Get Rid of Skunk Odor | Methods to Deskunk Your Dog

Tomato juice isn't the only (or best ) old-time remedy to get rid of skunk odor from a dog. Keep these common household ingredients on hand and never live with the stink of skunk again!

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Skunk & DogEveryone knows that tomato juice is handy for deskunking a dog, but it’s not the only old-time remedy that works to get rid of skunk odor from your dog. Some other ingredients to keep on hand in
quantity in case of emergency include vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

Try dousing a skunked dog with about a cup of vanilla extract mixed in a gallon of water to get rid of skunk odor, says Hazel Christiansen, a longtime professional groomer and former president of the American Grooming Shop Association, in Lewiston, Idaho. Let the dog soak in the solution for about 10 minutes before applying dog shampoo and rinsing.

For the vinegar remedy, mix 2 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar, and set the solution aside (the total amount you’ll need to mix depends on the size of your dog). Thoroughly wet your smelly dog’s coat with water. Now, work the vinegar solution through the fur. Let the solution sit for about 5 minutes; then rinse thoroughly. Work carefully and be sure the solution doesn’t drip into your dog’s eyes (it would sting).

If neither of the concoctions above seems to work, here’s one last skunk-odor removing remedy that’s been passed on from one generation of dog lovers to the next. Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon dish-washing liquid. Apply this mixture in the same way you would the vinegar solution. The quantities listed should make enough deskunking solution for a medium-size dog (30 to 50 pounds), so use less or more as needed for the size of your dog.

The best way to eliminate skunk odor is to avoid it altogether. Believe it or not, skunks hate strong odors. You can keep them out of your woodshed or other outbuildings by hanging a bar of strong disinfectant or room deodorizer in the space.

If you saw a skunk with its head trapped in a bottle, how far would you go to help him?

Excerpt from 1,001 Old-Time Household Hints—brought to you by Skyhorse Publishing.

This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated. 

  • Just used the hydrogen peroxide baking soda approach. Followed up with a tomato rinse. It seems to have worked– will always keep these ingredients on hand. How much do I hate skunks? Argh. I can see them wandering in my yard at night.

  • Since skunk spray is oily, Dawn dishwashing works well. B careful not to get it in the eyes. Years ago I worked as a groomer, and we followed up the diluted Dawn with a double strength solution of douche powder, which we left on. Just sayin”. LOL Worked great.

  • My shepherd, chow mix got sprayed for the third time. Your suggestions alerted me to” wash more than once” and” how many gallons to use on a large dog” and “use apple cider vinegar on furniture and leather”. Is my dog stupid not to recognize a skunk after multiple sprayings?

  • I just had a back procedure done today. And wouldn’t you know it? everyone was gone from the house. Both of my 90 + pound dogs cornered a skunk. I thought the easiest one to try, since everyone is out of the house, was a whole bottle of vanilla extract and water in a spray bottle. It was a heck of a time chasing them down, and spraying them as much as I could get them. Unfortunately I did not get to all the doors of the house to lock them ( my dog’s know how to open doors), so they got into the house and rolled around on the carpet to dry off. we also had a huge rainfall, Lucky me, so they were soaked. I will try the vinegar, baking soda, and peroxide one as soon as someone gets home to help me. Till then they are bathing each other do to the vanilla. Maybe they will get drunk enough off of the real vanilla extract, and pass out so I can try the other. Note to self: next time buy gold fish….

  • We did the vinegar first and seemed to really help. Just to be sure we did the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish washing soap. I used a little too much soap and it took a bit longer to get the soap out. She is a short haired dog and is now in the house chewing on her bone with NO smell at all in the house. Whew, takes a while but no smell thank heaven. (worked
    so much better than tomato juice that we used years ago!)

  • Both my dogs decided it would be fun to play with a skunk our American bulldog got the worse of it I used the porxide and baking soda I read it takes a couple time so o used it she only got it in the face and neck the skunk missed her eyes which is a good thing after the first treatment her face smell a little better but my house not so much I’m working on airing it out have all fans blowing out but I’m glad you all were here while I was freaking out and thank you for all the comments I read though them all but I’m thinking about adding vanilla to the mix our maybe to a bottle of water and spray or though the house

  • Camellia

    It must be the apple cider vinegar then because I’ve tried the H2O2/baking soda/soap mixture more than once and it does NOT work. It’s better then absolutely nothing, but the skunk smell is still there. A couple of things that DO work for the house if someone runs through it and rolls on the rugs before you realize they’ve been sprayed, is to boil vinegar on the stove so it fills the air while you wash the rugs in the washer with soap and bleach water. Bleach is amazing but you CANNOT put it on your dog(s)!

  • OK, I will try this… But how do I get the smell out of my house? I also have items I can’t wash, like couch or my leather items. I don’t own a carpet shamooer either. Please if anyone knows, help me out. This smell gives me a very bad headache and light headed at times

  • Tonight at 7:35 pm our Labrador chased a skunk across the yard and got sprayed badly. My husband did’t know what to do with her. Quickly I Googled and came up with your site; thank goodness! We did successfully use the Hydrogen Peroxide, baking soda, & dish-washing liquid in about 2 1/2 gallons of warm water in a deep cook-pot and washed her down with it for at least 15 minutes (outside). It seemed to work great! But, then, we gave her a rinse with the cider vinegar water. Terrific! After a towel dry she’s actually back in the house on her bed drying and we don’t even notice an odor at all! Absolutely amazing! Thank you ever-so-much!

  • I was skeptical, but tried the peroxide/baking soda/dishwashing liquid method as I already had it all on hand. What do you know? It worked wonderfully! My lab/border collie mix smells better than probably before the skunk sprayed her! Lol. Thank you so much for the tip. Will definitely be bookmarking this for the future.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing liquid is the best solution to deskunk dogs. It works fast and will take out the odor significantly after the first washing. If not a bad case of spray odor could be gone completely after 2-3 washes.

  • Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing detergent worked quickly and efficiently. Also helped my hands. Thanks for having this available. Fantastic help would highly recommend this formula. Thanks again and God Bless ***


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