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What to Do If Your Dog Got Sprayed by a Skunk

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It’s a quiet evening, and you let your dog out for their routine backyard stroll. Suddenly, a stench fills the air. Your worst fear comes true when your pup rushes back with that unmistakable, foul odor. While this is never a fun experience, if your dog got sprayed by a skunk, don’t panic. Barkbus is just a call away if you need professional de-skunking services, but we’ve also put together this guide on managing the stinky situation.

Understanding Skunk Spray

House smells like a skunk? We know it’s not pleasant. Skunks are infamous for their unique and overpowering spray, a natural defense mechanism that deters potential predators. To deal with this particularly pungent problem, understanding its chemical makeup and the reasons for its intense aroma can be of immense help. Skunk spray — commonly referred to as musk — is a yellowish, oily liquid secreted by glands situated near the base of the skunk’s tail. This spray is composed of a concoction of volatile chemicals, primarily:

  • Thiols. These sulfur-containing organic compounds are infamous for their intense odors. Methanethiol and butanethiol are two such chemicals found in skunk spray.
  • Thioacetates. Over time, especially when exposed to water, these chemicals can transform into thiols. This explains why a skunk-sprayed wet dog might have a heightened odor or why the smell can seem to revive after an initial cleanup.

What to Do If Your Dog Gets Sprayed by a Skunk

Nobody wants to deal with the aftermath of a dog that has been sprayed by a skunk. However, if your pup does get into a stinky standoff, there are some important things to consider.

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