Beware of skunks !

Let’s face it , the last thing you want to happen to your pet is to see it get ” sprayed ” by a skunk !

Fall is the peak season for these little critters. It’s not surprising to see these black and white creatures around our homes during the fall season because they are trying to ‘bulk up with food’ for winter . Hence, why they look so plump at this time of the year.

Beware of friendly skunks!

Beware of friendly skunks!

Although they are omnivores and feed primarily on insects, skunks do not shy away from local garbage cans. With the advent of autumn, food becomes more scarce in the woods and it gets easier for skunks to find supplies near our homes . When late November, early December rolls around and it’s fat reserves are sufficient, skunks find deep burrows in which to spend the winter.

If you ever ‘sniff’ their company or find one around your house , be careful!

You won’t learn anything if I tell you that a skunk’s smelly liquid can cover 6 meters in radius and even be directed with great precision up to a distance of 3 meters. But even if you think you are out of range, you’re not necessarily out of arms way. And what if your dog tries at all costs to sniff, feel and catch those little black and white ‘monsters’ ?

A dog that is sprayed in a well ventilated area is left to smell awful. An unfortunate accident at best. But if your pet is sprayed while stuck in a foxhole for example…then it can die within minutes as the chemicals contained in a skunk’s spray are known to destroy red blood cells and cause a fatal shock .

In addition , skunks play an important role in the transmission of rabies . Generally, skunks flee at the sight of humans, but once infected with rabies , it loses that fear. One should never approach ‘friendly’ skunks , even if it seems injured.

So what to do if ‘Fido’ suffers the wrath of a skunk ? If it happened in a hole or in a burrow…you need to act fast and get it out of there. Watering the hole should get your pet out of there faster.

Then , rinse the animal with water , especially in the mouth , face and eye area to prevent toxins from being absorbed and cause real damage.

Then its ‘bath time’.

Our favorite product is a shampoo specifically designed for these accidents called ( Skunk Off). Begin by making good foam , apply and rinse once. Apply it a second time and leave it on the animal for about ten minutes. Finish with a good rinsing and remember ‘easy does it’ around the eyes !

Keep this famous shampoo handy around the home and if you have a summer home or cottage , stock up at both locations.

But…what if you do not have Skunk Off on that critical day?

All over the Internet, there are all sorts of recipes and products. From tomato juice to diluted vinegar .The most popular recipe is as follows:

1 liter of hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup ( 60 g) of baking soda ( bicarbonate of soda)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) of liquid dish soap

Once prepared the mix must be used quickly . First wash your dog with a regular shampoo, then follow the same instructions than with the Skunk-off shampoo. Finish with the regular shampoo.

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