What To Do If Your Dog Gets Skunked

Has your dog ever been skunked?

Yes? Then you know exactly how painful this was.

No? No words will justify just how painful this was.

But I’m still gonna try.

Gagan and I stopped by my house to check on the dogs after my sister’s wedding before heading to the afterparty. While we were letting them out, Gabbar made a run for it and disappeared into the backyard. We finally managed to catch him and got him back in the house before jumping in my mom’s car. While we were waiting for my mom, we started noticing a really weird smell. We all assumed something was wrong with my mom’s car (turned out there was something wrong with the belt) and headed over to my sister’s house.

When we got to her house, we quickly realized the smell was coming from us! It became a little obvious when everyone started recoiling away from us as we walked in. My sister’s mother in law came downstairs and told us the upper floor also smelled of skunk and we all somehow came to the conclusion that we must have gotten skunked in the driveway. (We later realized Gagan had gone upstairs and the smell had come from him.)

My brother in law gave Gagan some clothes to wear, but I remembered I wasn’t wearing a bra under my dress when my sister gave me clothes. Luckily, one of our wonderful (and sober) friends was kind enough to drive me home so that I could change. I quickly ran into the laundry room downstairs and threw on whatever I could find and headed back to their house. We hung out there for a couple hours and forgot about the skunk smell thinking it was just our clothes.

We realized how wrong we were when we got home. The smell was everywhere! We were all too tired (and intoxicated) to deal with it, so we did what anybody would do in this situation — we ordered pizza and watched The Office until we fell asleep.

The next morning, we realized the smell was coming from the top of Gabbar’s head and we can only assume he came face to face with a skunk. I turned to Google for a solution and I’m glad I did because all of us thought tomato juice was the answer but everything I read online said it just masks the smell. The most popular and effective method seemed to be a mixture of 1-quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of dish-washing liquid. Gagan went out to buy hydrogen peroxide — and Gatorade because everyone had a hangover — and we set to work.

I mixed everything together in a bucket and put Gabbar in the tub — not an easy feat with a 115-pound dog that won’t even step in the bathroom. As we were rubbing the mixture all over him, we noticed the smell became absolutely unbearable when we started rubbing it on his head. We tried to concentrate it on the area while trying to keep it away from his eyes. Once we were done, we had to try and keep him calm for the 10 minutes it took for the mixture to start working. Once the time was up, we rinsed it out only to realize the smell wasn’t much better. We also couldn’t get the smell out of his collar and decided to throw it out. We did another rinse of it while my mom washed all the dog blankets for us and as he dried, the smell seemed to be fading.

We had to head back to Portland since Gagan worked the next day, so we loaded up the car and made the very smelly drive back home. We thought the smell was coming from Gagan’s clothes but as we were unloading the car, I smelled the other side of Gabbar’s bed and figured out that that was where the smell was the strongest. We decided the bed wasn’t worth saving. I hated doing this because my mom’s best friend made this for Gabbar and it’s actually big enough for him but we had to choose between the bed or having an apartment that smelled like skunk.

The next day, we decided to try something else for the smell so Gagan picked up Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover. We’re big fans of Nature’s Miracle because their Urine Destroyer saved our lives while housebreaking Zeke but this wasn’t as effective as the hydrogen peroxide mix had been.

In the end, the only thing that really seemed to help with the smell was simply waiting it out. After a while, it didn’t seem to make a difference no matter how much we bathed him. It got especially worse whenever Gabbar’s head got wet. Ironically, a few of my friend’s dogs from home also got skunked around the same time Gabbar did. Just like me, most of them thought tomato juice was the answer. I’m assuming this has something to do with TV shows and movies we’ve seen of people bathing in tomato juice after being skunked. The general consensus seems to be that the hydrogen peroxide mix worked best but it was a matter of waiting it out.

Update: It’s a month later and Gabbar still has a slight skunk smell on the top of his head that still seems to get worse when it gets wet. You can’t tell until you get close to his head but it’s definitely there. My parents also said it took weeks for the smell to get out of the house. If your dog gets skunked and you realize it before they get inside, do yourself a huge favour and keep them outside until after you bathe them. Your house and family will thank you! Hopefully, you won’t dressed up and drunk like we were.

In the words of my cousin, at least it made for a good story!

Also, here’s a few pictures of my beautiful sister’s beautiful wedding:

 

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