We have had the unfortunate (ahem) “pleasure” of experiencing that odoriferous time when our pups met up with a skunk in our yard and got sprayed.

The first incident was when we were living near Urban Park. It was a particularly dark and rainy night and we let the dogs out to go one more time before bed. Unfortunately, we heard snarling from our dogs almost immediately and saw two tails zipping off into the darkness. When we finally were able to call Savanna back, we could smell skunk in the air. Smelling her more closely, we realized she had not been skunked. Phwew! We were afraid to call Tank back knowing he would have been the one to be skunked. In fact, when he did finally come back to the house, we could see his mouth foaming and dripping with saliva and his eyes slightly swollen. Poor baby looked miserable!

We couldn’t let them into the house like that and keep in mind it was pouring rain… Those poor dogs stayed out in it while we figured out what to do.

A commonly thought-to-be remedy for skunk smell removal is to bathe in tomato juice. I have used this in the past while living with my parents and experiencing a skunking incident with three different smaller family dogs. This seemed to work for them! It also worked for removing the second-hand stench off of me and my parents (my sister escaped unscathed in that incident). I digress. The point is, I had used this remedy in the past and decided to try it in the incident I described with Tank and Savanna. We happened to have some tomato juice in the pantry so this is what I decided to try first.

I changed into some old shorts and a tank top and hefted 75lb Tank up the stairs of our quad and into the bathtub. First, I rinsed him off as best as I could, gently pouring water on his face and trying to pour it in his mouth. It seemed he was right on the skunk’s tail, open-mouth, because his face bore the brunt of the exposure as evidenced by the foaming mouth and salivating jowls. After the initial rinse off, I poured about 1/2 of the juice on him and let it sit on his coat, massaging it in. I rinsed that and added the other 1/2 of the juice and let it set. I could tell that the smell was not dissipating and was not going to leave my dog any time soon!

Thankfully, as I was rinsing Tank off, our neighbors, whose dog had also gotten skunked, came by with some extra peroxide and a recipe from the humane society for “de-skunking your dog”. This stuff was AMAZING!!! It was easy to mix and very effective for us. We used an empty trashcan (as seen in the photo) and put the mixture in a spray bottle–do NOT store this in a spray bottle!! As noted on the humane society’s website, this mixture may explode if left in a spray bottle.


Once he was coated, we let it sit for a little bit and massaged it everywhere, focusing on his face where he seemed to get it the worst. We worked carefully to keep the mixture out of his eyes.

After a rinse and a shampoo with his doggy wash he was smelling much much better!!! Though he was upset about the whole incident, we were very pleased with the results!

A note about when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk in the face: this also likely means the skunk oil is in your dog’s ears (as happened with Tank). I was concerned about putting any of the mixture in his ears and so opted to use doggy ear wipes we had on hand. While it did not eliminate the skunk odor, it immediately improved it. After treating his ears with the wipes for several days, the smell improved substantially! I’m not sure if there is something better than this–if you know of a better solution for treating their ears, please let me know!

After being veteran dog-de-skunk-ers, the second incident of being skunked wasn’t as worrisome. Thankfully (if you can be thankful for anything in that moment), this particular incident happened in the summer on a warm, DRY evening! This meant we could keep the dogs out and wash them outside! Both of them got some of the stink on them, Tank of course was the stinkiest. I mixed up the concoction in a bucket and used gloves this time to massage it into their coats. After rinsing them, I repeated the treatment, rinsed and then shampooed them with their doggy shampoos and rinsed them again. It worked like it had before! Happy doggies (once they were able to come inside to their beds) and happy people!

Has your dog/cat/pet ever been skunked? What treatment did you use? Did it work?