Skunk Spray Cleansing Bath Recipe/ Other, Less Urgent, Information about Skunks
Body and Face:
- 1 quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide USP (6% will make your pet a peroxide blonde)
- ¼ cup Baking SODA, Sodium Bicarbonate USP(NOT baking powder!)
- 1-2 teaspoons Soft Soap or Ivory brand liquid soap (if possible)
- (Hydrogen Peroxide to Baking Soda ratio: 1cup HP to 1Tablespoon BP)
Sterile saline eye solution (the solution for your eyes, not your contacts)
IF: your pet has been sprayed directly in the eyes and they are red and irritated and your pet is in distress, take them to the vet because the skunk spray can damage your pet’s cornea.
Other things needed
- Plastic pail NOT a bottle as it will explode from chemical reaction under pressure!
- Sponges/paper towels/old wash cloths (small cloth/sponge to protect eyes)
- Plastic/rubber gloves
- Old towels
- Old clothes (You’ll get wet and stinky too)
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PET COMES HOME STINKY
- Check your pet for injuries. Skunks can carry rabies so you need to see if your pet has been injured. They are often sprayed on their faces.
- Isolate your pet. Put them some place where they won’t get the skunk spray on furniture or roll on the carpet/rugs. Hopefully you have someone to calm them down while preparing the Skunk Recipe.
- Find the ingredients. The hydrogen peroxide needs to be fresh or at least not far past the Use By Date.
- Use Baking SODA (NOT baking powder!!)
- Find some SoftSoap or Ivory liquid. (The chemist who created this says that it is “fairly inert” compared to Dawn dish-soap (which is okay) but never use dog shampoo.)
- Put the hydrogen peroxide in a plastic pail and add the baking soda and soap. There will be mild foaming when you add the soap.
- (We did an experiment with 3 brands of HP, we did not get any foaming/bubbling chemical reaction from the HP and BS until I dumped it on our limestone pathway.)
- Use immediately. The solution will get weaker with time.
- Use the sponge to gently wash your pet’s face. (Don’t drag a cloth across your pet’s eyes.) Be very careful not to get this in your pet’s eyes or mouth. Work your way towards the tail. Gently work the ingredients to the skin.
- Leave the solution on for about 5 minutes or until the odor is gone.
- Put the hydrogen peroxide mixture some place where it won’t get tipped over and nothing will drink it.
- Rinse your pet with tepid tap water
- Sniff. If your pet still smells: Repeat wash and rinse
- Towel dry your pet
- When you’re finished pour the solution down the drain with running water
- Put your towels, bucket and dirty clothes some place safe and find a nice treat for your pet and yourself.
Mis. IMPORTANT Information!
- Your BEST strategy for yourself and your pet is, if you are aware of a skunk around your home, try to keep your pet away from the skunk. (Yes, that is obvious)
- Skunks don’t want to meet you or your pet! They are nocturnal and also have poor eyesight. You can often get them to hide if, before letting your pet out before bedtime, you turn on the porch light, bang on the plastic pail, make ‘people noise’ safely from the back door and give the skunk a few minutes to vamoose.
- Skunks like garbage and they often find a home under decks or porches. Try to Skunk Proof those areas by preventing them from getting under your deck and lock up your trash from raccoon who will knock the trash over to give your skunks dinner. (Skunks don’t climb, they cannot knock over your trash cans)
- Use 3% NOT 6% hydrogen peroxide (That will make your pet a peroxide blonde and irritate skin)
- If you think that there is a possibility of your pet meeting a skunk, get a couple bottles of peroxide next time you’re at the grocery store. Put together a kit of closed bottles of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, measuring cup/spoon for baking soda, towels, gloves etc. store in plastic bucket. This way, you won’t have to panic when your pet comes home stinky.
- DO NOT MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME!!! You will have a big mess bc of the pressure of chemical reaction.
- Baking soda and baking powder are different. Use Baking SODA
- Don’t get this into your pet’s eyes.
- Using Dawn dish detergent is ok, but it not the first choice.
- Dog shampoo is not recommended.
- This recipe also works, to a certain extent on urine because urine also contains sulfur.
Know Your Enemy!
Once you understand skunks, it is difficult to dislike them. They are virtually helpless except for their stinkiness. They have poor eyesight. They can’t fight predators (although they may bite you or your pet, so don’t get too close to either end!), they can’t run away or climb trees to escape. Their only real defense is to hit you with their noxious spray.
Skunks have a gland with its spray on either side of their anal opening. They don’t like to use their weapon because it takes about a week to replenish it so they will try to warn you away.
They will hiss, growl, stomp their feet, shake their tail and do a U-shaped maneuver where they aim their tail at you and curve their body to look at you to see if you are paying attention to their warning.
When all else fails, they will spray you. AND don’t think that you are off the hook with one spray! They can spray you up to 10 times, up to 15 feet away!Depending on how coordinated they are at spraying and stopping, they can launch a formidable and prolonged attack.
When they are pups, they spray each other when they are playing, just like puppies and kittens tussle and play fight and hunt, the young skunks, add spraying to their future adult life skills. They are usually experienced sprayers by the time that they are grown up and rooting around in your yard.
Skunks do spray one another as adults as well as when they are pups. Their mating season is early spring (February onward) and they use their spray to fight off other males and females will squirt males that they have no interest in as fathers to their offspring. (I am sorry, but that just makes me laugh. I dearly love my husband and son. But I am certain that both sexes have, at one time or another been annoyed with someone and would have just liked to have given them a quick skunky squirt and walked away.)
They can’t see very well so they rely on sound to warn them of approaching enemies. If you turn on your porch lights, stomp around or make any other noise that will catch their attention, they will probably hustle back to their lair. Which, unfortunately, could be under your porch or deck. The best way to take care of that is to put up a barrier before it is pup season and hopefully before a skunk has decided to live with your.
They eat just about anything, which is probably why they can create such a stinky oil. They eat beetles, worms, roots, nuts, fruits, eggs and even mice.in the winter. They also forage through the trash that raccoons knock over. (yuck to most of that menu.)
Skunks are nocturnal animals. So my best advice is to try to warn them that you are on your way out for your final dog walk before you head through the door with your pet.
They shoot an organosulfur compound called a thiol. It is an oil and it is water resistant. A chemist named Paul Krebaum invented this recipe. Like many good ideas, it was an accident that coincided with a need.
He was working for a company that was patenting a polymer that produced a hydrogen sulfide gas. His building was stinky and his co-workers were unhappy. He created solution to scrub the waste gas stream with good results. When a co-worker’s cat was skunked not too long afterwards, he gave him a much milder formula and it worked!
Like all good scientists, he published his findings in a scientific journal. A reporter for the Chicago Tribune read about it and Mr. Krebaum’s fame and recipe became public for which we are very grateful. He has not received any monetary gain from his invention, but I am sure that he has racked up many thankful good wishes from countless pet owners.
For more information about his recipe, you can go on his website.