If your pet comes in contact with a scared skunk, the skunk naturally will attempt to defend itself by releasing a noxious oil-based spray in the vicinity of the animal he considers to be a threat. In addition to smelling strongly, skunk spray can irritate the eyes and lungs of your pet, so fast action and clean-up is a necessity. Try to keep your animal outdoors for the process, or contain him to a bathtub or laundry room to reduce clean-up.
Remove your pet from the vicinity of the skunk as soon as possible. A skunk can spray repeatedly, so getting your animal out of target range is vital. If possible, cover him with a towel or blanket to avoid coming in direct contact with the skunk spray yourself.
Rinse your animal’s eyes and mouth with water or saline, such as contact lens solution. The skunk spray can irritate eyes and even cause temporary blindness. Get help holding your pet still if necessary. Small animals, like rodents, are subject to squirming and biting after being sprayed, so take precautions to protect yourself.
Locate the concentrated areas of your pet’s body at which the spray was directed. This can be difficult, but if the spray is on only a specific area, it makes it easier to remove.
Wash your animal gently with water to remove as much of the spray as possible.
Make a solution using one quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, two tablespoons of a grease-fighting dishwashing liquid and one gallon of water. Rub the solution onto your animal and allow it to soak for 10 minutes before rinsing clear. Discard unused solution.
- You can use a commercial skunk scent cleaning solution available through veterinary offices and pet supply stores. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for applying and rinsing the solution.
- If you live in an area where skunks are prevalent, or you regularly take your pets outdoors, have skunk spray remedies on hand in the event of an emergency.
- You’re likely to get wet and smelly while cleaning your pet, so wear old clothes you can wash or discard.
- Don’t pre-mix or store homemade cleaning solutions, as they can be unstable if bottled. Solution may stain or bleach fabric.
- Small animals, like hamsters, rabbits or rats, that are prone to respiratory problems may need medical treatment if they receive a very strong dose of skunk spray. Consult your vet if you have concerns. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
Skunk With A Pressure Washer image by caraman from Fotolia.com
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.