How To Get Rid Of Skunk Smell On Dogs

If your dog has ever gotten sprayed by a skunk, you can attest to the putrid and irritating nature of this smell. Fortunately, with a number of quick home remedies, you can eliminate this horrible smell and get your pooch smelling nice again.

Now, how can you get rid of the skunk smell on a dog? You can get rid of the skunk smell on a dog by coating the dog with tomato juice, lemon juice, vinegar or coke! In the same vein, a homemade bath prepared from a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is quite effective at completely neutralizing skunk smell on dogs.

It can be extremely unpleasant having to deal with skunk smell, but with those remedies listed above, you can get rid of this stench relatively fast. Also, the potential harmful effects of a pooch getting sprayed by a skunk, as well as the reason skunks spray are all covered in today’s article. But before we go into all that, let’s take a look at remedies for neutralizing skunk odor on a dog.

What Neutralizes Skunk Odor On A Dog?

Substances known to neutralize skunk odor on a dog include tomato juice, lemon juice, vinegar and popular soft drink, coke!

Tomato Juice

One home remedy that is commonly applied to get rid of skunk odor on a dog is rubbing tomato on the body of the pooch.

Now, while tomato juice is quite effective at immediately masking the skunk smell, you should know that this is just a temporary solution, and the chemicals responsible for the odor will linger on the pooch’s coat.

That said, these are the steps to take to apply tomato juice in getting rid of skunk odor on a dog:

  • Bathe the pooch with a quality doggie shampoo.
  • Thoroughly mop and dry the dog.
  • Completely cover the dog in tomato juice.
  • Allow the juice soak for between 10 to 20 minutes, and then proceed to rinse it out.
  • Bathe the pooch with shampoo once again.
  • Rinse out the shampoo and dry the dog.

You may need to repeat the process described above till the skunk odor is greatly reduced, but you should note that the pooch’s fur may get stained in the process.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is also another means of neutralizing skunk odor on a dog, but just like tomato juice, this is another temporary fix that has no direct impact on oils responsible for the odor.

However, a solution of lemon juice and water mixed together in the right proportion, rubbed into a pooch’s skin, and rinsed away after some minutes works a great deal in immediately masking skunk odor on a dog.


Another natural remedy with which you can mask the smell of skunk spray on a pooch is by coating the pooch in a vinegar mixture.

To prepare a vinegar mixture for your pooch:

  • Mix water and apple cider vinegar in the ratio 2 to 1 – the volume of the mixture should be decided by your dog’s size.
  • Wet the affected dog’s coat with water.
  • Work the vinegar solution into the dog’s fur and leave it there for about five minutes.
  • Rinse off the solution with warm water and dry the dog.


It may sound unbelievable, but you can actually reduce the smell of skunk spray by washing a pooch’s fur with popular soft drink, Coca Cola works by breaking down the oils responsible for the offensive odor of a skunk’s spray, thereby greatly reducing their impact.

And to reduce skunk odor on a pooch with coke:

  • Mix a can of coke with a bucket of water and some detergent.
  • Soak the pooch’s fur in the resulting mixture, and allow it to stay for some minutes.
  • Rinse off the solution with lukewarm water.
Image from Instagram:@jerrytheparson

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Skunk Smell On A Dog?

The best way to get rid of skunk smell on a dog is by creating a homemade bath for the pooch prepared from a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

While the methods listed in the first section are effective at masking skunk odor on a dog, a homemade bath prepared from a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda takes things further by breaking up oils responsible for the offensive odor, thereby neutralizing the smell in the process.

What Materials Do You Need For The Homemade Bath?

The materials you’ll need to create a homemade bath to get rid of skunk smell on your pooch include:

  • One-quarter of a cup of baking soda
  • Two fresh 500ml bottles of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid soap (preferably Dawn Dish Soap)
  • Protective equipment for you – rubber gloves, goggles and apron
  • Protective ointment for the dog’s eyes and ears
  • A mixing container, preferably a bath and a bowl
  • Old, disposable clothes or paper towels

All these materials are readily available and can be gotten at local stores or pet stores near you.

Preparing The Bath

  • Combine the two 500ml bottles of hydrogen peroxide with a quarter of a cup of baking soda and one to two teaspoons of Dawn Dish Soap in the mixing container.
  • Thoroughly stir and mix the resulting solution.

Also, before bathing your pooch:

  • Dab the dog’s coat with the old clothes or paper towels to rub off some of the excess oil.
  • Apply protective oil on the pooch’s ears and eyes.

Bathing The Pooch

Once the solution is prepared, the resulting mixture will start to fizz and it is important that you apply it on the dog immediately. The solution is only effective immediately and can’t be stored for later use.

To apply the solution on your pooch, massage the skunk-affected areas with a sponge that has been moistened with the mixture.

