If you own a dog, you know that skunks are a nightly threat that could potentially cause you a lot of headaches. Training your dog to stay at least fifteen away from skunks at all times is ideal, but it is not always possible. Getting a dog with a high prey drive to stay when he or she senses a skunk is probably not going to happen, so the best thing you can do is keep a close eye on your dog and keep a look out for skunks at night before you let him or her out.
In Defense of the Skunk
Before you get too mad at skunks, you should know that skunk spray is really their only defense system against predators. They are small, mostly blind, and not very fast. The spray that is produced by their anal glands is their equalizer. The spray contains sulfurous chemicals called thiols, and a skunk can spray up to 15 feet away if it feels threatened.
What Should You Do If a Skunk Sprays Your Dog?
Chances are, if your dog gets sprayed, he or she is going to freak out, especially if the pup was hit in the face. He or she will likely start rolling on the ground and may make a run for the house. Do not let your dog into the house if at all possible. Otherwise, that smell is going to linger in the house as well.
The first thing you should do is check your dog’s eyes to make sure the spray didn’t get in them. If they’re red or appear irritated, you should wash them out immediately with cool water. Once, you do this, it’s time to give the dog a bath.
There are a number of bath time remedies out there, including a tomato juice bath, but many don’t always work. Instead, many veterinarians recommend a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, baking soda, and Dawn dishwashing soap. If you are in an area where skunks are prevalent, you should have these ingredients on-hand at all times. Vets do caution, though, that you should only leave the mixture on for a short period as the peroxide could bleach the dog’s fur if left on for too long. As you apply and rinse the mixture, you should wear rubber gloves for your own safety as well.
The mixture should mitigate most of the smell and rid the coat of the skunk’s spray, but you will likely need dog grooming supplies to completely remove the lingering smell. At Vet Supply Source, we carry affordable dog grooming supplies, including dog shampoo, which can help to completely eradicate the pungent odor. While a skunk spraying can be a traumatic experience for you and your dog, it is one that can easily be overcome with the proper response and supplies.