Skunks, Dogs, Stink and Rabies
How is it skunks, such cute little creatures, can put such fear into dog parents everywhere?
If your dog has ever had the misfortunate of being sprayed by a skunk, you know all too well that the nauseating stench is not easy to eliminate from your dog, yourself or the interior of your home!
Skunks not only have the potential of making our lives and our dogs life miserably smelly, but it’s important to note that here in Ontario, skunks are a major vector of the rabies virus. Dog parents must be proactive by protecting their dogs and speaking with their veterinarians about vaccinating against rabies.
- Speaking from experience; skunks like to burrow under garden sheds, porches and woodpiles.
- Skunks are omnivores.
- They will dig up lawns in search of grubs and small insects.
- Keep garbage and compost bins up high as skunks are not the best climbers.
- Skunks love to eat dog and cat food. If you feed your dog or cat outdoors, remove pet food dishes right away and clean up any left over bits of food.
- In Ontario, skunks breed from February to March.
- The gestation of a skunk lasts eight weeks and a litter can produce up to 10 babies. That’s a lot of potential stink!!!
- The spray of a skunk can project as far as 10 feet!
- Skunks will (usually) send a warning signal of an impending spray by stomping it’s front feet, raising it’s tail and turning it’s rear towards the intended victim.
What to do if your dog ends up getting skunked:
1) Try not to panic!
2) If at all possible, don’t let your dog run through the house! A skunked dog is bad enough, but a skunked scented house is enough to make any homeowner want to sell their home – speaking from experience 😉
3) For your own protection – obtain some rubber gloves.
4) If your dog has been sprayed in the face, use water soaked towels to ease their face and eyes.
De-skunking solution for your dog:
Note: Do NOT prepare this mixture ahead of time as it could explode if stored and left in a bottle
1 litre of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap (Dawn if available)
Step 1: Bath your dog outside in their usual dog shampoo.
Step 2: With rubber gloves on, rinse your dog in the mixed solution taking care NOT to get any in the dog’s eyes.
Step 3: Rinse dog thoroughly. If necessary, repeat with solution.
Step 4: You may want to follow up with another bath in dog shampoo.
Here’s hoping this is one bath solution you and your dog will never need!
This information is not a substitute for veterinarian medical attention. If you are concerned or have any questions about your dog or cat being sprayed by, or coming in contact with a skunk, contact your veterinarian immediately.