|Question: Unfortunately, my dogs picked a fight with a skunk in
dark and came out the loser. And we are all suffering from the
experience. I tried bathing them with tomato juice as has been
recommended and it seems to have helped but the stench is still
What do you recommend?
Answer: This is a situation that most dog owners have faced (or
face) at some time. And the recommendations for the odor elimination
run the gamut from expensive commercial products to banning the
the outdoors for a long period of time. While the use of tomato
is still recommended by some, its use has been relegated as ineffective
by others with this explanation: "Tomato juice does not work
neutralize or deodorize skunk spray. Bathing an animal in tomato
seems to work because after lengthy exposure to strong odors,
nose quits smelling the odor (olfactory fatigue). When this happens
while bathing a pet in tomato juice, the odor of tomato juice
be detected. A person suffering olfactory fatigue to skunk spray
swear that the skunk odor is gone and was neutralized by the tomato
juice. Another person arriving at this point will quickly tell
the skunk smell is still present."
Other recommendations include using a mixture of 50% Woolite
water. Spray or pour on sprayed animal, let set for 5 minutes,
rinse thoroughly. Repeat as necessary until the animal is fresh
smelling and fluffy.
Use Listerine or any other antiseptic mouth wash. Apply to the
areas, let it soak for a few minutes and rinse. You can repeat
necessary. Avoid getting this in your dog's eyes. If your dog
in the face, which is very likely, use a washcloth or paper towel
carefully apply any cleaning solutions.
Use a mix of 3 tablespoons household ammonia in 1 gallon of warm
Apply to the area that was sprayed. Let set for 15 minutes. Reapply,
if necessary, after sniff test remembering the olfactory fatigue
factor. Wash dog to remove the ammonia solution.
The remedy most mentioned and with the best testimonials is this
invented by Paul Krebaum, an Illinois chemist:
1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dish soap
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Wash the dog with this mix
is still foaming. It is the oxygen which reacts with the thiol
skunk stink to neutralize the odor. If it sits around, it will
ineffective because the oxygen boils off.
Apply the mixture to the affected areas, let it set for about
minutes and rinse. If you need to repeat the process, you must
new solution, as the chemical reaction quickly expires. Avoid
into your pet's eyes, nose and mouth.
For information on Skunk Control see the Extension article at
Also see the previous Q&A's at