I don’t know how many times over the years I have had the pleasure to have one of my dogs get sprayed by a skunk. I do not think back fondly on those times.. but things have certainly changed in terms of my reaction. I used to love to blame the little black and white critters instead of blaming the dog who went on a wild chase.. once it caught sight of that recognizable furry black and white tail …
But I have to ask myself..do I dislike the skunk or its behavior?
Skunks undoubtedly have a reputation that stinks, but the reality is that these cute little critters are docile and useful..every single living creature has a purpose! Skunks simply protect themselves if startled or threatened…spraying is its defense! But did you know…Skunks only uses their chemical spray when all else fails. They will scratch the ground, hiss, spit, stamp, and even leap forward to try and scare off potential dangers, but if worse comes to worse, they will use what works best – their scent glands.
Ok…most of us do not like that infamous smell and who can blame us..it gets on our pets, in our homes, in our clothes and on the items we take to work…in other words, we SMELL SKUNK and it’s not easy to get rid off…no wonder-the actual smell comes from a chemical named N- bulymercaptan; released from glands in the rear of the animal directly under the tail:) Phew!!!!
I used to use tomato juice but that was simply a band-aid….when it comes to cleaning now and ridding of the smell…there are a variety of products I must always have on hand-the ingredients for my do-it-yourself skunk cleaner which includes a mix of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid hand or dish soap that I borrowed from the Ministry of Natural Resources:
There are also some other natural remedies that you can try. It is important not to use things that will simply smear or spread the smell (water and soap/tomato juice/paste) and also important to use natural products; free of chemicals and toxins.
- White vinegar and water. .
- Apple cider vinegar and water
- A soda bath made of sprite or 7up.
- Lemon juice and water
All require a good soak, a good rinse and repetition if necessary! And please..do it outside! Protect anything else from picking up the odor of skunk!
Knowing how to get rid of or deter skunks is key. There are some things skunks like: trash, pet food, food scraps, grubs, compost piles, fruits/ vegetable gardens, bird seed/sunflower seeds, lumber, grills, and ponds. But there are also some things that they do not like: cayenne pepper, bright lights, citrus. Skunks are not climbers so fence up your gardens and keep your garbage enclosed.
Dealing with skunk smell is never fun….but always keep in mind that without skunks, there will be more rats, mice and insects-70% of their diet is made up of insects! And if it does happen, give the dog a hearty bath and get the cookie sheet out…simply place some fresh coffee grounds along with some cinnamon on a cookie sheet in the oven at 250 and in 10 minutes the smell will be gone and the house will smell marvelous!