In case you weren’t aware, skunks literally live everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
Even in the city.
About three years ago, I was enjoying an evening outside in one of my Adirondack chairs in the front yard. I was sitting in the dark just enjoying the weather when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.
I sat in silent horror as the biggest skunk I had ever seen in my life, waddled across the yard in front of me. I do not know if it knew that I was there. I would assume that it did, but I did not introduce myself.
I tried to stay perfectly still, and not breathe, as I watched the skunk sniff around at the bushes before it made its way across the yard and then disappear into the night. I was mildly horrified, but at least I pulled through unscathed.
Dingo Lu was not so lucky.
Recently, I got home from work late and let her out to poddy. I went upstairs to change my clothes and the skunk odor came through the bathroom window and into my bedroom. My heart sank because I just knew that Lu had been sprayed.
I rushed downstairs and confirmed the hunch as I slid open the patio door and in came a very sorry little Australian Cattle Dog. She was immediately ushered back outside. Poor Lu took a direct hit to her face. Her eyes were watering and I have never seen a dog drool like that.
It was as awful as it sounds.
Skunk funk, as I have come to call it, doesn’t smell like you think it would either. It’s more of a burning tires and hot piss kind of smell. Or, if you’ve ever walked into a Starbucks. It’s terrible.
I quickly took to the internet to find a real remedy vs what I have heard through the channels of Old Wivers tales. Who has the time to mess around in this situation? Not I. I quickly made a list of necessary supplies and sped to Wal Mart. Thank God for 24 hour super centers.
I obtained everything that I needed for the task at hand. Then I sat in my car in the parking lot and ate an ice cream bar while contemplating running away from home. No really. I was at least mentally preparing for the endeavor. The process was as awful as you imagine. It was also cold and raining and I had to do all of this outside because there was no way I was putting her in the car to take her to the dog wash across town.
In the end, I got it done. The method I used worked. I will share this with you below in the event that you end up in this situation yourself. .
Skunk funk. What is it?
Skunks have two glands; one on each side of the anus. These glands produce the skunk’s spray, which is a mixture of sulfer-containing chemicals such as thiols (traditionally called mercaptans), which have an offensive and nauseating odors. I can attest to this. A skunk’s spray is powerful enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers, like little nosy cattle dogs.
It’s important to know that the chemical spray from a skunk is oily and you will also want to take care to avoid getting it on your hands and clothing. Don’t worry if you do, I have a tried and true method to remove the smell from your pet and from yourself.
You will need:
- Rubber gloves that come up to your elbows. You can find these next to the cleaning supplies at the store. Trust me on the gloves. Buy the gloves.
- Depending on the size of your animal you will at least want to start out with two medium size boxes of baking soda. I used Arm & Hammer.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dawn dishsoap
- A large bowl
- Oatmeal Shampoo
In the bowl mix the following:
1 box of baking soda
1 quart of 3 % Hydrogen Peroxide
2 tablespoons of Dawn Dishsoap
Mix these ingredients together to create a paste.
Wet your animal in warm water. Then apply the mixture to the entire body, be careful around their eyes. Let the paste sit on the hair coat for 10 minutes. Rinse. Then do the process again.
Lu soaking in her paste. Poor unhappy Dingo!
I did this three times. It got most of the odor out. Her face was still a bit stinky. I then used the oatmeal shampoo to soothe her skin and it helped to have a little bit of extra fragrance.
While this method cleared up 99.9% of the odor, there was still a faint odor. I noticed it more when she was wet or if I got really close to her face. I decided to see if there was anything else that I could try.
I did some research and reached out to friends who all recommended that I follow up with a product called Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover. You can find this product at PetsMart. I got the big bottle that retailed at $19.99. It’s lavender scented.
I gave Lu another bath using this product and it was highly effective. It smelled really good. I poured the product into a large bowl and then soaked the collar she was wearing at the time of the incident, the collar she used when I gave her the baths, and also the leash that I used to hang onto her. It worked great.
The smell has finally disappeared and life has returned to normal. Though, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little paranoid at night when I open the door to let Lu outside to do her business. I never want to go through that again.
At least I know what to do next time in the event it does. Also, my silver lining is that it happened at home and not out on the trail where I would be forced to put her into the car and transport her to get her cleaned up. I cringe at the thought!!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!