So I mentioned the other day about my dogs getting sprayed by our friendly neighborhood skunk. I wanted to expand on that story a bit. I also wanted to offer a little advice about what to do when you or your pets get sprayed by a skunk.
I let the dogs out (they usually sleep inside) just before 1:00 in the morning. They will start barking to let me know they are thirsty or need to use the restroom. I will sleepily get up and let them out.
Last Thursday (October 17) when I let them out they went to the fence the bisects the yard and barked noisily. In an attempt to calm them down I went outside to see what the commotion was about. I walked to the gate and saw nothing in the other half of the yard. They both continued to bark ferociously. I opened the gate and they ran into the back half of the yard.
So, as you can guess, that was a mistake. They quickly ran to a corner of the yard hidden away by grape vines. Then, in a move that surprised me in my sleepy state, they immediately ran back. I caught a whiff of a terrible chemical smell. I immediately thought I smelled hydrogen sulfide. My excuse for this is that I was half asleep and the smell did remind me of the hydrogen sulfide scents I was warned to strenuously avoid in my brief time working in petroleum refineries as a young man.
I rushed the dogs back into the house not wanting them to suffer any injury from the noxious gas. Second big mistake. The smell was terrible and woke up my wife. She figured out the source of the smell and ushered the dogs outside. It was, however, too late. The dogs had already managed to spread the rank smell throughout the house.
Left to their own devices, the dogs attempted to get rid of the smell by shoving their head through dirt, the result being they were now stinky and very dirty. We attempted to wash them with tomatoes, but this did little to help the situation.
After a few hours we attempted to sleep. We woke up, not quite refreshed, and did some research on how to properly clean the dogs and remove the smell from the house. Then we spent the next couple of days cleaning the dogs and the house.
First thing to know, tomatoes and tomato juice don’t seem to work; at least they didn’t for us. Cleaning the dogs alternately with hydrogen peroxide and water or vinegar and water helped to mitigate the smell but could not get rid of it. These same mixtures also came in handy removing the smell from around the house. We spent days mopping and scrubbing to get rid of the smell with varying degrees of success. We discovered Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover which helped but, like everything else we tried, didn’t completely get rid of the smell.
Jasper’s head still smells nearly a week later, though not nearly as bad as it was the first night. Ginger seems to be odor free so she probably didn’t get blasted as much as Jasper. The house smells fine. We sometimes catch a whiff of something that could be the lingering scent of the skunks or it could be our weary and now overactive imaginations.
Remember, don’t let your dogs chase things at night. Don’t let them in the house if they smell like a skunk. Don’t start trying to clean them before you have all the proper mixtures and equipment (rubber gloves, clothes you can throw away). Most important, leave the skunks alone.