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Nova in the tub (note the rubber mat, reassuring to dogs)It’s fall, and that means that for us North Americans, tis the season when skunks born in the spring are sent off on their own, making life more challenging for curious dogs and their owners.

Nova has been sprayed twice: once directly on her face when I couldn’t stop her from snatching up a juvenile skunk from within a bush, and once on her back end when I couldn’t drag her away fast enough.

While researching de-skunking remedies, I learnt the truth about skunk musk: the only remedy that works is Hydrogen peroxide! Tomato juice and most other de-muskers don’t work. But the good news is, Hydrogen peroxide is way easier to get hold of in the middle of the night! And is much less expensive than a tub full of V-8 or Mott’s Clamato!

Most of the recipes for de-skunking dogs that I found online were the same; I modified mine slightly and found that it worked fine; here’s mine:

500mls or half a quart (1 large bottle) of Hydrogen peroxide* **

¼ cup baking SODA (as the recipes state, not baking powder)

a splash of liquid dish soap – not dishwasher powder. Liquid soap is OK too if no dish soap

500mls of water

Combine everything in a small plastic or glass dishwashing tub or big bowl (not metal, because the peroxide acts on it) and apply to your dog (carefully avoiding the eyes and mouth) with a big scrub brush or hand towel. Scrub thoroughly and rinse. Repeat if there’s any of the stuff left in the tub. Use straight away after mixing and don’t store any of the leftovers. Non-toxic in small doses, but will hurt like heck if exposed to the mucous membranes or any cuts.

*Get it at any drug store or supermarket

**Might as well buy two or three since you’ll need to repeat the procedure

This recipe is also good to clean up anywhere the dog has exposed her or himself to your house. When Nova got sprayed the first time, I made the mistake of letting her drool all over the floor, and I used a bit of the mix to clean it up later.

McEnroe the cat never got sprayed, but he’s a very paws-on supervisor.It’s important – nay, vital – to bathe your dog right away, so she or he doesn’t contaminate your house, garden, garage, or anywhere else. If you’re not accustomed to bathing your dog yourself, refer to my previous post, Getting started with an adult dog (part 2 of ?) – How to bathe a reluctant dog.

When Nova got sprayed in the face I had to repeat the procedure about five times before the smell really went away (partly because I couldn’t physically get to every location she’d been sprayed because they were sensitive areas), but when she got sprayed on the backside she was odour-free after two peroxide baths.

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach and a strong disinfectant. Use all relevant caution considering those two things.

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