How to Get Skunk Smell Off Dog? Everything You Need To Know

Dog parents who live in rural areas will almost certainly have skunk stories. If a skunk has sprayed on your dog, you know that the smell is unbearable. So how to get the skunk smell off the dog? What if the smell enters your house?

Skunk oil and its smell can remain for up to a year if not wholly removed from your dog’s body, which makes effectively cleaning your dog as soon as possible after a skunk incident essential.

What Equipment is Required to Get Rid of Skunk Smell in Dogs?

Dishwashing Soap
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What to Do First If A Skunk Sprays on Your Dog?

Skunks release a horrendous odor to defend themselves against impending danger or harmful animals. The smell is due to methyl, butyl thiols, and sulfurous chemicals in the skunk’s anal glands. Though there are many ways to get rid of the skunk’s smell off your pet, the spray is oily and sticks to your pet’s fur, demanding immediate attention and care.

  • Mostly, dogs get sprayed while prompting a skunk. As a result, when the skunk tries to attack, the dog tends to turn his head and shoulders. This makes his neck and area around the shoulders the most vulnerable part. 
  • The best way to avoid the skunk’s smell on your dog is to keep him away from the skunks and make your dog aware of these tiny, stinky creatures.  
  • In case the accident happens, pay much attention to the deodorizing process.
  • Primarily check your dog for wounds that skunks might cause before you clean them. You need to take dogs to the vet instantly if they have been bitten or scratched by the skunk, as skunks can carry rabies. As suggested, if skunk spray has reached your dog’s eyes, rinse them with water, eyewash, or eye solution.
  • Start by checking your dog’s face as skunks often spray in the face. Check for any skunk spray residue that may have settled in your dog’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Check your dog’s eyes as skunk spray is very irritating to dogs. If you notice their eyes are watering or reddish, rinse them with cool water or some eyewash solution.
  • After addressing your dog’s face, you can check the rest of their smelly body. Here is a list of safe and effective techniques for removing that skunk smell from your dog’s fur.

What are the Methods and Steps to Get a Skunk Smell Out of Dog?

There are several approaches for getting rid of the skunk smell on a dog, but keep in mind that most methods will need to be repeated more than once, depending upon how badly your dog has been sprayed.

If possible, attempt the following methods outside so that you can avoid bringing the skunk smell into your home.  Also, try to stay in a more lighted area with less chance for skunks to revisit.

Method 1: Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap

Mix the following

  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (Do not use stronger than 3%)
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap


  1. Using the mixture, wash your dog immediately after he’s been sprayed.
  2. Wear rubber gloves and rub the mixture into your dog’s coat (avoid his eyes).
  3. Wait about 20-25 minutes before washing the mixture out of your dog’s fur.
  4. Follow up by bathing him with dog shampoo and rinse well.
  5. Repeat the process as many times as needed.


  • Dogs can vomit if they lick this mixture. 
  • This mixture can also be flammable, so do not smoke while using it. 
  • Also, do not create this mixture before a possible incident and store it, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.
  • The hydrogen peroxide can also cause bleaching on black dogs, so the longer it stays on, the more bleaching you may see.

Method 2: Tomato juice 


  1. Start by bathing your dog with dog shampoo.
  2. Dry your dog off, then cover him in tomato juice, saturating the coat thoroughly.
  3. Let the juice soak for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it out.
  4. Rewash your dog with dog shampoo.

Repeat these steps as many times as needed, and if your dog is white, he may temporarily turn orange after the bath.

Method 3: A Feminine Hygiene Product 

This is perhaps an unlikely solution with a mixture of Massengill douche and water.

  • For small to medium dogs: Use 2 ounces of Massengill with 1 gallon of water
  • For large dogs: Double the amount of water and Massengill.


  1. Pour the mixture over your dog and ensure they are thoroughly soaked.
  2. Wait 15-20 minutes, then rinse it out of the coat.
  3. Later, bathe your dog with dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Again, consult your vet about whether this is the right option for your dog and how often you should repeat it.

Method 4: Skunk-specific shampoo, spray, or soaker 

Look for products that have been specifically formulated to get rid of skunk odor.

You can get these products from your veterinarian or any place that markets pet supplies. 

With the help of shampoos, sprays, and soakers, wipe off excess skunk spray first and read the directions mentioned on the product before applying the solution.

Keep these products out of your dog’s eyes, as they can harm the cornea and lead to ulceration. Ask your vet how often you should repeat bathing.

What are the Home Remedies for Getting Rid of a Skunk Smell in Dogs?

Ensure your dog stays out of the house in a safe area after being sprayed by a skunk. Unfortunately, however, some of that skunk smell may make it into your home. You can do some things to help get rid of this smell, such as boiling vinegar in a pan is one DIY(Do-It-Yourself) way that has been found reliable and effective against removing the skunk smell inside. Setting open vinegar containers in the rooms can also help because the vinegar will absorb the odors within a few days.

Liquid bleach can help remove the odors from hard, outside surfaces like your deck and porch. But before that, be sure to dilute the bleach in water (one cup of bleach in a gallon of water is recommended) and try a small test area since it can cause discoloration. Also, if the smell doesn’t disappear entirely right away, have a little patience as it may take several tries with either of these methods before it’s gone completely.

Pet skunk shampoos also work as a de-skunking product for home items and can be used on carpets, bedding, clothing, kennels, and other hard surfaces. Please read the label to see what other uses it may work for when purchasing a product.

Pro Tips – How to Get Skunk Smell Off Dog?

  • If you reside in an area where skunks are common, you should keep skunk odor removal products on hand to address the issue as soon as it comes up.
  • If your canine rubbed some of the stinks onto you, you could get rid of the smell from your clothes by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a half-cup of baking soda.

How to Get Skunk Smell Off Dog – Videos

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Final Thoughts

The easiest way to handle skunking is to stay away from those little black-and-white creatures. While it isn’t possible to eliminate the possibility, specific ways make your yard less appealing to skunks. Some methods include closing recycling and trash bins and emptying any outside food bowls will be less tempting for skunks to live around your home.

Also, if you have fruit trees or bushes in your yard or around your house, pick up any fallen fruit. Finally, and most importantly, always supervise your dog when they’re outside, and avoid taking your dog out during peak hours when skunks are most active if possible, such as dawn and dusk.

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