Removing Skunk Odor

Question: What do I do if my pet is sprayed by a skunk? How can I get rid of the odor?

At Doc's it's a question we hear all the time. How do you get rid of the smell that comes from the two small glands at the business end of a skunk?

The chemical in the skunk spray is the same thing that causes the odor in decomposing fish, dead flesh and fecal matter. Unfortunately, most dogs, and some cats, love to roll around in these offensive items also. We've all heard and tried old remedies that just don't make it, like washing your pet in mouth wash, soap or tomato juice. The tomato juice old wive's tale has actually left many people with a pet that not only stinks, but has turned pink. So the best way to let your dog or cat back into the house after their run-in with the skunk or other smelly substance is to use this almost magical formula developed by a chemist:

1 Quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Liquid Soap
Mix together and rub onto your pet. Rinse off with normal tap water.

This easy solution should do the trick and it will only cost you about $2.00 to prepare. Do not bottle or save the solution. Once you mix the peroxide with baking soda, it is no longer stable. Storing it in a bottle could cause an explosion from all the free oxygen this reaction is releasing. I have used this solution a number of times on my cats and dogs and found it to be the best on the market. All the other remedies, in my opinion, just don't work.

- by Dr. Tim Dockter, Doc's Veterinary Clinic, Bismarck, ND. Reprinted from the April-June 1999 issue of "Focus On All Fours," the CDHS newsletter.