The most common (and effective) household formulation for de-skunking animals was created by chemist Paul Krebaum in 1993.
In a bucket, mix together the following ingredients:
• 4 cups of hydrogen peroxide (3% strength)
• 1/4 cup of baking soda
• 1 teaspoon of liquid hand soap
Bathe your pet with this solution and warm water. The hydrogen peroxide strips the skunk’s oil from your pet’s coat, and the baking soda neutralizes the smell.
If you’re concerned the hydrogen peroxide will bleach your pet’s coat or leave their skin itchy, rinse the solution off right after using it on them.
Some words of caution:
• Peroxide is a strong chemical agent, so do not lather up your dog, and do not let it sit on your dog’s coat before washing it off.
• Keep the formula away from your pet’s eyes, mouth, ears and nose
• Do not let your pet swallow any of it (it will almost immediately cause vomiting)
• Do not try to bottle the formula “for later” as peroxide is a reactive agent and can cause a minor explosion.
Lastly, if you pour the leftover mix onto your lawn or plants, your grass will bleach out in the sun and leave a giant pale spot amidst the lush greenery of the rest of your lawn – so avoid doing that unless that’s what you’re going for!
By Emily Cook
Ontario SPCA & Humane Society