It’s 3 am and a wild ruckus in your backyard wakes you from a sound sleep. You want to ignore it. You try to ignore it. But, you know you can’t. The distinctive aroma of scared skunk comes wafting along, intruding on your peace. You know you must take immediate action

If you’re like most of us, you either didn’t think you’d need the over-the-counter de-skunking solution or you forgot to pick some up. Either way, now what to do.

Well, most of us do have dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. With these basic ingredients in hand, here’s how to tackle middle-of-the-nightmare:

Contain your dog.

Keep your dog closed in an uncarpeted room without any type of wallpaper or upholstery that can take absorb the smell — like the bathroom. If you leave him outside, he may continue to tangle with the skunk, and you don’t want that. One of them may get hurt.

Check his eyes. 

Because dogs tend to lead with their snouts, their face often gets the brunt of the skunk spray. If his eyes are red or otherwise irritated immediately and thoroughly flush them with cool water.

Gather your supplies and make your de-skunk solution.
What you’ll need:
  • a large bucket for mixing:
  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (the standard drugstore variety)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (take it out of your fridge if necessary)
  • 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid (Dawn or Ivory both work well)
A word of caution: do not make this solution ahead of time or otherwise store it because it may explode if left in a closed container.
  • an old face cloth
  • regular shampoo
  • old towels for drying your dog
De-skunk your dog.

Now that you’re ready to tackle the big job, slow down and breath. It’s important to be thorough and careful. DO NOT get the solution in his eyes. However, if you do, flush with cool water. Use the face cloth for washing his face and ears. Take your time — you want to solution to be on your dog for a few minutes. Work the solution into the fur and down to the skin. May as well use all of your solution since you won’t be saving it. Rinse thoroughly.

Shampoo. 

Just use your regular shampoo for another thorough wash. If your dog regularly encounters skunks or just likes to roll on stinky things you might consider picking up a bottle of Shiny Paw Deep Cleaning Shampoo. Made from natural, organic, safe ingredients it removes heavy dirt and uses evergreen and rosemary to deodorize. When you rinse, be sure to get all of the shampoo off. Use old bath towels for drying in case you missed any skunk spray.

Clean-up the mess.

In the event you get some skunky stink on your clothes or towels just wash with your regular laundry detergent mixed with 1/2 cup of baking soda.

It’s nearly impossible to rid your dog of every last bit of stinkiness. The smell will resurface for a few weeks — not pleasant for you but that’s what happens. The smell will go away eventually. The key is to neutralize and wash away as much as you can as quickly as you can!