Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Skunk Season Is Upon Us. What To Do If Your Lab Gets Caught In A Forest Outing Gone Bad.

So Your Labbie got Skunked!!!

We all know that Labs can get themselves into a spot of trouble from time to time. Maybe they've chewed up your favorite shoe, or perhaps, the cake you spent three hours baking and icing for tonight's dinner party suddenly has a big chomp out of it....Or maybe, your pup has gotten the bad end (quite literally) of a chance encounter with a skunk. Well, there isn't an easy remedy to repair your shredded shoe, or to return the perfect cake to its former pristine condition, but luckily, there is some help available for the dreaded skunk spray and other wonderful smells your kids get themselves into.

Option 1: Camping Soap
Ray Hebert, board member and volunteer of HOTLR shares his experience with his beloved Shasta (aka the Skunk Queen)

Having lived with Labs in the country they have from time to time gotten into some smelly situations. But skunks are the worst. Shasta could find a skunk no matter where she was. And if a skunk was not around then she would find the next smelliest thing to roll in.

Over the years we have tried tomato juice, Skunk Off, doggy deodorizers, shampoos etc… most of them worked to some degree. But what we found worked best for us was Camp Suds or Dr. Romney's Camping Soap. Camp Suds/Dr. Romneys are concentrated biodegradable environmentally friendly camping soaps. You can find them at camping supply stores like REI, Cabelas, etc… Get the one that has eucalyptus oil included.

Put it on full strength (normally you would cut it 10 to 1). Do 2 wash and rinse cycles right in a row. That will get just about all the smell out. Then use a hair conditioner to finish it off. The conditioner is critical as putting camping soap on full strength will dry out the skin and the conditioner will restore some of the oils. As well as give the coat a nice luster.

I don’t recommend that this be used each time you bathe your Labbie. For regular baths use a good quality flea and tick shampoo. It is much less harsh on your Labbies skin. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations.

So there you have it. My family has used this method for over 30 years on our Labs. Camping soap is great for all sorts of cleanups around the house (not just for your dog). And since it is biodegradable it is environmentally friendly.

Option 2: Hydrogen Peroxide/baking soda & dish washing soap
If you are caught in a pinch and do not have camping soap available, another reliable concoction for ridding your Lab of skunk stink follows:

  • 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide (3% strength)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dish washing soap

Simply wet your dog thoroughly to the skin, dump the soap solution over the dog's skin and scrub into the coat. If your dog's face and nose are involved, use gauze squares or a sponge to dab the solution around the dogs face and eyes avoiding contact with the eyes themselves. Leave the solution on the dog to soak for 5 - 10 minutes and rinse.

As always, we recommend checking with your veterinarian for his/her opinion on the above treatments. If its after hours, contact the emergency clinic. Skunks are nocturnal animals and its been my experience that most skunk spray incidents occur in the wee hours of the morning. The emergency clinic is great at fielding these calls.

Used any other treatments for skunk spraying with success? Let us know by leaving us a comment in the comments section of our newsletter blog!!!

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