HCN News & Notes

What Do You Do When Your Dog Encounters a Skunk?

CHICOPEE — The weather has been a bit strange in Western Mass. the last couple weeks, with warm days, nor’easters, snow, wind, and rain. Mother Nature may appear a bit confused, but do not let that fool you into thinking the wildlife are not going about their usual rituals. One of those includes skunk mating season, which can really stink (pun intended) if you have a dog who is over-friendly.

What do you do if your four-legged pal encounters a skunk? The Good Dog Spot in Chicopee and Northampton recommends the following steps:

• Keep your dog outside.

• Check their eyes; if they’re irritated or red, immediately flush them with cool water.

• Get the dog wet.

• Cover the dog’s coat with Dawn, focusing on the smelliest areas.

• Apply baking soda to cover the Dawn (the Dawn holds it in place).

• Pour on vinegar. This is kind of like a kids’ science experiment: it will foam up.
Rub in the suds and let it sit 10 minutes or as long as your pup will allow. How does it work? The Dawn strips out any grease and natural oils in the coat, and the baking soda and vinegar neutralize any remaining smell. 

• Rinse very well.

(Note that there are not specific quantities of items above because it depends on the size of the dog. You cannot really use too much.)

• Thoroughly towel-dry your dog, and be sure to place them in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours so that they don’t get chilled.

• Now it’s your turn. If your dog rubbed some of the stink onto you, you can rid your clothes of the smell by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a half-cup of baking soda.