Every morning I’ve been waking up to the pungent odour that means the skunks are active, and it’s about to happen. Just like clockwork, a client will have the dubious honour of being the first to have their dog get skunked. Every year, in the Spring and Fall. Almost as predictable are the circumstances. It always happens on the last potty of the day in their yard or while nosing around in shrubs out on a walk. Are you ready if your dog gets skunked? Being prepared can take a bunch of the stress out of an encounter with a skunk.

What You Do First Matters

If your dog does get skunked, your first steps can make a big difference in how smoothly you get through it. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind:

  • secure your dog before coming into the home. Do not let them in until you have leashed them This will prevent them from using the furniture or carpet to rub off the spray.

Have a leash hanging ready to save you additional cleanup in the event your dog gets skunked.

  • first, check to see if your dog has been sprayed in the face. If they have, and their eyes appear irritated, you provide some relief by flushing them. Although leaving no lasting effects, you can help soothe irritated eyes by rinsing them with cool, clean water or saline solution. Be careful NOT to use the type for contact lenses. Plain saline solution is what you want to use..
  • do NOT rinse your dog off or use water. This will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the odour-remover and increase the time before your dog becomes odour-free. Apply the treatment directly onto your dog.

After you dog gets skunked, do NOT wet or rinse your dog before using the treatment.

  • do the first treatment as soon as possible to help prevent the oils from binding fully with your dog’s hair and skin
  • completely removing the skunky smell usually requires multiple treatments. This will depend on how badly your dog got hit.

For information on how to clean your dog, watch this video by Dr. Karen Becker. Following her protocol carefully, we guarantee the best results.

Dr. Karen Becker Skunk Cleaning Tips

A Couple More Ways to Help Get Rid of the Smell

  • while your dog is still receiving treatments to remove the odour, the smell will transfer to people and other animals they interact with. It will also contaminate any items they lay on, so keep these clean to prevent re-contamination.
  • during the course of treatments, if your dog gets wet (going out in the rain, for example), you can expect the skunky smell to intensify again.

I hope you are not reading this in a panic at 11 pm on a chilly evening because your dog has just been skunked. Hopefully, you are reading this before that happens. And now, you can be proactive and have what you need on hand if your dog has an encounter. An ounce of prevention does make all the difference!

While talking about being proactive, you can help prevent unfortunate encounters in the Spring and Fall. Before letting your dog into your yard in the morning or evening, provide a warning to give any wildlife a fair chance to vacate. The short time it takes is well worth avoiding a confrontation. To avoid getting skunked while on walks, manage your dog so they don’t stick their nose in places that might put them at odds with a mama or nest.

Has your dog had an encounter with a skunk? Hopefully, you can look back on it now with a chuckle. Care to share?

For more tips, advice and training for life, check out my blog A Day With Dogs or visit hipPUP.ca