ARGH! Skunk

ladybugfruitOctober 2, 2010

So we just moved to a rural community about 2 months ago ( we have been suburbanites) and are still adjusting to the critters that go with the lifestyle. We thought for sure it would be spring before we had to deal with this, but gah, two nights ago both of our girls were sprayed in the face with a skunk. I am pretty sure everyone stumbled across one another.

Ran to Walmart at 11:00 at night and got tomato juice and got them bathed it that, got natures miracle yesterday and have been applying it gently to their faces ( still stinky heads). Any idea how long it will take to get my girls over the stinky hump? At least the house is starting to smell less offensive ( yup, smell got in the house). Also picked up some critter deterrent at the tractor supply along with chicken wire to put up along the deck and shed to encourage skunks to move elsewhere. Are there any other precautions I can take to try and keep them out of the yard??? I have already figured out that my girls did not learn from the experience ( keep wandering over to ground zero) and I did find where the booger dug under the fence, blocked that off too and plan to chicken wire along the fence. Sorry to be so long winded, just really want to avoid that experience again if I can.



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Hi, not sure tomato juice really works. I've never had this problem but have read repeatedly that the more effective solution to the odor is a combination of a pint of 3% Hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent. Multiply the recipe depending on the size of the areas that need to be cleaned on your pups. Apply and leave it on for a good 10 minutes. Then rinse with apple cider vinegar.

It sounds like you are doing all of the right things to keep the skunks out of the fenced yard. Fill in any holes they may have dug under the fence and use chicken wire a foot or so down to keep them from digging in again.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 10:29AM
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Sorry this happened! We don't have a dog, but our neighbors do, and there is no learning curve for him. It also appears that I live in suburban skunk central.

The stink chemicals have probably come into your house on the dogs. Even if the smell isn't evident to you anymore, other people may be able to smell it.

You can block things off, but you might also try sprinkling some cayenne pepper in their favorite areas. There are some skunk repellents on the market, but most of them are pepper-based. Whatever you do, don't leave bowls of dog food or cat chow outside; it's an invitation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Skunk odor removal

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 10:32AM
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Skunks are getting ready to hibernate and should be pretty grouchy by now.

The peroxide, backing soda and shampoo works better than anything else, repeat it if you have to. It may lightly bleach them out. Also, clip their hair if you can.

The smell can last a loooooong time. We had a tomcat that was sprayed one fine early summer day. He was tolerable in a couple of weeks, but still smelly all summer. Things got better when he shed out for the fall, but until he shed out the next spring, he would smell faintly skunky whenever he came in with snow on him and got wet and warm.

Block off any openings under decks, outbuildings, etc with hardware cloth or chicken wire, staples firmly in place. Covered with a trellis if you want to, for looks. Make sure the bottom is secure, because skunks are diggers.

Have the wire go in an "L" like this, :_ , aimed towards the direction the critters will be coming from. They aren't smart enough to locate the edge and they get frustrated when they keep hitting wire. You need about a foot at the base, just below ground level.

Other wildlife that is way worse then skunks:

Raccoons will maul a dog if they are cornered.

Coyotes will kill dogs on general principles and often nab small ones to eat.

Bobcats ... the dog will never see the cat.

Mountain lions have been known to catch and eat dogs. One in Tucson a few years ago leaped a block wall, grabbed a pit bull and went back over the wall.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 5:37PM
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YIPES have given me something to think about. We are always outside with the dogs at night, but I am starting to wonder if we should be taking them out on leashes only at night? (* would love to hear your input)
Ya'll are giving me some great information and I am SO thankful for it. We knew it would be different that living in the suburbs ( and we are still in a neighborhood, but it's considered rural), but I don't think we were totally prepared for the wildlife aspect. We do love the place though! It's just an awkward learning curve right now.
BTW, the house is smelling much better, I found some advice to put bowls of vinegar around the house & it would absorb the odor and it's working well. Girls got another bath today with some deskunking shampoo and figured out that kongs were a great diversion while waiting for the shampoo to sit and do it's magic. It seems to have worked pretty well. They both still have a few stubborn spots, but those are on their face where I have to be extra careful. I am gently rubbing natures miracle in these areas, lol, the girls think they are getting a face massage.
Got vines cleared off the deck area today and will be putting up chicken wire tomorrow. Great suggestion about putting the wire at an L facing out. I would have never thought of that! Also put out deterrent along the perimeter of the deck where I cleared the brush ( got the rest yesterday). Think I am on the right track.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 8:56PM
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We live in the suburbs in a rare spot with some woods behind the house. We're at the bottom of the valley with all the "newer" (1950's) tract housing built behind and above us behind the woods.

