How to Deskunk a Dog

Even small skunks can spray some serious odor.

Even small skunks can spray some serious odor.

Put down the tomato juice, white vinegar and any other food or beverage you mistakenly thought would remove your skunked dog's smell. The only effective solution, that doesn't involve a trip to the groomer's, is a chemical mixture that neutralizes the stench at its source.

Items you will need

  • Large mixing bowl
  • 1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. dish soap
  • Mixing spoon
  • Sponge

Step 1

Combine baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in a large bowl. Stir the mixture with a spoon until the baking soda dissolves and a few soap bubbles appear, but don't expect major suds. For safety reasons, always mix the items in an open bowl, and never in a closed jar or bottle. Mixing or shaking these ingredients in any type of closed container will cause an explosion.

Step 2

Pour or sponge the mixture over your dog until his coat is completely saturated. Pay attention to the neck and chest area, as skunks are most likely to spray this region when confronted with the face of your dog. Apply the solution around his face with a sponge to avoid irritating your pooch's eyes.

Step 3

Massage the solution into your dog's skin for 10 minutes. Remember, the solution is still working, even if it's not sudsing or bubbling like traditional shampoo on your dog's coat. During this waiting period, the mixture's oxygen molecules are making the odor-causing compounds odor-free.

Step 4

Rinse the solution thoroughly from your dog's coat with warm water. Tussle his fur with your fingers while rinsing his coat, especially if he has a long coat or thick fur. Soap and baking soda residue can make your dog's skin itchy and irritated. Discard any remaining solution in the toilet.


  • When making the mixture, protect your dog's skin by using a mild dishwashing soap that doesn't have a lot of perfumes or dyes.
  • Praise your dog repeatedly throughout the entire process. Remember, being skunked and bathed on the same day is like a double punishment for many dogs.
  • To ensure complete coverage, double the mixture ingredients when washing large dogs.


  • Never store leftover solution in a container or you could cause an explosion.

About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

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