Every year, countless skunk-sprayed dogs find themselves in a bath of tomato paste. Other than possibly turning your pooch pink, this won’t reduce the foul stench. When it comes to eliminating skunk odor, the only effective solution is a concoction of a few household ingredients.
Whisk the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish detergent in a large bowl or bucket until the baking soda dissolves completely. This mixture isn’t particularly sudsy, so don’t worry if you only see a few soap bubbles form on the surface. Always leave the solution uncovered inside the bowl. Attaching a lid or keeping the solution in a closed container can cause an explosion.
Place your dog in the bathtub and pour the solution over his entire coat until his fur is wet to the skin. The neck and chest are where skunks typically spray dogs, so don’t forget to focus on these areas when applying the mixture.
Sponge the solution around your dog’s head and face, taking care to avoid his eyes. A sponge gives you more control over the application, and makes it easier to spread around your dog’s face and mouth without getting it in his eyes.
Massage the mixture into your dog’s skin and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Although it’s hard keeping your soaking wet dog still in the tub, this waiting period allows the mixture to chemically alter the odor-causing compounds, turning them scent-free. Speak calm praise to your dog during this period and offer him treats if possible.
Rinse your dog thoroughly and wash him with regular dog shampoo if desired. Remove your newly scent-free dog from the bath and dry him off with an old towel.
- Double the solution recipe for complete coverage of larger breeds and pups with especially long or thick fur.
- To prevent shivering, use a hairdryer to dry your dog's fur during cold weather.
- Resist the urge to make and store large batches of this solution. Keeping the mixture in a closed container, for any period of time, can cause an explosion.
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.