Just as the weekend began, a skunk sprayed my dog. The five minutes that followed that event could have been written into any comedy you’ve seen in the theater. However, when it happens to you, it’s less funny and more irritating than anything else. In short, the dog bolted in the house full of skunk spray and proceeded to rub and shake it all over the house before I could catch him. It was great.
So let’s just pretend for a minute that you’re standing in your living room with a wailing dog in the laundry room full of skunk smell, a screaming baby in the bedroom, and a second howling dog in the kitchen who is just making noise because everyone else is making noise. The damage is now done. It’s time to start fixing what has obviously gone horribly wrong.
The first step is to make sure everyone is okay. In my case the baby and second dog were just yelling to yell, and because it smelled bad. Talat, on the other hand, had real problems. Skunk spray will bond to any fibrous surface like hair (which dogs have a lot of) quickly. So it’s very important to get as much off as fast as you can. He got hit square in the face at what must have been point blank, because his entire muzzle was yellow and his eyes were matted shut.
It hurt like hell, I’m sure, and the spray can temporarily blind dogs and people, so into the tub he went with a bottle of ketchup, a sponge, and pitcher. The trick here is to dilute the spray as much as you can and get it away from his eyes. Then you need to stop it from spreading — hence the tub. Scrub and wash, rotating between shampoo and ketchup until you’ve got the worst of it off. You can also use the formula I will outline in a minute, but it will sting worse than the spray itself if it gets in the eyes.
Once the worst is off the dog and he is safely put in the garage to dry off, it’s time to survey the rest of the damage. Everything in your house will stink badly if even just a little spray winds up in your place. There is a solution you can find on the ‘net that is said to help with the defunking of smells, so I called upon it, hoping its mystic homebrew goodness would save my olfactory senses.
It consists of:
1 gallon water
1 cup baking soda
1 tbsp dish soap
1 qt hydrogen peroxide
Mix it all together, load it into a spray bottle and start hosing your place down. It will not remove all the smell but it will start to give you and your family relief from the stink. Spray effected areas — which is everything — as many times as you think you can handle. It will get better.
Contrary to popular belief, you are not done. Wash the animal in the solution with a sponge to get the rest of the smell out of his furry coat. It works great on dog hair, and Talat was the best-smelling thing in the whole house after his second bath.
You should at least be able to sleep in the house the first night at this point. Most likely 70 percent of the smell is gone and everyone is no longer gagging if they enter the house. The next morning (or that same day if it happens early enough), get a hold of a steam cleaner and go to town. Clean everything you can with it.
Next sprinkle baking soda all over the carpeted areas, fabric covered furniture etc., and let it sit for about a half hour. Then grab a vacuum and pull it all back up.
If it’s at all possible, open the windows to get some fresh air coming through the house. It will help as much as anything else. Smaller things like changing the furnace filter and washing all your clothes will also assist in the exodus of funk.
Three days later I can say the house is mostly good to go. There is a faint smell if you know where to stand, but the harshness is gone. Repeated attempts at the steps above will also continue to clear what remains. Time will eventually clear the rest of the horrid order from its places of hiding, but don’t expect wine and roses immediately.
[Note:] The best solution by far would be to keep the damn dog away from skunks.