How to Give First Aid to Your Dog

How to Treat a Dog That Has Been Sprayed by a Skunk

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2

Skunks are one of the major carriers of rabies in North America. Therefore, a dog's encounter with a skunk should be treated as more than just a stinky situation. Use the following suggestions to provide proper care for your pet.

Step 1: Restrain the dog if necessary.


Step 1a: Approach the dog slowly, speaking in a reassuring tone of voice.

Step 1b: Slip a leash around the dog's neck, then place the leash around a fixed object. Pull the dog against this object and tie the leash so the dog cannot move its head.

Step 1c: Muzzle the dog to protect yourself.

Step 2: Flush the dog's eyes with fresh water.

Step 3: Remove and destroy leather collars or harnesses.

Step 4: Bathe the dog thoroughly with soap or shampoo and water. Repeat several times.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 4

Step 5: Apply plain tomato juice liberally. After several minutes, bathe the dog again with soap or shampoo and water. Time will eventually remove the odor. Skunk odor neutralizers are available.

Step 6: If the skunk is destroyed, take it to the veterinarian for a rabies examination. DO NOT touch the skunk with your bare hands.

Step 7: If the dog is not currently vaccinated for rabies, contact the veterinarian.

An encounter with a snake can also create a pet emergency situation. See the next section for how to treat snakebites.