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How Do You Get Skunk Smell Off Your Dog?

how do I get rid of skunk smell on my dog?

Did you know that when a dog gets sprayed by a skunk, if it isn’t dealt with immediately, that smell can return every time your dog gets wet for several months?

And did you know that putting tomato juice on a dog that’s been sprayed by a skunk is an old wive’s tale?

Yep, it’ll only turn your smelly dog into a reddish-colored smelly dog.

To find out how to actually get that skunk smell off your dog, scroll down the page a little and you’ll find the answer.

If you live in the country, you most likely have skunks around.  Most dogs like to chase cats. A skunk looks like some kind of cat to a dog.  So the chase is on.

And we all know what happens when a dog chases a skunk!

You need to have some kind of skunk smell remover on hand, whether it’s a home recipe or a store bought product.

There is nothing in the world worse than the smell of skunk spray, in my opinion – especially up close and personal in the middle of the night.

It’s bad enough when you smell it in the air from a skunk that maybe sprayed something a half mile away.skunk smell removal recipe

Or from a skunk that got hit on the road and you have to drive by and smell the lingering aroma.

But when your dog comes running in the house, rubbing its face on the carpet and furniture,  foaming at the mouth and the smell is eye-watering for you as well, what can you do?

Quick!  Grab the skunk smell remover!

So, How DO You Get Skunk Smell Off Your Dog?  

You need to be prepared ahead of time!  That is so important for getting the smell out quickly.

There are some good de-skunking products on the market, such as the Clean Green DeSkunk Coat Relief and Odor Remover for Dogs, 16-Ounce which is a spray you can use right on your dog immediately after being sprayed by the skunk.

This product is made from non-toxic botanicals and is totally safe to spray on your dog.  

However, according to the reviews, it has a high velocity stream of spray kind of like a hornet spray, so beware that it might scare you and your dog.  One person said they sprayed it into a spray bottle and used that.

Also, for the face area, spray it on a washcloth or rag and wipe it on the face.

Although I couldn’t find any information about using this product on furniture, I would definitely try it if my dog came in the house before I could stop her and rubbed up against furniture or carpeting.

Here are a few other products for removing skunk spray:

Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover 32ozNature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover 32ozSkunk-Off Liquid Soaker, 32ozSkunk-Off Liquid Soaker, 32ozUnique Natural Products Skunk Odor Eliminator, 32-OunceUnique Natural Products Skunk Odor Eliminator

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Quick Home-made Skunk Smell Removal Recipes

However, if you don’t have a product to use on your skunked dog, you will probably have a few items on hand that can be quickly mixed together to form a skunk smell remover solution to rid your dog of that terrible skunk smell removersmell.  These items are:

  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda
  • liquid soap of some kind, either shampoo, dish soap or hand soap

There are at least a couple different ways of mixing these ingredients.

One recipe calls for:

  • 1 qt of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 c. baking soda  
  • 1 tsp. liquid soap.

Another recipe calls for

  • 16 oz. (1/2 qt) of hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 c. baking soda 
  • a few drops of shampoo.

Leave either of these formulas on your dog for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse.

I have not tried either of these because, fortunately, I haven’t had to yet.

I can’t say which is best, but I think if I needed to mix up a batch to put on my dog, I would probably use the first recipe, but use 1 c. of baking soda instead of 1/4 c.  That’s only because I know baking soda is good for getting rid of bad smells and this is about as bad as it gets.

how to get rid of skunk smellThe key to using ANY skunk smell remover is to use it as soon as possible after your dog has been sprayed.

Once the oil in the skunk spray has penetrated the skin of your dog, there is no getting it out until it eventually wears off.

If this happens, you may not smell much more than a faint odor as long as your dog stays dry.

But as soon as she gets wet from rain or even a bath, the smell will surface with a stronger pungency until she is once again dry.  This can go on for several months.

Obviously, the very best scenario for getting skunk spray off your dog is to not let it get there in the first place!  Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option when you live in the country.

Several years ago, my Chow Chow got sprayed by a baby skunk twice in one week after it squeezed through a small hole in the fence!!  That was before I knew about skunk smell removers and of course it was in the middle of the night.  And it’s not like Chow Chows are short haired!

I thought I was going to die from the smell.  There was nowhere in the house I could go to get away from it.  So don’t think baby skunks can’t spray as much as the adults!

Be prepared!  Have something on hand to get that skunk smell off your dog as quickly as possible – even if it’s in the middle of the night.