We have tons of skunks around here, I assume they pick through the garbage cans way back there then come down through the woods. My cat loves to chase them. At least 10x a summer it starts with a "do you smell skunk?" and within an hour the whole house stinks. It wafts in every window. We don't do anything to keep them away and we don't get too upset about it because it's just a never ending battle. The cat will always go after them and they will always come around. It's too big of an area to try to keep them out.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 8:39AM
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One or both of our dogs gets skunked about once a year so we are fairly experienced. Another vote for the peroxide/baking soda/dish detergent mix. It's the best thing that we've tried. Other than a couple of baths, you mostly have to wait. One thing - did they have collars on? I've found that the collars tend to absorb and hold the odor for a very long time. Try running them through the wash or substitute a different collar for awhile. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 8:45AM
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We are always outside with the dogs at night, but I am starting to wonder if we should be taking them out on leashes only at night?

Definitely ... By the time you realize the dog is in trouble, it's often too late.

I don't know how large your dogs are, but I have seen (with my own eyes) a tiny dog snatched up by a great horned owl. The dog was 25-30 feet in front of it's owner and the owl swooped, snatched the dog, and flew off without even losing speed.

I have also seen a too-inquisitive dog get sprayed by a skunk. That skunk was accustomed to the resort's resident dogs giving it a wide berth, or standing still as it walked past - great to see a Rhodesian Ridgeback standing and watching a large skunk strolling past it.

The guest's unleashed dog saw the skunk and ran toward it, barking and excited. The skunk politely lifted its tail in the "don't bother me" warning but the dog kept coming and barking as the owner was shrieking "Poopsie, come back here NOW!".

So the skunk twisted around and let the dog have it with a well-aimed squirt right in the face. Their range is 6-10 feet for in-your-face accuracy and 10-15 feet for "forget accuracy, gas 'em" sprays. Judging from where the dog stopped barking and bolted back to it's owner, it was hit at about 8 feet.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Yup, we got a flexilead for at night and now keep the flood lights on and potty in the lighted area only.
WOW! a Ridgeback. So not my girl...haha one of my girls is a Ridgeback mix ( with greyhound, guess how much prey drive she has!)My other dog is a sharpei mix so I think we are safe as far as owls, which we definitely have at least 2 in the immediate area.
I've decided that asian jasmine is the spawn of satan because we have SO much that needs to be removed ( lots of overgrowth) and after pulling quite a bit off the fence, found a big ol hole where our stinky friend entered the yard. Got some smaller mesh chicken wire for along the fence line where our neighbors deck backs up to our fence too. Know I can't keep em out, but am going to discourage as much as possible and keep the girls leashed at night from now on. Thanks again for all of the info and input. It has been very useful in our learning curve. :) Hopefully we won't be getting sprayed again anytime soon!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 8:34AM
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I understand what you are going through! Last fall, one of my dogs (a terrier) got skunked 4 nights in row! Every night my husband made up the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, etc. mix but she really didn't smell much better, especially when she was damp...UGH!. So, the last night I just grabbed the Dogosuds shampoo (we use it all the time with our dogs) and washed her. NO MORE SKUNK SMELL-NOT A TRACE! So, I threw a bit in with her blanket in the wash...NO MORE SKUNK SMELL. Not a trace! We used the peppermint-tea tree variety but a friend used the lavender and said she had the same results. Now I keep it on hand!

Here is a link that might be useful: NO MORE SKUNK SMELL!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:54PM
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