Spring Brings Ode de Skunk

Spring is the time when you start seeing all sorts of little critters meandering about.  Around us, spring means the perfume of skunks starts to permeate the air.  If you have been fortunate enough to never have had a close and personal encounter with a skunk thank your lucky stars!  If you are like me and you have had a few encounters you understand when I say once you’ve smelled skunk spray up close and personal, it never smells the same again.  I still choke just a little everytime “ode de skunk” fills the air.

My first encounter with the mighty skunk perfume was thanks to our loving dog. In the wee hours of the dawn during her morning potty break she encountered her first skunk.  The sun hadn’t made its appearance yet so I didn’t witness the event, but as I called the dog to return to the house I heard a yelp from the far back corner of our yard and Sadie came running towards the house full speed.  She had some sort of goop on her snout. I went to wipe the goop off with her foot towel when the smell hit me like a freight train.  Really?  A Skunk?  What the heck do I do now?  Remembering a Co-worker had stated his dog had had numerous encounters I texted him for a remedy, I let my boss know I was going to be in a little late to take care of my little problem, and then I called the vet for advice… This is when I learned how to deskunk the dog.

First I washed her off with dawn dish soap.  Then I mixed up the following recipe of three things I actually had on hand…

1 qt of hydrogen peroxide
1/14 cup of baking soda
1 TSP dawn Dish Soap

I mixed the ingredients in a bowl and took them outside to the dog.  (I highly recommend you keep the stinky offender outside during this process.)  I put all the mix on the dog.  I was told the longer you leave on the mixture the better so I put her in her kennel and left for work.  I came back at lunch to rinse her off and then bathed her with the dawn again.  I toweled her off and left her in the sun to dry. The difference in smell was amazing!  There was still a slight hint of noxious odor, but unless you leaned in for a good sniff she was now worthy of re-entering into the house.

Some words of caution

  • I have read that hydrogen peroxide can bleach fur so you shouldn’t leave it on the animal too long.
  • Do NOT get the misture in the animals eyes, if you do flush immediately!
  • Do NOT save the mixture or make it ahead of time, the combination of ingredients can become unstable and explode.

I really hope you never have to use this recipe, but in case you have an adventurous animal… at least you have it!

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