1. DON’T PANIC!!!  Do not get wet. DON’T GET WET.  DO NOT GET WET!! I repeat do not add water!  This may be a defcon 5 gremlin situation. Do not (I repeat), do not add water.

“BUT WHY???” Everyone always asks. What comes out of a skunk when it sprays is oil based. Therefore, the water you add makes it attach to their fur furthermore, bonding the oil to the fur and even their skin.

2. Don’t panic! People know me as being cool, calm, and collected so usually this is always my number one. I like to take hints from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Grab your towel, don’t panic, and you’ll be fine.

3. Now you need to get something that the oil will stick to. I, personally, like any version of soda (or as most people call it, pop. Hopefully, ginger ale or sprite but brown pop will do fine) to pour all over them (unless it’s a direct face hit).         *If it’s a direct face hit I lather my hands up with dish soap, preferably Dawn, and wipe it gently around their face. You need to let that dry there for a little bit. No less than 15 minutes but I would really try for an hour. In the case of needing to rinse eyes and mouths, milk works. Warning, you will use all of it.

4. Now it’s time for baking soda. You want to get the whole area that’s affected covered in baking soda. This will help draw out any of the other oil that is left. Let that sit for about thirty minutes.

5. TIME TO RINSE! I hope you like salad because we are not rinsing with water. White vinegar. Do not fret my dear, it’s not as bad as you think. By this point the skunk smell is burned into your nose hairs so you won’t smell it anymore. In the last hour hopefully, you called a friend or already had a giant jug of vinegar because that is what you’re going to use to rinse the dish soap off. We are still not adding water! Water is the devil. It doesn’t have to be a great rinse it just has to get all the soda/soap off and get them a little damp for Step 5. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes like 5-15 depending on hair.

6. NOW the time we have all been waiting for. It is time to rinse with water. Hopefully, you have got all the oil off them by using enough product in the first steps. I would tell you to do a smell check but there is no way you can smell anything but skunk spray by this point. 

Helpful hints:

– DO NOT ADD WATER!!! End of story. I understand it is our knee jerk reaction, but I keep repeating this because it is the most important part.

– YOU WILL NOT SMELL SKUNK!!! Everyone assumes that it is easy to identify when your dog has been sprayed. It smells like burnt hair, to me. I have always heard it described as something different but ALWAYS something burnt. That “skunk smell” is what happens when you… ADD WATER (or humidity)!!

– Skunks are nocturnal. What this means for you is this is never going to happen at a time that is super convenient. All of the store bought products work but you have to have them in mass quantities in your house because for a 50 pound dog it takes 2 bottles of Natures Miracle and anything along those lines. It is because it must be applied directly to the dog, BEFORE ADDING WATER.

– All the tips and tricks that you Google work great this is just what I found works best and is most commonly in homes. I know that tomato juice works but it’s a mess. The biggest key to success with any of these is not to get the dog wet.

– I have heard that you can boil allspice to get the smell out of your house, I still stick to little cups of vinegar but that’s probably because during that week I can’t tell if it smells or not. It’s probably fading, and I’ve washed everything. If the dog rubs its face on cloth items, you can spread baking soda on the furniture and on the rugs to help absorb the oil. As for your clothes hopefully you’re in your crappiest pajamas but if you’re not you can either use dish soap and then wash or vinegar soak and then wash.

– The biggest thing to remember is what the skunk produces is oil so you need to have something extremely acidic to cut the oil. It’s like an episode of Good Eats or anything you would watch on the cooking channel you just need to make sure that you don’t get that oil to bond which is why we don’t add water. It is quite literally the same concept of when you are cooking with oil and it splatters on a shirt and you don’t wash it before you add your stain prevention. It’s science! As soon as you wash your clothes that got the grease splatter you will set the stain and it becomes even harder to get out so think of your dog getting skunked as grease splatter.

– I know we already stated that this is going to happen at an inconvenient time so please just make sure you have a good friend or family member that you can call at any hour to have them come over and help you. The reason I say this is because this is about your sanity. It is way easier for you to be dealing with the dog and have a friend going around collecting articles that the dog rubbed itself on or calling a parent over or a sibling and having them grab two containers of baking soda and as much white vinegar as whatever is opened has available. You are not alone and it’s imperative in this instant whether it’s at 12:00 o’clock at night or 5:00 o’clock in the morning that you have a support system. It will also keep you grounded when you’re super mad that all is you smell is skunk smell. It’ll give you a reason to laugh and stay calm because remember that’s #2.

–  Finally, do not get the dog wet. I don’t know if I made that abundantly clear but if that is the one thing you take from this it is the most important part. 

If you want the short and sweet version to save for the future

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