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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are You Prepared to be Skunked?

If you meet one of these ... probably it will be last potty call at 10 pm or so, when your dog comes
face to face with one! Likely you're not prepared, but then what are you to do, other than panic, if your dog, and maybe you get sprayed? It's certainly not a pretty sight, or should I say smell.
First off, let's try to prevent this kind of incident from happening all together. Make sure you take your dog out on lead and carry a flashlight ... a) you'd like to keep your dog from putting his nose where you don't want it to go, and b) you just might see the light from their eyes, or the white stripe. Skunks only spray if they feel threatened.

However, if it happens what is one to do? Well, at 10 pm you're probably not prepared, right? or maybe after reading this Blog, and you're in an area where you could come into contact with them, you just might have some items on hand.

If you have none of the so called 'skunk-off' products, you can try going to your vet and finding their outside drop off box as they are usually kind enough to leave a bottle there for emergencies. Otherwise, you need to find a safe haven for your dog, out of the house ... like the garage. If you've crate trained your dog, here's a time when it would come in handy. Leaving your dog on a porch or deck, in their crate would also work. The key is to remember that where ever the dog has the skunk's oils on them it will transfer everywhere.

So what can you have on hand. In asking on FB and searching the web there are a couple of tried and true suggestions. Most people haven't found the store bought products to work well as they'd hoped.

This is one, and we can all keep it on hand at a minimal cost.

Take 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (available from any drugstore), 1/4 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate for you science types) and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, such as Ivory. Mix in a bucket and immediately apply to the stinky pet. Rinse thoroughly with tap water.


This mixture can be explosive, as it will fizz and creates pressure if it is enclosed in a seal tight container. Never store unused portion, always discard. Be sure to only mix in an open container and do not try to store or cover it in any way. Do not get the mixture into the dog's eyes, nose or mouth.

Another one I was told worked well for them was the clear Ivory dish soap. Wet, lather well & rinse.

And the last one, believe it or not are the feminine hygiene douches! Yep, can you see a man buying a box of it at 11pm at a Shopper's Drug Mart? along with some candles? I've had more than one reply of similar nature :) but those that have tried it say it does work.

One key to remember is the skunk's oils transfer everywhere, have I said that already?! So change your clothes to old ones, use paper towels to soak up any oils you can 1st. Remember, that as you wash the dog the oils transfer from the affected area, so 1st work the skunked area well before doing the rest of the dog. Most often the face is involved, so one must be careful around the eyes. Use an old face cloth, sponge, or paper towels to clean this area - remember you are going to be throwing these things out!

Be prepared, and be alert at night, especially if you're in unknown territory, such as a camping.

Good luck, if this happens to happen to your dog.


Kav June 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM  

Oh my gosh...this is my worst nightmare. And we have skunks in our neighbourhood!

Here's my skunk experience and yes, it's really true.

I had two pups -- Elsie and Simba. Both black and white. I walked them early in the morning and we'd often see raccoons and skunks in my city neighbourhood. One morning when it was still dark Simba bounded ahead (I had him on a flexi-leash) and started snuffling around a garbage can. As I walked up beside him I noticed his nose buried in something on the ground and his tail was wagging furiously.

Turns out it was a skunk!!!! And Simba was crooning his happy song as he massaged it from head to tail and back up again! Luckily it was a young skunk and it seemed to like the unexpected massage!

I cautiously backed away, coaxing Simba to follow by offering him treats. Only I did too good a job because the skunk followed too! It trotted along behind us for half a block before some entoxicating whiff from a garbage can enticed it away!!!

Talk about a close call!!!!


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