Get the skunk outta here!

Oh man. Skunk smell is no joke! Our poor pup, Dexter, met a skunk in our backyard the other night. He took it right in the face.

We knew better than to let the dog inside. We had the door open for only 10 seconds right after it happened and our house smelled like skunk for the next couple of days. I burnt candles, sprayed febreeze, and aired out the house until it was gone.

The Husband and I have never smelled anything so awful! We went straight to Google to figure out what to do.

Of course, it was midnight on a Sunday so, there were no stores open to collect the ingredients we needed for the most popular de-skunking recipe (who keeps a quart of hydrogen peroxide on hand???) We kept searching to find alternative ways to get the skunk off of Dexter. We came across two options that worked for us, vanilla and vinegar. Here is the process we used, in case anyone else finds themselves in a skunk predicament at midnight.


  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Dog Shampoo
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Towels (you don't mind throwing away!)
  • Gloves (disposable or rubber)
  • Patience

The following was the order of events we used to get the smell out of our dog and our home. The whole process from start to finish was about an hour. Thankfully, this worked for us and Dexter smelled like vanilla the next day... except his breath, that smelled bad for days upon days.


  • Change your clothes. Put on something you don't mind throwing away because if you get skunk on you, it's just nasty.
  • Don't, I repeat, do not let your dog in the house for at least 24 hours. Find a safe place for him to sleep in your garage or backyard for the night. We put Dexter in his crate in the garage.
  • It's a good idea to make sure when you turn the hose on, that it isn't pointing at your husband. Its not funny at midnight, just so you know.
  • Light scented candles and spray febreeze on your fabrics near the door where the "incident" happened. Even if the situation didn't go down inside, that smell can ruin the prettiest drapes.
  • Open windows after the skunk smell has gone away outside to air out your home.
  • After your dog is taken care of, go shower yourself and loofah because, that smell ya'll.

STEP 1: Vinegar Bath

  1. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar (amount will depend on the size of your dog). Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly hose down your dog with water.
  3. Work the vinegar mixture through his fur, focusing on the area hit the worst. Careful not to get it in their eyes, cause that would sting and your dog has already been through a traumatic moment with Pepé Le Pew.
  4. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then rinse completely with water.

STEP 2: Dog Shampoo

  1. Shampoo your dog.
  2. Give them lots of love and attention.
  3. Rinse with water.

STEP 3: Vanilla bath

  1. Mix 1 cup of vanilla extract with a gallon of water.
  2. Massage the vanilla mix into your pup's fur. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse out vanilla mix with water and give your dog a "smell test".

Repeat if needed.

Have you ever encountered a skunk? Share your story and what worked for you in the comments section.