You’d think Nellie and Quinn would learn from their prior lapses in judgment.  No such luck!  My continually curious canines played with a skunk last night just before bedtime.  They came running into the house accompanied by that uniquely pungent smell that made me cringe, knowing that my sleep would be postponed by extensive bath time. 

It’s a good thing I had a recipe handy found in the latest issue of BARK Magazine (  When I asked editor-in-chief Claudia Kawczynska about the efficacy of this concoction, she told me she had plenty of firsthand positive experience using it on her own mischievous mutt, Lola.  By the way, if you are not familiar with BARK I strongly encourage you to take a look.  This magazine is filled with incredibly useful, sophisticated, and humorous material.  The July/August issue was no exception and it included the following: 

Getting Rid of the Skunk Funk 

You’ll Need

– A clean plastic bucket in which to mix the ingredients

– One quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (Usually sold in pint bottles, so you’ll need two; use of other strengths is not recommended.)

– 1/4 cup baking soda (Do not use washing soda, which is much stronger and will burn your dog’s skin.)

– One to two teaspoons of liquid detergent (Softsoap and Ivory liquid are preferred.) 

How to Use It

Apply to dry dog, working well into the fur.  Let stand for about five minutes, then rinse with tepid water; repeat if necessary.  Do not store this mixture, it loses its effectiveness and more importantly, it releases oxygen gas and the container could explode.  It may bleach the dog’s hair (but better that than the smell!).  And remember, the sooner you deal with the skunking, the better, as, over time, the smell sets and is harder to eliminate. 

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged best friend a most enjoyable and safe summer! 

Dr. Nancy Kay

Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Look for us on Twitter –

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Be Sociable, Share!