The De-Skunkification of Neville

We came home from dinner on Saturday, and as usual, we went to the back door to let our beloved mutt, Neville, inside for the evening. WHOA. “Oh my gosh, get him out of here!” He reeked. We gagged. He had been sprayed by a skunk, clearly at point blank, and definitely only minutes before our arrival. “Oh, no, the whole house smells like skunk.” “Wow Neville, what did you do, dance with it?” He just looked at us completely confused by our reactions, as if to say, “What? I thought I smelled good.”

“No, you do not smell good.” “Hurry, get him out of here. Someone Google it … how to de-skunkify a dog.”

Quickly we learned from the de-skunking site, smell o’ skunk could last up to two years, especially on dogs with thick double coats.  Did I mention Neville is part Husky? If we were to have any hope of the renewal of the sweet smell of dog, it was suggested that we should take immediate remediation measures. I am sharing them here with you, just in case you come home to this sensory shock.

1. Before touching your dog, put on old clothes. Really, really.
2. Before bathing him, determine where the spray hit the dog. In our case, Neville’s entire back was soaked with skunk juice. It was as though our teenage boy pup was pouring on his first after-shave. Use paper towels to soak up as much of the skunk oil as possible.
3. For the first washing (yes, there will be more) only wash the area where he was sprayed, so as not to spread the oils around.
4. Sometimes tomato juice is recommended, but we didn’t have any on hand, so we were able to create the “other somewhat effective method” which was like a cleaning bomb. Here it is: 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap. “Warning: this mixture can be explosive! You must make it in an open bowl, and do not get it on your dog’s face.” It will fizz, and your dog will freak out a little bit. He will be confused and wonder what in the heck you are doing to him as his skin begins to bubble and tingle.
5. Wash him many more times until you are tired of washing him. Leave the fizzy mixture on his skin after the last washing.
6. Leave him outside overnight, praying that his new skunk friend does not return.

7. And finally, this might be a perfect time to have a little parent-pup talk with your loyal and unsuspecting canine, reminding him to NEVER EVER again fraternize with skunks in the night. A cute little skunk might look like Flower from Bambi, but no matter how much she flutters her eyelashes, she will pack a mean and pungent punch.


  1. Ronnie September 18, 2012

    Eddie sends his regards to poor Neville! He got bit by a ‘possum once, but has not had the pleasure of the Skunk Dance. I hope we never need to know this procedure!

  2. Anonymous September 18, 2012

    Good thing you don’t have much carpet for Nev to roll around on! Poor baby!

  3. Author
    Cathy Heck September 19, 2012

    Ronnie, We hope you’ll bring Eddie with you next time you are in Austin, so he can meet Nev’s Saturday night party animals!

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