Skunk vs. Dog

Have you ever watched cartoons and saw just how people and animals stay away from skunks?  Skunks aren’t dangerous to look at it. However, the very reason why animals and humans stay clear of skunks is because they spray you with some awful smelling stuff if you get too close and they feel threatened.

And, let’s face it, if your dog got into a fight with a skunk, chances are the skunk won.

Why Stay Away From Skunk Spray?

Well, unless you’re okay with smelling something awful then this is definitely an animal you and your dog want to steer clear of. Richard Avis, CEO of Aussie Pet Mobile Canada, says that skunk spray is really, really bad. Those trying to get rid of the skunk smell typically transfer the scent all around their house – from the dog, to the house, to the tub, and to everything else that the dog touched.

Avis shared that if they are given a dog that was sprayed by a skunk they would clean it at the end of the day.  If they do it in the morning they would have to deal with a really bad stench the whole day, and that would not be good for business.

What Do You Do When Your Dog Gets Sprayed By A Skunk?

Do you need to go to the vet when your gets sprayed on by a skunk? Well, it actually depends on where the dog was sprayed. If it is just on their body then there’s is nothing to worry about from a health perspective. However, if the spray was directed onto your pet’s mouth or eyes, you should bring them to a vet. The spray of a skunk acts as an irritant to your dog.

If your dog is sprayed on their body you must act quickly. The spray contains chemical compounds that are quite oily. These are known as thiols. Thiols should be removed immediately or these will go straight to the skin of your dog and the smell could worsen. But because it’s oily, water will not work.

As per the American Humane Society, what you should do is go ahead and give your dog a bath. Use a cleaning mixture of:

  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 tsbp. of liquid soap for dishwashing
  • 1 qt. of 3% hydrogen peroxide

This works in most cases. However, if your dog has really long hair or is quite big, then you should double the recipe to give your dog a thorough cleaning. In case you do have all the ingredients handy you can use simple vinegar diluted with water. Make sure  you protect the eyes of your pet when you bath them.

Here’s a quick overview video showing how you clean your dog after a skunk spray.

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Family man and dog lover. I know two things: anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like has never washed a dog, and there are no bad days when you come home to a dog's love.


  1. Informative article!

    Skunks in my neighbourhood avoid spraying even if startled. I think it may be a learned behaviour. They may have found that sharing the environment with humans and their dogs means avoiding confrontation. I have observed that skunks would rather run away with the tail raised up in warning to the nearest available hedge or bush. However, having said all this, one has to be prepared for facing any ugly incident. This article will come in handy for those unwanted circumstances.

    And, btw, nice video to go by.


    Suhai and my dog K2

    • Thanks for the comment and info, Suhai (and K2!). Interesting behavior for the skunks in your neighborhood (wish they were all like that).

  2. Wow, I never would have guessed skunk sprays could do that to a dog. This makes me even more worried for little puppy Scruff since he loves playing around the patio we have here, and we’ve heard about some skunk sightings in the area. I’ll get a skunk removal expert on the job so nothing hurts my pet.


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