Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to De-Skunk a Dog

Well - the inevitable happened.  I worried about this many times over the years perhaps more than most "normal" people - and last night was THE night. 

The trouble begins when Levi the Dog had to do his business at 3am.  We trade off on night duty because no one like to get out of a warm bed so DH let him out.  We've TALKED many times about using a leash at night because we were worried about a skunk-encounter but you know how it need to find a rope and a clip and remember to hook it up in your half sleep-induced state - it SO-didn't-happen.

Since DH let him out I was in charge of letting him back in.  OH oh.  The dog came racing into the house and jumped up on his favorite chair before the aroma hit DH and he started to holler - GET-HIM-BACK-OUTSIDE!!!!

I was the lucky one who had to carry him back outside and tie him to the cistern pump while he struggled to get away and I furiously tried to figure out what-we-were-gonna-do-now!  Now the part this story that makes it especially interesting is the fact that I do not have sense of smell. For my dear friend Mandi I looked up the official term: Anosmia (syn: anosphrasia)­ The medical term describing the total absence of the sense of smell, i.e., the inability to detect or recognize any vapor (including skunk-stench!).

Yup - that would be me - in the smell department.

Thankfully my worrying in the past paid off because I had come across an article a few years back on what-to-do in the case of a skunk-encounter that didn't include the use of tomato juice which I know everyone SAYS will work but most of the reviews after the fact said it didn't help much at all and was very messy.  I was thankful to quickly find the info  which I had saved on my computer in OneNote (which is an amazing MS program!) under Disaster Preparations. How appropriate.

Secret De-Skunk Sauce Recipe:

1L bottle (large) hydrogen peroxide
1L of water 
1/2 box of baking soda 
3 tablespoons of dish washing liquid (Dawn apparently works best but I only had Palmolive). 

Stir together and start soak the dog in it - do this outside - by wetting his fur thoroughly and continuing to work it through with a rag for a minimum of 15 minutes keeping it away from his eyes and mouth.  We took pity on his freezing-furry-behindy and did the final long rinse in the bath tub.  He came out clean-as-a-whistle and they tell me he smelled great - like he's just had a bath - no skunk smell at all! Of course he smelled fine to me to begin with!  Imagine for a moment if I had been home alone... 

I don't think it was a direct hit - that might have required a double application and a clothespin for DH.

Another disaster averted.  My son asked me if I thought this would end Levi's skunk-chasing days...somehow I doubt it.  The lady whose recipe I used said she was thrilled with the de-skunk sauce and she knew it worked really well because they'd already used it 4 times on their dog.

OH dear.  Time to get that leash hooked up.


  1. This is a recipe that I will keep around. I have never actually seen a skunk around here but I have smelled them in the past when traveling around the state. Bet this would work on a dog that just has to roll in something dead. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I will definitely keep this recipe handy in my house for my cat. She received a direct hit about 2 years ago and still is greatly offended by the audacity of those skunks that come onto our property! I have grabbed her more than once as she started to take off after a skunk (and raccoons). She is our consistent watch-cat. LOL!

  3. Let's hope we all have the recipe JUST FOR INSURANCE from now on:) My son gave Levi another bath yesterday to get rid of the lingering odor. When he finally dried off I asked him what he used for shampoo and he replied: YOUR Curly Hair shampoo. I should call it my I WISH I HAD CURLY HAIR SHAMPOO because it does nothing for me but the dog looks amazing with little ringlets!


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