An 11-year-old Weimaraner we groom loves to chase skunks around his backyard. After a few stinky encounters, the Weim's humans decided it was time to build a fence around the property to keep the skunks out.
However, Weimaraners tend to be persistent and determined, and our client's dog dug a hole under the fence, allowing the skunks back into the yard. It wasn't long before the skunks burrowed themselves into a cozy home under the porch. And not surprisingly, it wasn't long before the Weimaraner got sprayed right in the mouth.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. Dogs usually attack the skunk head on and try to bite them. The normal defensive reaction from the skunk is to spray the dog.
In this case, it took almost 4 months to get rid of the smell. Not a pleasant situation by any standard.
Why Does the Smell Last So Long?
Once sprayed by a skunk, it can take up to 6 months before the dog is completely "odor free." The rancid scent from the skunk is absorbed into their glands. When they breathe or sweat, the stench then emanates from them again and again until it is entirely out of their system.
While everyone at some point or another experiences the repulsiveness of driving by a skunk on the road after a full blast, you don’t realize how bad the smell can be until your family pet gets sprayed. This is especially true for dogs who enjoy poking the bear (or skunk in this case).
Three Things to Do AFTER a Skunk Attack
It is essential to know a few things to protect yourself before and after a skunk sprays your dog:
#1. Getting Rid of the Smell
If you take away one nugget from this article, let this be it: If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, we're available 7 days a week for emergency grooming. Call us ASAP at 844-484-7666. We will use specialty products to diminish the smell as much as possible.
For pets who have been sprayed in the mouth, we can also recommend an enzyme for the water bowl to help neutralize the smell safely.
If you want to DIY the skunk smell, we want to caution you not to spray your dog's head with tomato, vinegar and other homemade concoctions. It could end up in your dogs eyes, causing permanent damage. At The Tailored Groomer, we know how to safely treat your dogs head while protecting the eyes.
Also be careful not to over bathe your dog. This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, if you bathe your dog two or three times, surely it will help eliminate the smell, right? In reality, it dries out your dog's fur and won’t do any more to get rid of the skunk smell. It can also put your dog at risk for a skin infection.
#2. Call Animal Control
If you see skunks in your backyard, call animal control right away. Skunks like to burrow themselves underneath porches, decks and in other hiding spots. Once they are nestled in for safety, they are difficult to remove.
And as you can imagine, if you try to remove them, they'll defend themselves by spraying you.
Animal control understands how to handle a skunk without scaring them. Let the professionals do this before your determined Weimaraner does.
#3. Do Not Use Bleach or Smoke to Out the Skunks
Some people try to use bleach to get rid of the smell outside their home. However, skunk spray combined with bleach creates mustard gas. This is another good reason to hire a professional to take care of the problem.
Additionally, do not smoke out the skunks. Skunks will just burrow further into their hole upon smelling smoke.
Remember, if your dog has a run-in with a skunk and loses, don't spread the stink to your car. Call The Tailored Groomer at 844-484-7666 to come out to your home come to your home so you can start breathing easy again.