Skunks debunked! The tried and true methods for getting THAT smell gone.

By VanEastVet, on Friday, May 4th, 2018

With spring well and truly sprung and daylight hours getting longer, pet owners are encountering their worst fear in neighbourhood parks all over the city – skunks.

For anyone who’s pet has ever had a run in with the scary end of a skunk, you will know I’m not exaggerating when I say there’s few things that pet owners dread more. Your poor pet’s face is almost always the target that’s hit, their poor eyes are so sore and irritated, and that smell! It seems like it will never fade, no matter how many baths you give.

Well, don’t despair just yet. There is hope! And it comes from a pretty flawless source – Mythbusters. When everyone seems to have an old wives tale abut the perfect recipe for getting that skunk-smell gone, you can always trust Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage to get to the bottom of a tall tale. And they’ve done just that, saving you and your pet from a long road of bogus cures and too many baths.

After a range of exhaustive tests this is what the brave hosts of the legendary show can tell us…. Behold the results of the most common home remedies busted and confirmed below.

1) Beer — busted. Still skunky and not like bad beer.

2) Tomato sauce — plausible. Eau de skunk still snuck through the acidic paste.

3) Commercial skunk-scent remover — plausible. Orangey with a hint of skunks.

4) Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap — confirmed. From skunky stench to squeaky clean.

We have a clear winner! So why did hydrogen peroxide work? The oxygen molecules in the soapy solution neutralized the skunk scent by bonding to the terrible thiols that cause that lingering odour. By altering that chemical makeup, this stink-fighting antidote made the smell quickly disappear.

So here’s your fool-proof recipe!

Step one and most importantly – wipe down your animal! Get as much of that oily spray off them, before you even think about rinsing them down. Water will open your pets pores and that smell will sink further into their skin.

Then go with one of the following….

Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap: mixing together one litre of three percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any pharmacy), a quarter cup of baking soda and one teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap. Wearing rubber gloves, wash your dog immediately after he’s been sprayed. Place the mixture on your dog’s coat (avoiding his eyes) and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes before washing your dog. Follow up by washing your dog with pet shampoo and rinsing well, repeating the process two to three more times as needed. But you’ve been warned! Don’t mix this up before a possible incident and store it. The mixture could explode if left in a bottle.
Sunk-specific shampoo, spray or soaker: look for a product that has been specifically formulated to get rid of skunk odor. You can typically get these products from your veterinarian or pet supply store and if you live in an area where skunks are common, it may be a good idea to keep the product on hand to address the issue as soon as it coms up. With shampoos, sprays and soakers, wipe off excess skunk spray first and then read the bottle’s directions for applying the solution.

If you’re not confident in your own abilities? Your local groomer should be well equipped through the warmer months to handle your poor pet’s predicament.