You’re out for a walk when your dog runs ahead into the woods, and then, it happens. Your dog has been sprayed by a skunk. While no one ever wants to find themselves in this situation, knowing the right actions to take can help to minimize the after effects of the spray.
Inspect Your Dog for Eye Irritation
It’s important to immediately inspect your dog for eye irritation after he’s been sprayed by a skunk. A dog who has been sprayed in the face at a close range may experience painful eye irritation – watch to see if your dog has red, watery eyes or if he is rubbing his eyes with his paws. Additionally, look to see if your dog has gotten close enough to the skunk to be bitten or scratched. If you find any physical problems, then contact your veterinarian right away.
Keep Your Dog Outside
Don’t allow your dog to enter your house until he’s been cleaned. If he has to ride in the car, then put down old towels or blankets for him to sit on until you get home.
The sooner that you can bathe your dog after he is sprayed, the better your results will be. If you allow the skunk spray to sit on your dog’s coat, it will only become more ingrained and more difficult to get the smell out. Try to give your dog a bath as soon as possible.
Wear Old Clothes and Gloves
When you handle and bathe your dog, wear old clothes and shoes that you don’t mind throwing out afterwards. It’s so difficult to remove the scent of skunk from clothing, so realize that the outfit that you wear while cleaning your dog may need to be sacrificed. Additionally, wear gloves, ideally elbow-length dishwashing gloves, to keep the scent off of your hands.
Bathe with a Commercial Solution
Bathe your dog with a commercially available solution which is intended for treating skunk spray. While there are many homemade remedies listed online, many of these use irritating ingredients like hydrogen peroxide which can burn or irritate your dog’s skin.
Multiple baths may be necessary to help remove the skunk scent from your dog’s coat. Bathing your dog repeatedly can strip the natural oils from his skin, so it’s a good idea to follow up the treatment baths with a bath in which you use a shampoo which conditions and soothes your dog’s coat and skin, such as an oatmeal-based shampoo.
Wash the Collar and Leash
Sometimes you may be able to save your dog’s collar and leash by thoroughly washing them. You may have to wash them a few times over, but in some cases the odor just doesn’t leave the collar and leash and you may be better off buying new supplies for your dog.
Hopefully you won’t need to use this information too often, and your dog will stay away from skunks.