I am not quite sure why, but most dogs think that a little black and white furry animal waddling around the yard or park, would make a delightful play-mate and friend. I am talking about skunks, and if you are a dog owner in the country, and sometimes even the city, the odds are pretty high that your dog will be sprayed by one. If this happens, you are most likely going to A: Think about how sad your life is going to be when you immediately give the dog away... and B: How you are going to get the worst smell on the face of the planet off of your dog, because after-all, who are you kidding? You can't get rid of your best friend like that!
The most common solutions that come to mind are tomato juice and vinegar, but there are several problems with this remedy. For one thing, it will only mask the odor temporarily and not remove it. Secondly, a lot of times, especially on lighter colored dogs, it will leave a red stain on the dog, and although it would look quite festive if it is around Christmas time, it may look a little strange the rest of the year.
The first thing you will actually need to do is put on old clothes and rubber or plastic gloves and inspect the dog for scratches or bites which will require you to rush your dog to the vet since skunks do frequently carry rabies, also, look for redness of the dogs eyes, or discharge which will also require vet attention. If none of the above are found to be present, the next thing to do is look for where the dog was sprayed, it will be a very oily residual area, and usually not in that big of a spot. Blot the area with an old (and soon to be disposable) towel, or paper towels... blot, do not rub the oily area, or you will just spread it to a bigger area. There are specialty skunk shampoos available at pet stores or vet offices, but one of the best solutions can be made with stuff usually found in the home.
In a bucket, pour 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon or two of liquid soap, and fill the rest up with warm water. Mix the solution well, if it begins to fizz, it may explode soon, so run! (Kidding! It will fizz, no worries.) Next just apply the mixture to the affected areas and rinse, make sure not to wet the dog prior to applying the solution, it will only spread the skunk area more. You may have to repeat several times, but do be sure to rinse completely off, and do not get the solution in the eyes, ears, or mouth. A few drops of mineral oil in the dogs eyes prior to using solution will help protect them if some is accidentally splashed in them, and sterile eye wash is good to use after you are done, just in case.
The most important thing to remember, if your dog does get sprayed, is DO NOT take him to your groomer under any circumstance! Kidding again. I thought I would try to save myself from having to deal with it... he he he. If you do transport to the groomer, use old towels or blankets to cover your seats, and have your dog lay on those to keep your car from smelling like skunk The solution described above does work as well as, if not better than, most of the commercially available shampoos out there, but are pretty expensive.
Hopefully, neither you or your dog will have to ever deal with the aftermath of a skunks accurate aim, but if so, you should find this helpful. Your nose will thank you, and your dog will appreciate being able to be within the same quarter-mile radius of you without seeing your look of disgust!