As Summer approaches, so does the all too familiar stank of the North County’s striped friend, Mephitis Mephitis. It’s so bad ya’ gotta say it twice! A female’s skunk gestation period averages 66 days, and with the skunk’s breeding season usually ending in April, we will soon be smelling more of our pungent pals.
With plenty of old sheds and ripe compost piles about my surroundings, which refuges are favorites of these smelly suckers, I had the distinct pleasure of living with the sulfury scent of death and decay for a couple months when my blind 11-yr old lab walked face-first into the stinkhole of a baby skunk.
This was my first canine skunk-spray incident and I pray to all the gods in the universe that it will be my last. My first instinct was to grab a towel and try to wipe the stench off my dog, but I learned later that was the wrong thing to do, because I essentially massaged the skunk’s spray (or “thiol”) deeply into the coat of my dog. Who didn’t appear to be the least bit fazed? God bless old dogs.
Needless to say, I spent the next 30 days tirelessly researching the “how to’s” and “how not-to’s” of skunk spray incidents. I immersed myself in all-things-skunk. I went on scientific-skunk-themed documentary binges like I was on house-arrest. I learned quite a bit. They’re quite fascinating, really. Alas, I can tell you all I need to know about skunks. But at the end of the day, if you have an unleashed dog looking to relieve himself somewhere within a skunk’s spray-shot, then all the knowledge in the world ain’t gonna save you from the toil of thiol.
I’ll save skunk behavior for another time and safely assume it’s too late – your dog has already been blasted in the face by a peppery stream of gag-worthy wollop.
Based on my intensive thesis-worthy skunk research, not to mention my personal experience, I have provided the not-so-secret recipe to de-stenching your doggy.
Whomever started the whole “tomato juice” thing definitely got the last laugh. Puh-lease. Bathing your skunk-sprayed dog in tomato juice will only make him smell like a rotten pizza pie.
Forgo the tomato juice bath. Instead, grab the ingredients below and always have them on hand. Get yourself some rubber gloves, rub in this mixture and rinse thoroughly with water. Obviously, the outdoors would be the optimal setting for this treatment. Please be careful to keep this mixture out of your friend’s eyes. Peroxide doesn’t make for the best optical lubricant.
1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup (50 ml.) of Baking Soda.
1 teaspoon (5 ml.) of Liquid Soap.
You can follow up this treatment with a normal bath using your go-to dog shampoo of choice.
As a preventive measure, I’ve found these motion-activated rodent repellers, or “skunk lasers” as my 3-year old friend likes to call them, to be extremely helpful. If you’re ok with your front yard looking like a discotheque, these bad boys “do work” when it comes to letting you know that now might be the time for the 1’s and 2’s.
If even the slightest molecule of thiol found its way to your clothing or a dog bed, light them on fire and launch them off the nearest cliff into the harrowing depths of middle earth as soon as possible. Your washing machine will thank you for it.