Yup! It's that time of year again... Skunks are out and about and looking for love! Follow our tips and tricks to save your dog and home from that pungent smell.
How to Avoid Getting Sprayed by a Skunk
Against popular beliefs that skunks just walk around spraying all willy-nilly like, skunks actually have quite good manners! They give fair warning by stomping their front feet and fanning out their tail. Once anyone sees that tail in the air, we tend to heed this warning (by backing off), but dogs typically don’t. They charge right in. That’s why dogs get sprayed all the time, but people don’t.
These poor skunks have terrible eyesight and when a predator (YOUR DOG) comes running at them, all they see is a fast-moving blob. They spray to protect themselves; it’s the only defense they have.
So, the best thing is not to let dogs free-roam (it's a good practice to have anyways...), particularly at night. Most skunk encounters occur at dusk or in the evening, when skunks are leaving their dens and going about their business. Even if dogs are kept in a fenced yard, skunks can still be lurking in the darkness. By putting them on a leash, you’ll dramatically reduce this possibility.
"Skunks breeding season is February into March. During this time, especially, keep a watchful eye when your dogs go outdoors. Most importantly, keep your dogs up to date on rabies vaccines. If in the event they do have direct contact with a rabid skunk, your pet could be facing an awful six-month quarantine." Katie Elhers, Wallingford Animal Control Officer
What to Do if You’re Pet Gets Sprayed by a Skunk
According to The Humane Society of the United States, over-the-counter products (such as Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover) are a quick fix, but if you don't have that on hand, you can prep the solution below.
Simply mix a quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of dish soap in a bowl. Wearing rubber gloves, wash your dog with this solution immediately after they've been sprayed. DO NOT get the solution in their eyes.
Caution: Do NOT store this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.
Clean and rinse
Rub the mixture through their fur, but don't leave it on too long (peroxide can bleach fur). Rinse them thoroughly.
Next, wash your dog with pet shampoo and rinse thoroughly. By now, they should be de-skunked and smelling sweet. Thoroughly towel-dry your dog, and be sure to place them in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours so that they don't get chilled.
If the odor permeates into your home, a good odor-neutralizing product is Odor Away. Put a few drops in a bowl in any room that smells, and refresh with more drops every 24 hours. Continue doing this until the odor is gone, which shouldn’t be more than a few days.
What good are skunks?
Skunks are one of Earth’s most beneficial creatures. They eat things like grubs, garden pests, mice, and baby rats. They are a natural pest control.
Bottom line is we share our earth with many creatures so let's be kind and learn how to co-exist. :)