Tomato Baths after Skunk Encounters

Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:48 pm
A poster on the thread entitled "Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs?" mentioned having to give a dog tomato bath after its encounter with a skunk. I have never heard of this. Have you? Does it work?

I have a dog, and live in an small town with a fair-sized skunk population. I can foresee such a problem at my house. In fact I can foresee deep trouble, since I have almost no sense of smell, and the dog might come back in reeking and I wouldn't know it. This image makes me wonder if a animal that has been skunk perfumed behaves wierdly, or just saunters off.
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:49 pm
I have heard of it and have had a couple of occasions to test the theory. Nothing gets out skunk except time. Lots of time.
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Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:50 pm
Oh, and the dog will act strangely.
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Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:57 pm
That was Gezzy that mentioned the tomato baths on the Cats and Dogs thread, and the thread link is


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Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 11:04 pm
I've done it several times. A dog I used to have used to get sprayed several times a year (you'd think she'd have learned!). I always kept a couple of large cans of tomato juice in the house for just such occassions. They always get sprayed at night when the skunks are out and the stores are closed.

The acids in tomato products do a pretty darn good job of neutralizing skunk spray. You aren't going to want to snuggle with the dog right after but you can easily sit in the same room with them afterwards.
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Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 11:15 pm
Yeah, we did that with our dogs when I was growing up -- definitely worked much better than plain water or shampoo. (Shampoo on top of eau de Pepe is just nasty...)
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Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2003 08:44 pm
There are some shampoos available at pet stores that are supposed to do well with skunk smell. One I saw was called "skunked!"

I think it is worth it to take the dog to a groomer and let the professionals handle to job.
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Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2003 09:19 pm
Hi All,
My doggie's been skunked a few times,..(he's not that bright).
Tomato juice will help, and some of the shampoos are good. But my vet recommended a mixture of Palmolive dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide, it took the smell right out.
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Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2003 09:36 pm
Was your doggie bleach blonde when you were done? lol

I wonder what is in Palmolive that does the trick... Hmmm...
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Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2003 10:10 pm
Some of the shampoos made specifically for ferretts will work wonders as well, I keep some of that around cuz you just never know!
As a side note...FYI Palmolive is great to have around for the ladies <gents as well if you color your hair> it seems that it works best in the department of stripping al la homestyle. Dont like the new color you put in..well..grab the soap. Is it any wonder I wont wash my dishes with the stuff???
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Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2003 10:24 pm
Skunking is a routine deal around here. A stunned, dazed, disoriented, thoroughly chagined, reeking, reeling, staggering dog is almost a comical sight. We use the dishsoap/peroxide method, then, when the pup is dry, we brush baking soda into the fur. Works pretty well. After a few experiences, the dogs seem to begin to accept, though not relish, the procedure. Some of The Puppies are old hands at it. So are we.

Now, porcupine is much more challenge.

Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 09:48 am
By the way, V-8 doesn't work - and those plastic Elizabethan collars absorb skunk odor really well and need to be destroyed and/or moved as far away from your home as possible if the spray gets on 'em.
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Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2003 10:31 am
I forget the name of the book, but Gary Paulsen wrote a book about training for, and running in the Ititarod dog Sled race. He said... more or less

Rule #1. Never kick a skunk
Rule #2. Never grab a skunk by the tail and pull.


Neighbor's dog caught and ate a baby skunk before his owner knew what was happening. Before Corky knew what was happening as well, I suppose.

You don't know nuthin' about doggy breath untill you've inhaled skunky exhale!
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Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 10:14 am
WOW, some really valuable tips needed right about now. Both my main dog and backup doggies got nailed last night. It must be "Coming out" time for skunks.

WE had three skunks messing about last night and my wife, (Peace be on her) didnt know, so she let the dogs out for a toidy call and they both found two skunks and decided to play chicken. (The only thing that skunk evolution has failed the species is when it meets up with a BUICK, not two asshole dogs)
Both dogs cannot be left in the house or Ill puke, its that strong of an odor.
My instructions were to use a soap and OXI_Clean mix (oxi clean ois a peroxide mix). Follow up with a bicarb brush and then spray with another oxidizer called :Skunk Off" from my vet.

