February is skunk mating season. If you’ve left your house in the past few weeks, this is not news to you.
The pristine, quiet, odor free days of winter have come to an abrupt end as skunks have made their reappearance. February marks the beginning of mating season, and the babies are typically born in late April or early May. If you have a dog, the start of skunk season is unwelcome…actually, terrifying. Most dogs look at skunks as fluffy, moving toys, much too enticing to resist. Some dogs are better than others at looking the other way. Most of the encounters happen when you are not watching: the only heads up you get is the paralyzing odor emanating from your dog. Sometimes, you see the whole thing happen. (This is like slow motion hell.)
A few online websites have tips about how to prevent your dog from approaching a skunk.
● Restrict movement. This means either take your dog out on a leash or have a big fence to prevent skunks from coming in. In Geauga County where most people use Invisible Fence or no fence at all, this option is not very helpful.
● Use food to draw your dog back to you. This would have to be some pretty amazing food to distract your dog from a skunk.
● Recall training. Practice calling your dog to make coming to you more attractive than playing with a skunk. Maybe my own dog has made me biased, but this seems like a tall order for any dog.
So, your dog has been sprayed. Now what? This online advice makes more sense.
● If your dog is outside and has been sprayed, keep him there. DO NOT LET HIM INTO THE HOUSE UNTIL HE HAS BEEN WASHED. My dog came in freshly sprayed, and wiped herself all over the throw rugs, quilts, etc. That smell does not come out…whatever they wipe themselves on will have to be thrown out.
● On a similar note, change your own clothes into something you can throw away. Washing an irritated, panicking dog will always result in some of the skunk oil landing on you. Plan on your skin smelling bad for at least a few days. Warn your family and coworkers.
● Use this mixture:
1 part hydrogen peroxide
1 part baking soda
1 part blue Dawn liquid dish soap
1 cap full of Original Listerine
Do NOT get your dog wet! Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat dry. Apply only to the area that was sprayed. If you spread it around, it will get into more areas of your dog’s fur and smell worse.
● If your dog sleeps on your bed or couch, it is a good idea to cover it with some old linens.
Hopefully, these tips will minimize the effect of your dog getting sprayed. Our self-serve
dog wash is a popular destination for dogs who have been sprayed, as it is a quick, easy way to get your dog clean without spreading the smell through your own house.