How To Get Rid Of Skunk Smell On Dog

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When cold seasons pave the way for warmer ones, you are likelier to spend extra time outdoors with your furry friend. While this is dandy, unfortunately, skunks come out to play during these months. Encountering these small creatures is unpleasant.

The pungent smell of skunks seems to linger forever, permeating everything it touches. Naturally, skunks are not aggressive and often run instead of fight, but they also have protective armor- their nasty spray.

If you have a curious dog, they may encounter a skunk during their adventures and get sprayed. Luckily, there are quick fixes for a skunk smell on your dog.

How to Get Skunk Smell Off Your Dog

How to Get Skunk Smell Off Your Dog

1. Contain The Situation

An encounter with a skunk can turn an ordinary day into a smelly ordeal for you and your furry friend. The issue could significantly escalate if you fail to contain the situation. Therefore, swiftly act if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk in order to control the odor and prevent it from further permeating.

Keep your dog outside to stop the skunk odor from spreading all over your home. Avoid bringing your dog inside until you’ve taken steps to neutralize the odor. Instead, confine your dog to a designated area to make cleaning easier.

Moreover, do not directly touch your dog to avoid transferring the odor to yourself and other surfaces.

Related Post: Tips for Keeping Skunks Out of Your Yard

2. Make Your Skunk Odor Remover

how to get rid of skunk smell on dog homemade

So, you have successfully contained the situation. It’s time to tackle the skunk odor head-on. This section will address the DIY method of neutralizing skunk odor in dogs. A dawn, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide concoction is particularly potent.

a) Dawn Dish Soap

The degreasing properties of dawn dish soap make it effective in removing skunk odor. Dawn breaks down and removes the oily compounds in skunk spray from your dog’s skin and fur.

The soap also contains surfactants that lower liquids’ surface tension, facilitating easier mixing. Therefore, the soap will penetrate and lift the skunk oil from your dog, making it easier to wash away.

Moreover, dawn is gentle on dog skin and is easily available.

b) Hydrogen Peroxide

The effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide in removing skunk smell lies in its ability to break down the thiols present in skunk spray. The spray contains thiols, which are compounds with sulfur and responsible for the potent, unpleasant odor.

Since hydrogen peroxide is a mild oxidizing agent, it can react with and neutralize these thiols, thereby eliminating the odor. When it comes into contact with the thiols, it breaks them down into odorless compounds.

This chemical neutralizes the odor instead of masking it, making it a valuable asset. Moreover, since hydrogen peroxide is water-soluble, it is easier to wash away the broken-down compounds along with the skunk odor.

c) Baking Soda

Baking soda, an alkaline substance, can neutralize acidic compounds, such as the thiols found in skunk spray. Like hydrogen peroxide, baking soda helps to eliminate the odor instead of only masking it.

Moreover, baking soda’s absorbent properties help to absorb and trap odorous molecules, further aiding in odor removal. This substance is non-toxic and gentle.

How To Prepare the Concoction


  • Hydrogen peroxide- 1 quart
  • Baking soda- ¼ cup
  • Dawn dish soap- 2 tablespoons


  • Combine baking soda with Dawn dish soap to create a consistent paste.
  • Sprinkle some baby powder on your dog. This will help absorb the oils.
  • Apply the paste to your dog. After that, pour the hydrogen peroxide. Focus on areas where the skunk odor is most concentrated, such as the face, neck, and chest. However, be cautious to avoid getting the solution into their mouth, eyes, and nose.
  • Gently rub the mixture into the dog’s fur, making sure it reaches all areas affected by the skunk smell.
  • Let the concoction sit on your dog’s fur for about 5-10 minutes. This will give it time to work on neutralizing the skunk odor. The reaction between the paste and the peroxide will neutralize the skunk spray, eliminating the odor.
  • If you have a large or excessively hairy dog, sprinkle some water on their fur.


If skunk spray gets into your dog’s eyes, rinse them using saline solution. Wait for a few hours, and if their eyes remain red, irritated, and runny, call your vet.

Don’t wash your dog when removing skunk. Since skunk spray is oil-based, water will worsen the situation.

3. Alternative At-Home Remedies For Skunk Smell Removal

Aside from baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dawn mixture, there are other remedies to help you remove the skunk smell from your dog. These are:

a) Use Vinegar To Get Rid Of Skunk Smell

When vinegar comes into contact with the thiols in skunk spray, it helps to neutralize them. This chemical reaction breaks down the thiols, reducing their odor intensity and ultimately eliminating the smell. Also, being a natural deodorizer, vinegar can absorb and neutralize odors.

Mix white vinegar (1 part) with water (2 parts), then spray the solution on your dog’s coat. Let the solution sit least 5 minutes or more, then rinse your dog afterward.

b) Lemon Juice

Remove skunk smell from dog

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which helps neutralize odors. Regarding skunk odor, lemon juice breaks down the thiols in skunk spray. Additionally, lemon juice’s neutralizing properties can mask or neutralize unpleasant odors.


  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap


  • Mix the lemon juice, water, baking soda, and dish soap.
  • Apply the mixture to the affected surfaces, ensuring thorough coverage.
  • Allow the solution to soak in for some time to let it penetrate and neutralize the odor.
  • Wipe off the solution, and repeat if necessary until the odor is adequately removed.

c) Tomato Juice Bath

You could neutralize the skunk odor with tomato juice, as it is mildly acidic. Its pungent odor can also temporarily mask the smell, so douse your dog in a tomato juice bath, then leave it for at least 10 minutes.

This remedy works, but comes with you could stain your dog’s fur in the process, leaving them pink in color.

4. Commercial Skunk Odor Remover

Skunk Off Pet Shampoo

There are several commercial products specifically designed to remove skunk odor from pets, and you can find them at pet stores or online. After buying the remover, read the instructions carefully, put on gloves, and apply the remover to your dog’s fur accordingly.

Typically, you will need to spray or pour the remover directly onto your dog’s coat, focusing on areas where the skunk odor is most concentrated. Massage the remover into your dog’s fur with your fingers. Next, let it sit for the recommended time.

Vital Tips For Skunk Smell Removal

  • Act quickly because you will have a tougher time eliminating the odor the longer you delay.
  • Put on disposable clothes.
  • Do not bring your dog indoors until you’ve treated the odor since it can quickly spread throughout your home.
  • Thoroughly clean the collar and leash because the odor can linger on these items.
  • Open windows and use fans if the skunk odor spreads indoors to help dissipate the smell.

Say goodbye to a skunk-smelling dog and hello to an odor-free pup with this Dawn dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide DIY remedy. Considering the potency of the skunk smell, address it promptly. Also, exercise caution and prioritize your dog’s safety and comfort throughout the odor removal process.

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