Temecula Valley Animal Hospital

Health Tips for Your Pet

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What to Do When Your Pet is Sprayed by a Skunk

If your pet encounters a skunk, you won’t wonder what happened; you will know! The stench is unmistakable, and you might fear that you’re stuck with it forever. Luckily that is not the case, but getting rid of the smell will indeed take a bit of work.

The first thing you need to know is this: Do not immediately bathe your pet with standard pet shampoo. While this is an understandable reaction, getting your pet wet will only make the smell worse. And regular shampoo won’t make a difference on skunk odor.

There’s another reason you should resist the urge to rush Rover to the bathtub. By bringing your pet indoors, you run the risk of getting skunk spray on anything that he touches! Then you will still face the challenge of de-skunking your pet, while also dealing with ruined carpet, furniture, towels, and so on.

So what should you, if your dog or cat comes home smelling like Pepe le Pew?

First, check him for injuries. While skunks usually just spray to ward off a threat, they will occasionally claw or bite. You want to ensure your pet is not injured (and if they are, please bring them straight to us).

If your pet is drooling, sneezing, or vomiting, he might need medical attention. Or, if he seems to have been sprayed in the eyes, you might need professional help. Give us a call and we’ll help you assess the situation.

If all seems well, other than the unbearable odor, you can proceed with attempting to remove the stench. Keep your pet in the yard, grab a pair of rubber gloves, and mix up this solution:

  • 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap
  • Warm water – up to a quart for large dogs, less for smaller breeds

Work this solution into your pet’s fur, and let it sit for five minutes or so before rinsing. Multiple applications might sometimes be necessary.

Again, we’ll be happy to answer your questions if your pet does experience an unfortunate encounter with a skunk. But in most cases, everything will be just fine, and your nose will recover!

 

 

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