How to Get Skunk Smell Off a Dog

Dogs love to explore, and an encounter with a skunk is a lot more fun for them than it is for us. If your dog is sprayed by a skunk, don't bring him in the house or the odor will spread. Do all the treatments outside.

Bathing your dog with dog shampoo will make your other treatments more effective [source: American Animal Hospital Association]. Use dog shampoo instead of your own shampoo because yours can remove important oils from a dog's skin [source:].


Soaking your dog in tomato juice is a traditional remedy for skunk smell. This seems to work because of olfactory fatigue -- your nose gets used to a smell after a long period of exposure [source: North Carolina Agricultural Research Service]. However, the skunk odor will still be there -- someone new on the scene will tell you that immediately -- and now he'll smell like tomato juice as well.

One home remedy for skunk odor is mixing one-fourth cup (59 milliliters) to one cup (237 milliliters) baking soda and one teaspoon (5 milliliters) dishwashing liquid in one quart (0.95 liter) of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide [source: American Animal Hospital Association]. (This is enough to wash a small dog like a terrier. Multiply the recipe for larger dogs.) Note: This recipe must not be stored in a closed container, and must be used immediately and then discarded. Scrub your dog with this solution for five minutes and then rinse him off. Repeat if necessary.

However, your best option is probably a commercial skunk odor neutralizer. You can buy these at most pet stores or from your veterinarian.

Your dog may need a haircut if his fur is matted or tangled. This can also help get rid of any lingering odor [source: American Animal Hospital Association].

Because skunks generally aim for the face, it's important that you check your dog's eyes, nose and mouth for redness or inflammation. If rinsing doesn't resolve the issue, you should have him seen by a veterinarian [source: American Animal Hospital Association].