!!...if you stick your nose deep into the fur where she got can still smell a tiny bit of residual odor...but when we woke up this morning, I went and gave her a big hug and it was just'd NEVER have known that she had taken a direct hit....THANK YOU for the Salt Bath remedy and the great instructions....I would highly recommend it...and the blob of toothpaste rubbed directly on the spot of impact at the tail end of the salt bath surely didn't hurt...

My little girl smells so much we just need to fix her bruised ego...ha!

Tomato Juice

Posted by Gabie (Carson City, NV) on 06/21/2009
1 out of 5 stars

I live on 40 acres of land by a river and there is all sorts of wildlife. So, of course my Australian Cattle Dog puppy is going to try and get every possible thing she can. She's been really into skunks lately and the smell is just awful! The first thing I used was a gallon of tomato juice and let it sit. IT DID NOT WORK! Not only did she smell like skunk, but she also smelled like tomato juice. Yuck! So, the next thing I tried was the 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 qt. of 3% hydrogen peroxide, warm water, and her regular shampoo. That did not work either. Now I am going to add the applejuice vinegar and see what happens. But, I do not recommend the tomato juice idea at all!!

Posted by Teesha (Melbourne, Australia) on 01/23/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Tomatoe juice in bath water!

"Add a few cups of tomato juice to the bathwater, soak for at least 15 minutes. This is an old, well known remedy for deodorizing pets and people who have been sprayed by a skunk. . . if it works on that odor, any other body odors are a piece of cake." taken from this site:


Posted by Kate (Toronto, Canada) on 09/11/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I have three labs who regularly meet the skunk under the pear trees in the fall. I tried tomato juice and store bought remedies but they did a partial job and left a residual odor that recurred every time the dogs got wet. A friend recommended toothpaste. You squeeze a tube into water, mix well and wet them down with it. I left it on for a bit and worked it through before rinsing them off. It worked like a charm and no residual odor.

Replied by Jackie
San Antonio, Texas

Be careful with toothpaste, I have read that it contains Xylitol, which is very poisonous to dogs.

Replied by Rc
Ac, Canada
5 out of 5 stars

Works excellent... Toothpaste is the way to go.

Replied by Michael
Kenosha, Wi

Today I was sprayed by a skunk that had been caught by accident in a trap set for a possum next to the house I was working on. Wow! Within 15 sec. I was pouring can after can of tomato juice on my leg and discovered IT DOES NOT WORK! A quick jump to the internet via mobile phone led me to the hydrogen peroxide-baking soda-liquid soap concoction, but I had no baking soda! I substituted the baking soda with a foot odor powder I found and swiftly made a paste that I rubbed on the affected area in my shower for about 5 min. EUREKA! This worked profoundly. As for the clothes I was wearing, they are tied up in plastic bags until I find a solution.