Skunks: What You Need to Know If Your Pet Has Been Sprayed by a Skunk

Learn about skunk behavior, skunk oil and how to get rid of that smell

Skunks normally mind their own business, but are sometimes provoked to spray by a curious or threatening pet. The questions of what they spray, why they spray, and how do you get rid of the odor are answered here.

Also, is the spray toxic? Find out what you need to do for post-skunk first aid for your pets to be safe.

Related: Porcupines and Quills

  • 01 of 03
    Striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) spraying
    Striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) spraying. Getty - Stockbyte/Tom Brakefield

    Your dog barks frantically, or maybe zooms off in another direction. Then you smell it. Skunk! I think that this has happened to each dog I have lived with at some point in their life. Some escape with just a spritz, other dogs come back dripping in skunk juice. Not good.

    Learn about skunks behavior to help prevent being "skunked" in the future and what to do about that odor now.

  • 02 of 03
    Baby Skunk Trio
    Baby Skunk Trio. Getty - Moment/Bill McMullen
    Getting rid of a bothersome odor is one thing, but are there any medical issues to be concerned about if your pet is sprayed by a skunk? The answer is usually "no," but read on for things to watch for if your pet has been sprayed by a skunk.
  • 03 of 03
    Dog Bath
    Dog Bath. Getty - Moment/JanuarySkyePhotography

    Many of us have had the unpleasant realization, usually at night, of "uh oh, my dog has been skunked!" With a direct attack, the odor is often so strong that the amount of skunk oil on the pet may be underestimated. This can lead to bringing the dog (or articles of clothing) in the house a bit too soon.

    Annoying, frustrating...what's your skunk story?