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Ask the Vet: Skunk Remedies Safe for Puppy

Dr. Lee Pickett on

Q: My puppy, Cooper, got skunked today. Is skunk gunk toxic to puppies? Also, please recommend a safe way to get rid of the stench on a puppy.

A: The standard commercial skunk remedies, like Skunk-Off and Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, are safe for puppies. Or, you can try one of these homemade recipes:

-- Mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and 1 to 2 teaspoons dishwashing liquid. While the brew bubbles, rub it on Cooper. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse well. Repeat if necessary.

-- Use tomato juice to dip Cooper. Let it dry, wash it out, and then bathe him with dog shampoo.

-- Bathe him with Dawn dishwashing liquid followed by dog shampoo.

-- Use double-strength Massengill vinegar and water douche powder as a dip.


Skunks can spray their "gunk" (called musk, actually a sulfur-containing anal sac excretion) 7 to 15 feet, and their aim is accurate.

If the spray hit Cooper's eyes, it could cause conjunctivitis or a corneal ulcer. So, if he's rubbing his face, flush his eyes with plenty of eye wash or water, and make an appointment with your veterinarian.

If the skunk sprayed Cooper's mouth, he's probably drooling, so rinse his mouth with lots of water. If he swallowed skunk musk, it could damage his red blood cells.

A more serious issue is that skunks can carry rabies. If the skunk connected with Cooper, make an appointment with your veterinarian.


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