Smelly dog, smelly dog: What to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk - BC SPCA
Search by
postal code:
Search our site:

Animal Helpline:


For all other calls and inquiries
see our contact details.

Find a BC SPCA location in your area:

Smelly dog, smelly dog: What to do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk

February 1, 2016

It happens to dogs everywhere. The door opens, an enthusiastic canine runs outside before the leash goes on, he encounters a skunk, and a thoroughly smelly situation ensues. So what do you do if your four-legged family member gets a face full of skunk spray?

“It’s pretty common for a dog to get skunked – they’re curious creatures and that can lead to a spritz or a full-on soaking of an intense-smelling spray from the skunk,” says veterinarian Dr. Ben Weinberger, who volunteers with the BC SPCA at Charlie’s Food Bank in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and is featured in this week’s Tip Tuesday video. “The spray is usually centred around the facial area, where it can be more difficult to remove the smell.”

Many might remember the old-school trains of thought that led veterinarians to recommend tomato soup baths or acidic methods to remove the smell, but those days are long gone, Weinberger says.

“Now, there are specific products you can buy to remove the smell of skunk spray, such as medicated shampoos like Skunk Off, that work really well,” he says.

Another homemade recipe that works quite well involves mixing one quart, or 0.95 of a litre of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, such as Dawn, Weinberger says.

“Be really careful with any product when bathing your pet around the head and face,” he notes. “You might want to purchase an eye lubricant or gel – an artificial tear – to provide some protection for his eyes when you’re bathing him.”

If any product does get into your dog’s eyes, it’s important to rinse the area extremely well, he adds.

Donate to BC SPCA

Do you want to make this a monthly gift?

Choose an Amount

Secure Payment
Donation Info
Payment Info