Guest Post by Emma Green

You never know when your dog might be sprayed by a skunk! Save some money and de-skunk your dog with this quick and inexpensive home remedy.

When you first realize your dog has been sprayed, you will probably panic a little. Try to stay calm, and do not let him into your house or car if you can help it. When the skunk oils get onto your carpet, they will be hard to remove, and you will probably want to have them professionally cleaned. So the first step to saving money is to keep your dog safely contained outside. Most sprays occur during the summer, so if it is warm enough you can bathe him outside with a hose.

The skunk remedy that I use is very cost friendly, and can be made with items that most people have on hand. It is very effective, and safe for dogs. However, it is very important to realize that there is nothing that will rid your dog of the odor 100%. This solution will greatly improve the smell of your dog, but there will still be a small lingering odor that will only fade with time. The good thing about the remaining odor, is that you likely won’t be able to pick up on it unless your dog gets wet again. When your dog gets wet, the skunk scent is magnified.

You will need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Small amount of dog shampoo or Dawn dish soap (the original blue kind)
  • Bottle for mixing

    To start, find a bottle. When my Dawn dish soap bottles are getting low, and there is about ½ inch of soap left in the bottom of the bottle, I will set it aside to use specifically for this purpose. When you need to de-skunk your dog, simply fill the rest of the dish soap bottle half way with hydrogen peroxide, and then use a funnel to add baking soda until the bottle is full. Screw the cap on the bottle and make sure that the cap is locked shut and then shake it up really well.

    Do not make huge batches of this mixture “just in case” your dog is sprayed by a skunk someday. It is only effective right after it is made, so you will want to keep the ingredients on hand, but don‘t pre-mix them. It is very quick to whip up, so just make it as you go. I have found that one bottle of the mixture seems to be enough for one bath, but if I am bathing a big dog and run out, I will just make another batch in the same bottle very quickly and then continue the bath. Anything that is not used within an hour or so of making it should just be thrown away, as it will not be nearly as effective. The cost for making this mixture is only around $2 per batch, so you will save a lot of money by de-skunking at home.

    I would suggest putting on a pair of old clothes before starting the bath. You don’t want to risk getting the skunk smell all over your favorite pair of jeans. The bath may be a two person job depending on how hyper your dog is. It will be easier to do if you tie your dog to something leaving a very short leash so that he can’t move around much.

    Start the bath by wetting down your entire dog. The skunk smell will be greatly intensified when he gets wet, so don’t let it alarm you. Use the mixture very liberally and scrub your dog from head to toe. Avoid getting the soap mixture into his eyes or ears, but make sure to scrub his face, as that is often where he was sprayed. Do not be afraid to use a lot of the mixture and be very thorough in your scrubbing.

    After scrubbing your dog’s entire body with the mixture, let it sit on your dog for at least 5 minutes before you rinse it off. Do not leave your dog unattended during this time. I recommend that after the 5 minutes, you rinse him off thoroughly, and whip up another batch and repeat the process (as many times as needed) while he is still wet. After the last scrub down with the mixture, rinse him off and towel dry (with an old towel that you don’t care about) and then let him continue to dry. You will still continue to smell the skunk odor while your dog is wet, but there should be a noticeable difference after he is dry.

    If your dog is matted before you start bathing him, often he will need to be shaved. In some cases shaving could reduce odor. If any of the skunk oil is trapped in matted hair, it will be virtually impossible to wash it out. Also, if you wash your matted dog, the mats will become even tighter, and will need to be shaved. It is possible for tight mats to rip your dog’s skin after bathing when they tighten up. Use your best judgment, and realize that if your dog has long hair and is developing mats, you will need to call a groomer.

    One way to prevent having to go to a groomer is to brush your dog often enough to keep his hair unmatted, so that if he is ever sprayed by a skunk, you will not have to shell out the money for a groomer and you can save money by bathing him at home.

    After your dog is dry, he should smell much better, though you need to remember that there WILL still be a slight lingering odor. You can give him a bath every few days using this remedy if the odor is still strong, and within a week or so your dog will be back to smelling like a dog .


    Emma Green has been a dog groomer for several years, and though she no longer grooms professionally, she loves grooming dogs for her friends and family, and of course, her own dogs. She has de-skunked many dogs in the past for clients, and most recently her in-law’s Parson Russell Terrier. She is also passionate about Nutrition, Emergency Preparedness, and Food Storage. Feel free to visit her blog at, or you may contact her with any questions about Dog Grooming or Food Storage via email to

    We hope you enjoyed this DIY on How To DeSkunk a Dog at home! If you found it helpful, please make sure to leave a comment below and let Emma know!

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  • Comments

    1. Terri, I didn’t mention cats, as I have never deskunked a cat. However, this mixture will also work on cats.

      You will just need to keep in mind that cats are usually a lot less willing to sit still for a bath. If your cat is clawed, you run the risk of getting scratched in the process, or you could be bitten. The same is also true for dogs, but it is less likely to happen with a dog, and often doesn’t need medical attention like a cat bite does.

      The above information would also apply for long haired cats. If they are matted, you should call your local groomer to shave them down before the bath.

    2. what about cats?

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