Time is of the 'Essence'

It's not uncommon that customers and friends contact us asking for help after a skunk/dog encounter. The encounters usually occur late at night, when the dog goes out for his last potty of the evening before bedtime and more frequently happen in the spring. Suddenly the whole family is wide, wide awake and facing an odoriferous emergency. What to do?

First, and most important: DO NOT BATHE THE DOG! Or, pour tomato juice on him, or any other home remedies you’ve heard about. Instead, DO the following:


  1. Mix 1 quart of regular 3% hydrogen peroxide in a bowl or bucket with 1/4 cup of baking soda. This will start fizzing and bubbling (which is why one can’t pre-make the formula and store it in a bottle).
  2. Add about a teaspoon of liquid soap or dishwashing liquid; it helps distribute the stuff around the dog’s hair.
  3. Starting with a dry dog, wet the dog thoroughly with the mixture, sponging carefully around the face. Most dogs’ faces will be badly skunked, so you really want to wet the face, but don’t get it in their eyes or nose, because it stings.*

You’ll notice an immediate cessation of the skunk smell! After the dog is thoroughly saturated with the mixture, and every trace of the scent is gone (approximately 15 mins.), rinse the dog with water, or bathe him with water and shampoo to rinse off the mixture. If left on, it can irritate and dry the skin. 

Rover does offer de-skunking services, but we've provided these instructions because skunk attacks often happen overnight. Naturally, you can always follow up with Rover Come Over bath.

*John Wade of offers detailed instructions in a pdf download.