Clean + Green DeSkunk Coat Relief and Odor Remover for Dogs, 16-OunceClean + Green DeSkunk Coat Relief and Odor Remover for Dogs, 16-Ounce

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How To Trim a Dog’s Nails At Home

how to trim a dog's nails If you have a short-haired dog or even a long-haired one that doesn’t need to go to the groomer on a regular basis, you might not have even thought about the fact that she needs her nails trimmed regularly.  You can learn how to trim a dog’s nails at home and not have to pay to get it done by a veterinarian or groomer.

Some people don’t really know how long a dog’s nails should be or how often they should be clipped.

How Young Can You Start Trimming Dog Toenails?

The reality is that you should start the nail trimming process when your dog is a puppy.  Youtrimming puppy nails can actually do this yourself using simple human nail clippers on young puppies, merely clipping off the sharp tips.

Make it a fun time for your puppy by offering small treats as you handle and trim each nail.  You may want to start out clipping a couple of nails during each session if you have a wiggly puppy.

It’s important not to force your puppy to hold still for you, but rather be an opportunist and clip a nail any time your puppy is holding still, praising and treating.  Remember to use tiny treats for puppies.  Keep the nail trimming sessions short and fun.

Trimming an Older Dog’s Nails

If you have adopted an older dog, start handling her feet as soon as possible to find out her reaction to this.  Some dogs don’t mind having their paws handled at all.  Others may have issues with it.

So, begin by handling your dog’s paws, gently massaging between the toes and all around them.

Offer treats or do this during a quiet time when your dog is on the couch beside you.  (I know, some people don’t allow their dogs on the couch, but I like to have a warm furry body next to me as I’m watching TV).

When your dog seems to be okay with having her feet handled, you can move on to using the actual nail clippers.  This also goes for the puppy you have been using human nail clippers on.  You can now move to using actual dog nail clippers.

Tools for Nail Clipping

There are a couple different types of nail clippers – the guillotine style for smaller nails and the heavy duty clipper for medium to large nails.  There is also a smaller type for cats and small dogs.

Which Style is Best?

Initially, I liked to use the guillotine style.

guillotine clippersThe blade seemed nice and sharp and easily slid through the nails.

However, it didn’t seem to take long before it would become dull and start grabbing the nail instead of cutting through it.  This is especially not good for a dog who is not comfortable having her nails trimmed in the first place.  You want to be able to make a nice clean cut on the first try.

So I have moved to using the heavy duty type of clipper.

 Best Pet Grooming Clipper By Azur-professional Nail TrimmerBuy Now at Amazon Professional Pet Nail Trimmer For Dogs & Cats, Includes FREE Nail FileBuy Now at Amazon

 These clippers seem to last longer and don’t grab the nails.

If you really want to learn how to trim a dog’s nails at home, just start by taking off the point of the nail. Then you can work your way back by barely slicing off a tiny bit at a time, so if you do happen to get into the quick, it will be very minor and the bleeding will stop with a little pressure.

On clear nails you can see the pink quick inside so you’ll know how far you can clip. With black nails, you can’t see the quick so you will just have to take it slow and sliver off a tiny bit at a time.

One thing to note, though, if your dog’s nails are white – you might think you can see the end of the quick, but it comes to a fine point, so clip a little less off than what it looks like you could do.

Rotary Tools Are Great For Getting Smooth Nails

Another tool I am a huge advocate for is the Dremel tool for filing down the nails.  I’ve tried the kind you see advertised on TV, such as the Pedipaws, but don’t like it nearly as well as the actual Dremel tool.

With the Pedipaws tool, it’s difficult to fit a nail into the hole and be able to see what you are doing.  Many dogs don’t have the patience to let you fuss around trying to fit a nail into that hole and get it filed down and you really don’t want to have to force your dog to allow you to do this, because then it becomes an unpleasant experience.

Instead, I use a regular Dremel, although they now have Rotary-Type Pet Grooming Kits at places like Amazon,  that use the same principal as the Pedipaws, but you can see what you are doing and can do it quicker.

Dremel 7300-N/8 MiniMite 4.8-Volt Cordless Two-Speed Rotary ToolDremel 7300-N/8 MiniMite 4.8-Volt Cordless Two-Speed Rotary ToolBlack & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool KitBlack & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool KitDremel 200-1/15 Two-Speed Rotary Tool KitDremel 200-1/15 Two-Speed Rotary Tool KitDremel 3000-1/24 1 Attachment/24 Accessories Rotary ToolDremel 3000-1/24 1 Attachment/24 Accessories Rotary Tool

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I personally use the Dremel 3000, which is fairly quiet and has several speeds.  You could start your dog out getting used to the noise on the lowest quiet speed.  But the faster the speed, the quicker you’ll get the job done.  So once your dog is used to the noise, you can speed it up.

