Everyone knows that tomato juice is handy for deskunking a dog, but it’s not the only old-time remedy that works to get rid of skunk odor from your dog. Some other ingredients to keep on hand in quantity in case of emergency include vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.
Try dousing a skunked dog with about a cup of vanilla extract mixed in a gallon of water to get rid of skunk odor, says Hazel Christiansen, a longtime professional groomer and former president of the American Grooming Shop Association, in Lewiston, Idaho. Let the dog soak in the solution for about 10 minutes before applying dog shampoo and rinsing.
For the vinegar remedy, mix 2 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar, and set the solution aside (the total amount you’ll need to mix depends on the size of your dog). Thoroughly wet your smelly dog’s coat with water. Now, work the vinegar solution through the fur. Let the solution sit for about 5 minutes; then rinse thoroughly. Work carefully and be sure the solution doesn’t drip into your dog’s eyes (it would sting).
If neither of the concoctions above seems to work, here’s one last skunk-odor removing remedy that’s been passed on from one generation of dog lovers to the next. Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon dish-washing liquid. Apply this mixture in the same way you would the vinegar solution. The quantities listed should make enough deskunking solution for a medium-size dog (30 to 50 pounds), so use less or more as needed for the size of your dog.
The best way to eliminate skunk odor is to avoid it altogether. Believe it or not, skunks hate strong odors. You can keep them out of your woodshed or other outbuildings by hanging a bar of strong disinfectant or room deodorizer in the space.