Saturday, February 16, 2013

Stinky skunk mating season is almost over

San Francisco Chronicle/Peter Fimrite, 2/14/13. "What's that smell?  Pepe Le Pew in season."

....  "January and February are the times of year when the most dogs, cats, people and sometimes even passing cars get sprayed by skunks, which can shoot an oily mixture out of two glands in their anuses with near-pinpoint accuracy from 10 feet away, Kacmarcik said. (Kelle Kacmarcik is the wild-animal solutions manager at Wild Care rehabilitation hospital in San Rafael).

....  The stink, as any dog owner whose pooch has encountered the black-and-white-striped beasts would know, is nearly impossible to get off and can linger for months. Which is why Kacmarcik recomm
ends people keep their cats and dogs inside or on a leash this time of year.  

Just being friendly....
....  Skunks, which live only about three years and are also sometimes called stink badgers or polecats, are members of the Mephitidae family, a unique group of mammals similar to, but genetically different from, ferrets, weasels, otters, badgers and wolverines. They primarily come out only at dawn and dusk and feed on plants, fungi, grasses, berries, roots and almost anything else smaller than themselves, including insects, larvae, earthworms, lizards, frogs, snakes, moles and birds. Around homes, they will seek human garbage.

....  "If you know you have some on your property, make some noise when you go outside and let them know you are coming and they generally run away," she said. "They are very docile animals. You can't blame them for spraying every now and then. It is their only defense mechanism." Skunks have good hearing and a good sense of smell but terrible eyesight, which may explain why a lot of them get hit by cars."  Read article.

Related -, Mythbusters program.  Skunk spray odor removal.  "Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap — confirmed. From skunky stench to squeaky clean.  Why did hydrogen peroxide work? The oxygen molecules in the soapy solution neutralized the skunk scent by bonding to those terrible thiols. By altering that chemical makeup, this stink-fighting antidote made the smell quickly disappear."  Note:  Photograph from this article.

Skunk odor removal formula - "In a plastic bucket (not metal), mix the following ingredients thoroughly:  1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap (Ivory is recommended). For very large pets you can double the recipe (recommended) or you can add one quart of lukewarm tap water to provide complete coverage. Wash your dog thoroughly, working the solution deep into the fur. Make sure you really saturate the areas where she took the direct hits. Your nose knows.Skunks usually aim for the face, but try to keep the solution out of her eyes, as it can sting. Keeping a bottle of pure water nearby to rinse the eyes is a good idea.Leave the solution on for at least 5 minutes or until the odor is gone. You may need to rinse and repeat with some of the more stinky areas. After you’re done, thoroughly rinse your pet with lukewarm water.Pour the remaining solution down the drain while running water."

Note:  Paraphrased from the Chris Fogel, 2/17/13, 3:43 p.m. comment below:  "The commercial product 'Nature's Miracle Skunk Oder Remover' is the best, and all the local pet stores have this in stock."  Stock up!

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Tomato juice works really well. Wet the dog down and then give it a good covering of tomato juice then wash the dog off. Might take two or 3 times.

Anonymous said...

Tomato juice does not work. Here's the formula: combine 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid soap. If you can't remember it, google it when you need it.

Kathy Meeh said...

Dog cleanup, anti-skunk odor "formula" that works. Anonymous 12:34 PM

The blog article is now updated with a reference to that formula, found on

The Mythbusters program experiment did say tomato juice would lessen the odor and eventually work, they applied 3x. Guess action depends upon what you have in your in your pantry.

Thanks Anonymous 12:34 PM, but also 7:45 AM. I would not have looked further without you.

Chris Fogel said...

Tomato juice works better than nothing. The hydrogen peroxide - baking soda formula works better than tomato juice. But best of all is a product called "Nature's Miracle Skunk Oder Remover." All the local pet stores have this in stock.

Trust me on this; I've learned the hard way. It's the fastest, most effective way to remove the odor.

Other tips (again, learned the hard way):

* if the spraying is in your yard, immediately close all doors and windows with the dog outside
* DO NOT let your dog inthe house until you've washed it
* after washing your dog, immediately put your own clothes into the washing machine -- anything you brush against will get skunk on it
* make sure your dog's eyes are okay -- they usually get blasted in the face and the spray can be very irritating to the eyes
* but above all, do not let the dog into the house until you clean your dog if you hope to live in your home for the next month!

Anonymous said...

Same advice applies to humans. If your kid or other family member gets sprayed, do not let them back in the house until they can be de-odorized. Been there, done that. Phewie!

Anonymous said...

Or the car. Especially the car.