Procedure For Using the Dremel Filing Tool

I use the medium sand paper attachment on my Dremel.  You don’t want too rough of a sandpaper because then it just jumps around on the nail.

I hold the paw with my left hand, making sure I have pulled back or clipped any hair around the foot because it could get caught up in the whirling action of the Dremel and pull the hair out.

Then I grip the nail I want to work on with the thumb and forefinger of my left hand to hold the nail firm. I brace Using a dremel to file dog's nailsthe thumb of my right hand against my left hand to stabilize my working hand in order to keep the Dremel on the nail.

I start at the top of the nail and file down over the edge in a quick smooth action.  To begin with, when you are just getting the hang of it, you might be a little timid, not sure of how much to take off or how far down to grind.  The more you work with this tool, the more confident you will become and you’ll learn how far to grind.

One thing I like about using a Dremel in place of nail clippers is that when you’re grinding a nail down, you’ll know immediately if you are down to the quick, because your dog will probably jerk her paw a little, saying Okay, that’s far enough.  If you actually draw blood, it will be very minimal and with a little pressure on it, will stop immediately.

Don’t Freak Out if You Hit the Quick

On the other hand, when you use regular clippers, you take the chance of trimming your dog’s nails too short, cutting into the quick, causing more pain and a lot more bleeding.  If this should happen, though, don’t freak out!

I trim nails for a living and I’ve cut into quicks many times.  Never has a dog died or even gotten an infection as far as I know from cutting a quick too short.

So many times I’ve heard someone say they tried trimming their dog’s nails at home but cut too short and it bled all over and they’ll never try doing it again.  Most of them weren’t prepared for the blood.  Nails bleed profusely if you cut way into the quick and that, along with the fact that their dog probably yelped when it happened was enough to make them feel terrible.

So be prepared that something could go wrong but that it isn’t the end of the world for you or your dog.

Have Kwik Stop On Hand

Have some Kwik Stop styptic powder on hand.  By pressing a dab on the end of the nail, the bleeding should stop immediately.  You should be able to get it at any pet store and it is also found at Amazon.com

 Top Performance MediStyp Pet Styptic Powder with Benzocaine, 6-OunceBuy Now at Amazon Kwik Stop – 1/2 ozBuy Now at Amazon

If you are trimming dog nails that are too long, you will want to clip them first with regular dog nail clippers.  When you trim overgrown dog nails, you can actually take quite a bit off.  Just keep slicing small sections off until you feel they’re short enough to use the Dremel on.

Then you can regularly use your Dremel tool to keep them filed down so you will never have to clip them again.  Anyone can do this and it will save money and will help stop the quick from growing out too long.

Nails that are too long may hinder your dog’s ability to freely move about, causing physical problems with the feet and legs.  There is also the chance that if left un-managed for a very long period of time, the nails will actually curl around and start growing into the pads of the paws, causing extreme pain and possibly needing surgery to remove.

How Often Should You Trim Dog Nails?

If you take the time and have the patience, using treats and praise, trimming your dog’s nails will become a simple procedure with little to no stress.  Then it will only take you a few minutes every 2 to 3 weeks to file off the points and keep her nails looking and feeling great.  Doing it this often will keep them from growing out to a length that will need to be clipped before filing.how to trim dog's nails

If after trying it yourself, you still feel uncomfortable and stressed out over it, it might be best for you not to attempt it on your own.  Your dog will sense your lack of confidence and will probably struggle and make it harder on both of you.

The best thing, then, might be to consider having a professional trim your dog’s nails because they still need to be trimmed on a regular basis.  This should be done about every 4 to 6 weeks and will cost anywhere from $5 to $20 depending on where you live and who does it.

Learning how to trim your dog’s nails at home will save you quite a bit of money in the long run, but if it makes you too uncomfortable or if your dog is just too hard to work with, getting professional help might be worth the cost.

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Using an Undercoat Rake on Long-Haired Dogs

 

using an undercoat rake on long haired dogsGrooming your dog is an important part of the bonding process between her and you.  Ideally, you would start this when your dog is a puppy.  Realistically, though, a lot of people adopt dogs that are older.

Either way, you would begin the daily grooming procedure by first running your hands over the entire dog, including handling the feet.  Eventually you will want to use a brush and undercoat rake on long-haired dogs.

This is an inexpensive way to keep your dog looking great.  The expensive way is to leave the hair alone until it’s so bad it has to be groomed by a professional groomer at the cost of $50 or more.

Handling Feet

But for now, run your fingers gently between your dog’s toes and handle the nails.  You may want to give a treat or two as you do this.  This will help your puppy or older dog become acclimated to having her nails trimmed, which is an important part of regular grooming.