DAYUM, this place is never a dull day.
Green Witch
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 10:28 am
The internet has become a very strange form of immortality.
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Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 11:32 am
Tips: Before You Bathe Your "Skunked" Dog

1. Before handling your dog, you may want to put on some old clothes. Skunk spray is actually an oil and is very difficult to remove from clothing. Do not let your dog lay in his dog bed or the skunk oils will get on the bed.

2. If possible, leave the dog outside to prevent the odor ridden oils from getting into your house.

3. Determine where the spray hit the dog. Depending on your dog's hair type, you may be able to trim away or comb out some of the affected hair.

4. You can use paper towels to soak up the oils from the coat before you begin washing. If you use a real towel you will most likely have to toss it as the oils may not come out 100% and your towel may smell for a long time. Be careful not to spread the oils from one part of the dog to another. Only wipe where the oils are already to avoid making the problem worse.

5. When you're ready to wash the dog, only clean the sprayed area. Skunk spray is oily and can easily be spread all over the dog. You will most likely have to give the dog more than one bath, so save an all-over bath until the second or third washing.

How do I get the odor out?

It may be particularly hard to get the odor out of those dogs who have thick double coats. If quick action is not taken it is possible to smell the odor on your dog for up to two years, especially when the dog gets wet.

It is best to bathe your dog with a shampoo before the skunk's sulphuric spray dries on the fur. After bathing you can try some of the following methods...

Store bought De-Skunking Products

There are several products you can buy at the store to de-skunk your dog, which I think work best, but one does not always have them on hand when their dog gets sprayed.

Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover
Earth Friendly Skunk Odor Remover

Tomato Juice or Mouthwash

A couple old methods used are saturating the dog's coat in tomato juice or mouthwash and than bathing the dog thoroughly with a canine shampoo. However the effectiveness of these methods are questionable and it is said that the tomato juice will leave your dogs coat all red.

Another Somewhat Effective Method

Paul Krebaum, a chemist, invented a new more effective formula for de-skunking a dog. Mix in an open bucket or bowl:

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
ΒΌ cup baking soda
1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap such as dishwashing detergent.

Mix the ingredients in an open bucket or bowl. The mixture will fizz. Wet your dog and thoroughly massage the solution into the coat. Be sure to keep the mixture out of the dogs eyes, nose and mouth. If it is necessary to apply it to the dogs face, very carefully use a washcloth or a sponge. After applying the mixture to all parts of your dog that may have been sprayed, rinse the dog thoroughly.


This mixture can be explosive, as it will fizz and creates pressure if it is enclosed in a seal tight container. Never store unused portion, always discard. Be sure to only mix in an open container and do not try to store or cover it in any way. Do not get the mixture into the dog's eyes, nose or mouth.
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 03:44 pm
Most every vet has been given the info about the peroxide/sodium bicarb method. The skunk odor is actually a mercaptan, a sulfur based resinous oil that can be cleaved by the oxidizing effects of peroxide.
We used Oxiclean strait before washing the border collie and used the shampoo peroxide mix for the catahoula (a shoprt haired hound) They stink a lot less but they will be spendoing their days in the kennel till we get the stenches out.
NO skunkified dog crosses the transom. We had that happen many years before and it took almost 3 months to get the worst of the smell out.

Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 05:28 pm
Yes. I had seen the mention of mercaptan in some reading but not pasted it.
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 06:14 pm
2 mercapto ethanol is the item I was sent to work with, under the hood. (Utilizing our lab resources, reasonably).
I've this history, as 2 m e was let loose somehow in a university lab I was in and everyone else fled the room, me not getting it.

Told ya I can't smell.

I can once in a while, say if I slice ginger.

Building on this data, I trust I really would not smell skunk.
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 08:19 pm
When the dogs tried to come back in the house I almost puked, the stench was so intense .
I hadda lure the doggies into the kennel house (its a small building with a very nice cement paddock and 4 large runs . The dogs can live quite comfortably there cause we have it heated with a small electric baseboard. They can stay there and deskunk themselves and think about thweir stupid tricks. My wife is the one who needs her little bandits in the house(They kiss her ass , the little bunco artists).
We are gonna wash em again tomorrow and see where we stand. Right now I am still pissed at how the entire area around the back porch and patio smells like a skunk blew up.

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