Ask a Vet: Homemade Recipe for Skunk Odor Removal

“Tis the season for your dog to get into trouble with the local wildlife! skunkbabies.jpg

If Rover noses around in the bushes, be prepared that he may turn up smelling like a skunk. Many grooming products will temporarily cover the smell but the faint odor of skunk can linger for weeks. This homemade recipe actually lifts the skunk spray oils out of your dog’s fur and rids them of the smell permanently…or at least until the next time!

Mix the following ingredients in a plastic bucket:

1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (open a fresh bottle)

¼ cup of Baking Soda1-2 teaspoons of Liquid Soap (Softsoap and Ivory are recommended)

Note: for large dogs, the recipe can be doubled or you can add one quart of lukewarm water to ensure complete body coverage.


  1. Apply the solution to the entire coat and work it deeply into the fur.
  2. Leave on for at least 5 minutes or until the odor is gone.
  3. Rinse your pet thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  4. Smell your pet! If he still reeks of skunk, repeat steps 1-3!
  5. Pour any remaining solution down the drain with running water.

NEVER store the solution in a closed bottle as pressure can build up and cause the container to explode.

Note: The solution will sting if it gets into your dog’s eyes. If your dog’s face is heavily soiled, use a toothbrush soaked in solution to clean the hair around the eyes.

Do you need vet advice? Post a comment with your veterinary questions and we will send them to Dr. Donna Spector to be answered in a future column.

This entry was posted in Ask a Vet, Dr Donna Spector, Natural Pet Care, News, Pet Facts, Pet Food Recipes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Ask a Vet: Homemade Recipe for Skunk Odor Removal

  1. susan garrison says:

    i am curious if there is any homemade recipies to eliminate female dog urine smell and male cat urine smell??????i have both and have tried just about everything i am at my wits end with this problem….any advice to help with this?????

  2. ralph clark says:

    the de’skunkie mixture seemed to have worked many. many thanks. Found on the spare of the minute

  3. Jim Gazzaway says:

    A skunk or skunks has burrowed under the concrete slab foundation of my house and is coming an going in the wee hours of the night. In the mean time we get a strong smell inside the house from time to time. My question is “Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get rid of the skunk? If I plug his access and he is under there will he dig out someplace else or die there and make living in the house impossible for a period of time?” I have a live trap but how woulld I dispose of the skunk if I am able to trap it?
    Please reply to my email address.
    Jim Gazzaway

  4. terrie says:

    I’m not sure about this homemade recipe but I do know about a dog shampoo that is made from all natural essential oils that worked wonders for my granddaughter only after one shampoo the smell was gone you can also use it in the laundry to get rid of the skunk smell on your clothes here is the link if you want to check it out

  5. Rita says:

    How do yu eliminate unneutered female oder (home reimedy) to keep big dogs away and how long do the female yorkie stay in heat so we can get her neutered?

  6. Halo says:

    Dear Rita,

    Unfortunately there is not an easy “fix” to the smell of hormones that your dog is currently producing. During heat, a female dog produces large amounts of hormones that male dogs are obsessed by! Even if she is a well trained dog, she cannot be trusted off leash or out of your control. Never let her outside by herself–even in a fenced yard–male dogs have been known to scale fences to get to a receptive female. This will help avoid unwanted breeding and pregnancy.

    On average heat lasts about 3 weeks, although it does range from 2-4 weeks. Talk to your vet about the optimal time to spay her.

    Good Luck.
    Dr. Donna Spector

  7. Carol says:

    This skunk smell remover works great !!!!

  8. marge says:

    How do you remove skunk odor from the mouth of a dog.His breath smells like a skunk. He was sprayed by a skunk about a week ago & still smells. We tried tomatoe juice and also vinegar & when he breathes he still smells

  9. admin says:

    Hi Marge, sorry to hear about your dog’s smelly situation! Many times the odor is clinging to the hair around the mouth and I would recommend the following recipe to be applied to this area:

    Mix the following ingredients in a plastic bucket:

    1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (open a fresh bottle)

    ¼ cup of Baking Soda

    1-2 teaspoons of Liquid Soap (Softsoap and Ivory are recommended)


    Apply the solution to the affected area and work in deeply.
    Leave on for at least 5 minutes or until the odor is gone.
    Rinse the area thoroughly with lukewarm water.
    Smell your pet! If he still reeks of skunk, repeat steps 1-3!
    Pour any remaining solution down the drain with running water.
    Good luck. Dr. Donna Spector

  10. Debi says:

    My family has been for years mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a loose paste…..but we rub it into the effected area (usually the face, cuz that’s where the nose is located) let it totally dry and then comb or scratch it off, if your very, very bad doggy hasn’t done so already….
    Found that using soap or anything that is perfumed, tends to lessen the treatments results.

  11. Russell Ellsworth says:

    We have always found that Denorex or TGel (tar based dandruff shampoos) work very well. However, I’d like to hear from a veterinarian whether this is harmful to the pet. (Definitely have to keep it away form the eyes, ears, and mouth.)

    • admin says:

      Hi Russell–Thanks for writing in. Coal tar-containing shampoos (like Denorex, etc.) do have a degreasing action and may help with the removal of skunk spray and odor, but I would recommend sticking with the liquid detergent route for skunk spray and odor removal. In addition to degreasing, the coal tar shampoos have other medical actions that may be undesired in a dog without skin disease and may lead to skin drying, skin irritation and even photosensitization. Many owners dislike the odor of coal tar shampoo and the tar may stain some haircoats.

      Hope this information helps.
      Dr. Donna Spector

  12. Nina says:

    My cat was sprayed by skunk around area of head and under chin – how do I clean this area with getting the solution in her eyes.

  13. Lindsey says:

    Ahhh! My fluffy border collie got sprayed soooo bad! It is literally dripping off her face! Its after 1 am, I actually woke up to the smell drifting into my bedroom window and they tussled down below my window. My kids are in bed for the night and all I have on hand is dishsoap. No baking soda or peroxide! Will this formula still be effective hours later after the spraying? Both of mybig dogs get sprayed repeatedly, and have not learned their lesson. We are out in the sticks and there is so many skunks around! Also wondering if there is any way at all to deter the skunks from the property? I have chickens who lay eggs all over the place because they are free range and I think the skunks came for the eggs. I started trying to pick them all up and after doing that this skunk has been coming nightly and digging around in my garden and has been digging huge holes in my raised flowerbed! I dont know what the heck to do but this is the worst my dogs have ever smelled! Our property has been stinky way before the spray happened because they keep hanging out here and won leave!! I really doubt she harmed the skunk at all she’s very old and not aggressive so it will be back im sure! Any help would be great! I plan on taking care of the stink ASAP im gagging in the house its so bad!!!

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