20 August, 2014

Dog vs. Skunk

Zim is allowed on the couch when he hasn't been tangling
with polecats.
So I let the dog out last night and shortly thereafter the house started to fill with the smell of skunkfunk. Seconds later, the back door slammed shut and in ran the dog, circling around like mad and licking his muzzle (yeah, the dog knows how to open doors, so he was dragging the smell through the house before I could trap him in the bathtub.)

As much as he hated it, he got a deodorizing bath and now he's (mostly) skunk-free - but I didn't want to get the bath concoction in his eyes, so he's still a little stinky around the top of his muzzle.

If one of your domestic animals (this category includes kids) gets sprayed by a skunk, forget the old saw about washing them in tomato juice. Setting aside the fact that tomato juice doesn't work, think of the cost. You'd need like a dozen cans of that stuff to thoroughly bathe a dog/child. Instead, use this:

Anti-Skunk Dogwash

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent

Combine ingredients in a shallow pan and swirl around briefly until the baking soda is mostly dissolved. Apply it immediately to the dog, working it into his fur and giving him a really thorough washing. The combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda breaks down the chemicals in the skunk spray and renders them odorless, and the dishwashing detergent helps carry away the residue. Rinse the dog really well and if he's still funky, mix up another batch and do it again.

A couple additional tips:
  • Dawn dishwashing detergent is gentle and very effective for this. But if you don't have it, use what you've got. When your dog smells like a tear gas grenade just exploded at your feet, you don't have time to go running to the store for a special brand of detergent.
  • Try to keep the wash out of the dog's eyes. When I wash Zim's muzzle, I use an old sponge so I can keep the bathwater where I'm aiming it.
  • Mix a batch up fresh when you need it. Don't mix it up ahead of time! The mixture is not stable - it gives off gas when it's blended - and trying to trap it in a closed container will cause pressure inside the bottle to build until it explodes.

I finished Zim off with a peppermint soap shampoo. Now he's ashamed to go out and meet other dogs because he's afraid the big bulldog up the street is going to call him a sissy.

1 comment:

tree ocean said...

Hope Zim is a short haired! A friend of mine's collie got skunked phew! The collars can really hold the stink, too.

My current one's a sissy and won't go out after dark, or if he really has too, not more than two feet past the deck.

One morning when I had bullmastiffs and no power I woke up to see all four of them had been after a porcupine one at a time as I let them out the night before- couldn't see it by candelight.

That sounds like a great formula, I will try and remember it. It is an emergency when your dog comes in after meeting a skunk! WHo is going to run to the store for tomato juice> lol I tried white vinegar once years ago on a husky cross and that helped but I did get it in the dog's eyes or the spray hit her there...poor thing.