Nail trimming is something that most dogs will need to have done every few weeks for the rest of their lives unless they keep them worn down by walking on pavement or other abrasive surface.  Even these dogs should have their nails checked periodically by a professional to see if they need trimming.

Importance of Daily Brushing

The next thing you would do with your new dog is start using a soft brush on her.  Run it all over her body and offer treats along with the brushing to make it a positive experience.  Even if your dog is short-haired, it is still important to brush her on a regular basis to get rid of dead hair.  This is also a good way to find any skin problems as your dog ages.

Things you might discover while grooming are ticks, fleas, lumps and growths, puncture wounds, cuts, hot spots, etc.  These are things that you might not notice otherwise until a sore becomes infected or a tick bite becomes very irritated.

thick coated collieLong-haired dogs will need more extensive grooming, some of which might need to be done by a professional groomer.  But there is still plenty you can do in between groomings to make the trip to the groomer a much more pleasant experience.

If you brush and comb out your long-haired dog on a daily basis it will only take a few minutes.  But if you let it go a few weeks without combing through the hair, the hair could become matted and cause a lot of pain when you or the groomer try to comb it out.

An Undercoat Rake is Best for Getting Rid of Dead Undercoat

Using a brush alone on a long-haired dog such as a Sheltie, shihtzu, Lhasa Apso, Chow Chow, etc. is not going to keep the undercoat from matting up.  A wire brush is only good for the outer layer of hair on long-haired dogs.

But a metal comb or undercoat rake is what is needed to get through all of the hair down to the skinusing aluminum comb on dog You do need to be careful not to put so much pressure on it that you scrape your dog’s skin, but this is the only way to get the undercoat out so it doesn’t mat up.

An undercoat rake is especially helpful in areas such as on the haunches, along the sides and also throughout the tail.  A metal comb is good to use behind the ears and in the arm pits of your dog.

Some tools will have just the teeth to comb through the thick hair, while others will actually have blades that cut through the tangled mats and thick coat.  How often you comb your dog out will determine which one you should use.


If you plan to work on your dog’s hair every day, using the undercoat rake with teeth only should be fine.

If it’s gone too long and the hair is matted, there are a couple things you can do.  To remove mats from a long-haired dog, you might want to try the de-matting tool with blades to help cut through the hair.  Just be careful, of course, not to cut your dog.

Or you might just choose to shave your dog down to get rid of the mats and basically start over.  Then you can be sure to keep the hair combed and brushed as it grows out.

Usually a professional groomer will charge extra if she has to take extra time to comb out a matted dog, plus there is just no easy way to do it without causing some pain to your dog.  You can imagine trying to pull mats out of your own hair if you hadn’t combed it in weeks. That would hurt!

Taking a Few Minutes a Day Will Save Money and Pain

If you can take a few minutes every day to run an undercoat rake or comb and brush through your dog’s long hair, you can save money and save your dog the pain of having mats combed out.  combing out yorkie

Some groomers may not even have the time to de-mat a dog and will, instead, shave him down to the skin.  Most dog owners don’t want their dogs that short but when a dog has tight mats, the only clipper blade that will get under the mats is the shortest or nearly the shortest blade.

On the other hand, many owners of breeds such as shihtzus, Lhasas, Cocker spaniels and others that have hair that tends to mat easily, may want to keep them clipped fairly short so they don’t have to worry about the tangles.

Many people think if they just brush their dogs with a wire dog grooming brush they are doing a good enough job.  And by looking at the dog , she may look well-groomed.  But that’s because the brush is only reaching the outer layerIf you tried to run a comb through the hair, you might find it getting caught in tangles.

So just to recap –

  • grooming is an important way to create a wonderful bond between you and your dog
  • it’s a good way to check your dog over for any problems
  • it prepares her for a trip to a professional groomer
  • giving treats while grooming makes it a pleasant experience
  • it will also help prepare your dog for trips to the vet, where her feet or other body parts might need to be handled, because she’ll be used to the handling and grooming you have done
  • use a brush for short-haired dogs
  • use a brush for the outer layer and an undercoat rake for the undercoat of long-haired dogs

 

Coastal Pet - Safari Long Tooth Undercoat Dog Rake, Designed for Heavy CoatsCoastal Pet – Safari Long Tooth Undercoat Dog Rake, Designed for Heavy CoatsOster Professional Pet Grooming Undercoat Rake, 18 Teeth Wide, CoarseOster Professional Pet Grooming Undercoat Rake, 18 Teeth Wide, CoarseFURminator Undercoat Dog Rake For Long-Haired DogsFURminator Undercoat Rake For Long-Haired Dogs

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