Leave the solution on your pooch for, at least, five minutes or longer until the offensive odor does not linger anymore. During this time, you have to ensure that your dog doesn’t lick the solution off its skin!

After The Bath

Once you’ve succeeded in eliminating the offensive skunk smell, you should rinse the solution off the pooch’s body with lukewarm water.

Additionally, it is advisable that you bath the doggie with lukewarm water and high-quality dog shampoo like the Mighty Petz 2-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner, after rinsing off the solution.

The Mighty Petz shampoo’s natural formulation helps prevent itching which may develop as an aftermath of the homemade bath. And the shampoo is also effective at keeping the pooch’s skin soft and moisturized.

What Do I Do If My Dog Gets Sprayed By A Skunk?

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, you should examine such a pooch to closely observe its reaction to getting sprayed, before deciding on the appropriate course of action.

It is advisable to monitor your pooch for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes after its exposure to skunk spray to observe its reaction to getting sprayed. If you notice nothing apart from the characteristic foul odor, you can proceed to getting rid of the smell with any of the earlier mentioned remedies.

If, however, you notice redness and irritation of the eyes, then it is quite likely that the skunk sprayed into your doggie’s face, and you should contact your vet as soon as possible.

Similarly, if your dog starts vomiting within this period, it has, most likely, ingested some of the skunk spray, and you shouldn’t hesitate to take such a pooch to the vet clinic for proper monitoring and treatment.

Keep Your Dog Outdoors

When your pooch gets sprayed by a skunk, your natural reaction will be to get such a doggie inside and attempt to get rid of the odor. However, by doing this, you are only going to transfer the skunk smell into your home, and trust us, this is actually way worse.

Hence, as long as possible, try as much as possible to keep your pooch outdoors till you can apply any of the remedies to get rid of skunk odor that have been provided in earlier sections. Note that time is of the essence, when dealing with skunk spray, and you should apply these remedies, as soon as possible, to get rid of the smell.

Resist The Temptation To Give Your Dog A Bath

Understandably, the first thought that comes to your mind when your pooch gets sprayed by a skunk is to grab a bucket of water and try to rinse the oil off the doggie’s body.

However, skunk oil is composed of an insoluble compound called thiol, and attempting to rinse it off with water will only serve to spread the oil further into the pooch’s fur, thereby worsening the smell.

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Can Skunk Spray Hurt A Dog?

Yes, skunk spray can indeed hurt a dog. The negative effects of a skunk spraying a dog includes vomiting, nausea, seizures or a corresponding shortage of red blood cells.

The most obvious aftereffect of a skunk spraying your dog is the pungent odor, but skunk spray typically comes with several other effects that can be potentially harmful to a pooch.

The immediate effects of a skunk spraying on a dog include nauseavomitingtemporary blindness and tearing in the eyes. In the same vein, a pooch may cause secondary injuries to itself by scratching its eyes or biting its skin to relieve sensations caused by a skunk spray.

A direct dose of skunk spray to a pooch’s face can cause burns to sensitive tissues located in the face, which in turn, leads to skin irritation or sores on the face.

Additionally, skunk spray typically contains harmful toxins, that when ingested by a pooch, can explode red blood cells, thereby resulting in anemia, and also cause damage to vital body organs. Similarly, a dog that has swallowed a significant amount of skunk spray may suffer seizures.

It is also important to note that dogs that get sprayed by skunks may be bitten, and if the pooch hasn’t gotten the necessary vaccination, it is at a risk of contracting life-threatening rabies.

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How Long Does Skunk Smell Last On A Dog?

If left unattended to, skunk smell can last for between two to three weeks on a dog before eventually going away.

A skunk’s spray is composed of seven different sulphur and Thioacetate-based compounds. And it is this Thioacetate that typically reacts with water and humidity present in the air to strengthen the offensive spray smell, thereby making it last longer!

Why Do Skunks Spray Dogs?

Skunks are small, prey animals and to defend themselves from or ward off predators, their anal glands produce an offensive smelling odor, which is then sprayed to ward off predators.

Skunks are remarkably accurate when projecting spray into the perceived threat, and you should also know that a skunk’s spray can travel for up to 15 feet.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Sprayed By A Skunk?

Below are some measures to put in place to prevent your dog from getting skunked and having to deal with the offensive odor that comes afterwards:

  • Avoid feeding your dog outside and keep your environment clear of food substances such as grubs, leaves or garbage that may attract a skunk.
  • Keep your dog indoors at night; This is because skunks are usually most active at night.

Skunks typically give warning signals such as stomping, hissing or tail-lifting before they spray. Pay attention to these signals and lead your pooch away before it gets sprayed by a skunk.

Image from Instagram:@they_call_me_nevis
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Pete Decker