By: Dr. Hilary Slaven
Those of us in west central Indiana who have nosy furry friends run the risk of a skunk encounter.
I’m wondering what goes through the mind of these dogs.
(Aside: Cats rarely do this. Cat lovers: Yet another reason to love your kitty.)
The thought process. “What is this strange creature? I feel magnetically drawn to this black and white thing. It smells DELICIOUS. I can’t help myself, it’s new and I’m going to investigate.” OR:
“What the heck is that thing? It’s in my territory. I’m going to chase it off my property.”
The plan: “I’m going to approach, stick my nose as close to it as possible, and see what happens.”
“I’m going to run after it and let it know I mean business.”
Either scenario often ends in the same way.
Scared skunk + Dog in face = Dog sprayed by skunk
And if you have ever been around a dog that has been sprayed, some things may surprise you:
1. The seemingly huge quantity of fluid that the skunk can spray. I’m talking I’ve seen big dogs dripping wet after a bath in this stuff.
2. How (relatively) easy it can be to rid your dog of the smell.
The Recipe: 1 tsp. dish soap, 1 quart peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda. Mix well and work into dog’s coat, rinse well. (Caution: The Recipe will fade upholstery and fabrics so wear old clothes when cleaning up your dog! )
Alternatively, there are some commercial products such as Skunk Off which we carry and also works well.
Anecdotally, I’ve heard that Original Gold Listerine worked into the hair and rinsed can help too.
Be careful with all of these products around the eyes and face. They can all irritate the eyes and should be avoided in that area.
Inside the house, allow for good ventilation and useFebreze to help with smell.
If your dog has been sprayed directly in the face, you may need to take them to your veterinarian to check the eyes for irritation and/or check for anemia, which can happen if the spray gets into the bloodstream.
Remind your furry puppy friend that skunks are not cats with stripes!