Years ago my friend Michael brought a baby skunk into his home after the skunk's Mom was killed and the little baby skunk was left sitting by the side of the road.
He bottle fed Peppe (yes, he named him Peppe) it until he was old enough for release into his yard. I remember asking him, "Aren't you worried Peppe will spray you or your cats?"
His answer" "Skunks only spray when they feel threatened. We're feeding him and playing with him."
True enough. Michael and Peppe were friends for years. Peppe would come on to his porch to get snacks and eat out of his hand and play with his cats like they were all old pals. Peppe also provided year round gardening services for Michael - eating insects and grubs and rodents.
That is not the typical skunk encounter.
Skunks rarely travel more than 2 miles from their dens so if your dog has been skunked there is a good chance it may happen again unless your dog has learned his lesson.
We have one customer whose dog gets skunked a few times a year. She said she was SO happy when she found 4-Legger because it naturally deodorized her dog. Tomato juice will diminish the skunk smell but not get rid of it.
A good skunk den is within 2 miles of a water source in a hollow tree, hollowed out log, brush pile, abandoned animal burrow, or under a porch or shed. They are very adaptable with a great sense of smell but terrible eyesight.
Most predators do not attack skunks. They have learned over the years being "skunked" is ... well horrible! The most common skunk predators are dogs and the great horned owl.
When threatened skunks will typically growl, spit, fluff itself up, shake their tails and stamp the ground. If that fails to scare away the predator they will release a powerful spray from their anal glands that can with accuracy go as far as 10 feet!
[Aren't you thankful a dog's anal glands can't do that?}
The skunk's spray is primarily composed of three low molecular weight thiol compounds: (E)-2-butene-1-thiol, 3-methyl-1-butanethiol, and 2-quinolinemethanethiol, as well as acetate thioesters of these. The sulfur in these compounds is what gives potency to the spray.
There are a lot of suggestions for how to get rid of the smell - everything from tomato juice to a mixture of hydrogen peroxide with dish washing detergent. We've been very outspoken about why you shouldn't use dish detergent on your dog - it is full of skin irritants, artificial fragrances, artificial colors and other ingredients that are not safe for your dog's skin. Learn more about why you shouldn't use dish detergent on your dog.
It is also important to quickly rinse your dog's eyes with spring water and to keep products out of your dog's eyes.
We have had a LOT of customers report to us they have successfully gotten rid of the skunk smell with our completely safe and non-toxic organic dog shampoo.
When we were asked this past week for our recommendations on how to get rid of skunk spray from a dog, we were ready for it.
Here is our list of our UDSA certified organic dog shampoos that effectively get rid of the skunk smell:
We're sorry your dog got skunked but we know you can effectively remove that odor with our safe and non-toxic organic dog shampoos. Get yours today and be ready for that skunk encounter!