I saw and smelled a few road-kill skunks on the way in today. It reminded me of the day late last summer when Kate called to tell me that the dogs, all five of them, had dispatched a skunk during their collective daily walk around the farm. At first I thought, poor skunk. Then I thought, good for those feisty Will dogs. And then it occurred to me, there might be some olfactory ramifications to that skunk encounter.
Kate told me she had never smelled such an intense scent in her life. She noted that it wasn’t altogether unpleasant … pungent, yes. And then she asked if I knew of any magic formula for removing the scent of skunk from the dogs, especially since she didn’t have gallons of tomato juice in the house.
As it turned out, I did have a magic recipe. It came my way from former Herb Companion and CAPPER’s staffer Stacey Couch. Stacey says this recipe is from Maxiene Linder of Alexandria, Nebraska.
RECIPE FOR DE-SKUNKING PETS OR PEOPLE
“Mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap (dishwashing). Spray on pets or people. It works by chemically changing the skunk essence into sulfonic acid, a completely odorless chemical. Can spray on furniture or carpets where pets have urinated. Give the pet a bath afterwards. Don’t spray the eyes, nose or mouth of pets or people. Don’t leave mixture in bottle, it could explode. This really works.”
I can tell you that it really works … and very well. I can also tell you that if you don’t get it rinsed off the dog fairly quickly, the dog’s hair will get a little bleached. Our border collie, Clover, took off and hid under my truck after Kate sprayed her … it was an hour at least before we could give her a bath. Her normally dark-red head hair had turned a little blond by the time we rinsed her off.
Skunk Photo: iStock Image 1500714 by Geoff Kuchera
Dog Photo: Hank Will
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.