Why Do Skunks Spray?
Skunks are extremely defensive animals - you would be, too, if you were short, slow and partially blind. These striped mammals have evolved some fascinating defensive mechanisms over the years that have helped protect them from predators and unsuspecting pooches. The most well known of these defenses is spraying.
What Is Skunk Spray?
Skunk spray contains thiol, a chemical compound made of hydrogen and sulfur. This chemical can also be found in well known smells like onions, garlic and feces. Skunks can spray targets as far as 10 feet away and if sprayed in the face, can cause temporary blindness and disorientation, which the skunk uses to make a quick getaway.
How To Fight The Stink
If sprayed in the face, flush out your dog's eyes immediately to keep them as comfortable as possible. Next, you’ll want to remove the spray oil from their coat as quickly as you can. It’s important to do this outdoors and do NOT use water! Instead, neutralize the odour with an oxidizing agent. There are many over-the-counter products that can do this for you, however, applying a mixture of peroxide and baking soda will work just as well. While avoiding eyes and ears, use rubber gloves to lather and scrub the mixture into your dogs coat and rinse off. Depending on the size of your dog and the length of their coat, you may have to do this more than once. Finally, wash your dog with their usual shampoo and towel dry. Be sure to run their collar, leash, and anything you were wearing through the wash as soon as you can.
Things To Be Aware Of
If you choose to go the DIY route, use your peroxide wash immediately after making it. It may explode if you store it! You’ll also want to use a mixture with less than 3% peroxide and rinse off the solution promptly, otherwise it could dry and irritate your dogs skin. If your dog has been sprayed and you’re unsure of what to do next, contact a veterinarian today to discuss your options.