Q. I read in your column about getting skunk smell off a dog. I had a dog that got skunked several times and the best natural remedy was plain tomato juice. I soaked him in it for about ten minutes and then washed him off with a dog shampoo. This eliminated the smell immediately. Maybe this will help someone.
A. Many other readers recommended tomato juice for removing skunk smell:
“When our dog tangled with a skunk years ago, I asked a neighbor with a PhD in chemistry. He said, ‘That’s an ethyl mercaptan; wash him with tomato juice.’ It worked, but a dog sleeping beside the bed smelling of tomato juice is no picnic either!”
One person was out camping when his dog met a skunk. The only tomato product within reach was a bottle of catsup, but it worked.
Another reader recommends cheap pure tomato juice rubbed on the dog, left for a few minutes, then washed off. She adds, “This also works on firemen who come home smelling like smoke. My husband is a firefighter, and whenever they have a fire, his hair and mustache always smell like smoke. For the first year of our marriage we’d wait for the smell to wear off. Then we tried the tomato juice remedy, and it worked!”
Another reader reports a different technique: “Our golden retriever got sprayed a while back. My wife decided to use the tomato juice method, but the one with the fur didn’t like it at all. My wife was splattered with juice; the dog was a mess.
“I called our vet and he laughed so hard he couldn’t talk. When he recovered, he said to put Scope Mouthwash in a spray bottle and spritz her all over. It worked. She had not a hint of smell after that.”

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  1. Dian M.

    I agree!

  2. LGF

    Our dog got sprayed a few years ago and it was unbearable! Vet suggested washing him with Dawn dish washing liquid, then rinsing him with white vinegar. Worked like a charm!

  3. abigail

    Vinegar and baking soda together foam up right out of the container. How do you get it to stay put long enough to apply it?

  4. Jan

    The best solution came from a couple of vets within our Search & Rescue group. A box of baking soda, mix with a bottle of peroxide, a squeeze of Dawn dish soap (needed for cutting the oil) and I like some vinegar in the mix also. Sponge on dog [avoid eyes] rub into fur, rinse well.

  5. JSC

    My neighbor’s dog was sprayed by a skunk. She got on the computer and went to Google and typed in How to handle skunk spray on dog and it came up with a better solution and not as messy. It was a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and one other ingredient that I can’t remember. But she just rubbed this on the dog, and brushed it off and all odor was gone. Sure sounds less messy to me, than tomato juice. So go to Google and see what you can find there.

  6. Cheryl

    I live on a farm, after a skunk had gotten into our chicken coop, our dog went after it and was sprayed at a very close range, the skunk had sprayed her good! Our Vet had a skunk remover recipe that worked quite well, that could be applied and rinsed off easily. 1 quart peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 T. Dawn dish-washing soap. Mix well, apply to dog, rub in, and rinse off. Our dog could be let in the house after I used it.

  7. C Camp

    We’ve had several instances with dogs getting sprayed by skunks. The tomato juice has never really worked very satisfactorily. We’ve had much better success with 1 qt hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, & 2 teaspoons dish-washing liquid. Wash animal with foaming solution. Do NOT try to store any extra.

  8. JW

    Heard of one vet who stocks up on Summer’s Eve douche at the beginning of the season. His groomers use it for dogs who’ve had encounters with skunks, and say it works much better than tomato juice.

  9. Cindy B.

    That’s a particularly lovely skunk in the picture…

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