• Life in Chicagoland can be especially characterized by one stinky feature – especially on the North Shore near Love Fur Dogs. We have far more than the average number of skunks here. Why here? There are reasons, but that’s another blog post.

    Love Fur Dogs is uniquely suited to treat that horrible smell in your dogs with our amazing Thera-Clean Microbubble Technology. We will always take a skunked dog appointment from our clients as an emergency walk-in. Call and plan to come right in.

    But our hope is that we can give you information here to PREVENT skunk hits from happening on your dog.

    1. Time of year matters: skunks don’t hibernate but they do sleep more in winter. Winter hits do happen but very rarely. And as the weather starts to warm in the spring, they come out hungry in droves. They happen in waves throughout spring, summer and fall as they have babies.
    2. Time of day matters: skunks are out most during the early morning around dawn, dusk as sunset approaches, and all night when its dark. Broad daylight hits do happen, but again, very rarely.
    3. Walking with your dog matters: Do not turn your dog out to go potty, even inside your own yard, especially at these times of the year and times of day. Walk them on leash if they aren’t instantly responsive to your command to Come. I know its an extra bit of time in your busy day to walk with your dog, but the trauma and hassle of a skunk hit is far more expensive and disruptive. It is worth this effort to prevent a skunk attack. Besides, walking your dog and taking a break outside yourself regularly is GOOD for YOU, too.
    4. Make a plan with your whole family: Some of our saddest client phone calls are from the families that the kids or someone else in the house just let the dog out on its own early in the morning or late at night, when you have been working so hard to keep the dog from getting skunked. Communicate with all in the house and make a plan together.
    5. Don’t let the dog back in the house if you suspect there may be a hit: If you have failed at the above steps and the dog got out anyway, or if you hear or see or smell anything out of the ordinary – strange sounds, a funny look on your dog’s desperate face, etc. – do not let them inside! Skunk smell does not smell like the smell you are used to right away. It smells different. It takes a while for it to be recognizable to you as a skunk hit. And if you let them back in the house, the clean up bill is going to be huge and life will be miserable inside your house. (On the subject of cleaning up your houses, we always recommend our friends at www.skunkmasters.com – they are reliable and effective. They will come 24 hours a day. We send them tons of clients, and they send us tons of dogs for microbubbling!)
    6. Confine your dog outside in a garage, in a laundry area, an unfinished basement, an interior bathroom, if you must bring them in. Make sure they stay in a washable room. Don’t let them near porous fabric, furniture, carpeting, draperies – until they are treated.
    7. Don’t home bathe right away: Skunk spray is a complex and pernicious OIL. If you wash it right away, you will help to spread the oil around the dog. Instead when they are hit take DRY baking soda or DRY corn starch and pat it into the localized area on the dog that was hit. Doing this as soon as you can after the skunk hit can make a significant difference in the size of this problem in your life. Knock it off – outside – after it absorbs, then apply more, pat it in, knock it off. Repeat as needed to absorb as much of the oily skunk hit as possible.
    8. If you must wash at home the traditional mix is baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid. Know that this first aid approach is not nearly as effective as our microbubble machine, but can help in a pinch. BUT be warned: You cannot use it in delicate areas around the face, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, rectal, etc – it will damage sensitive skin. And sadly, often, dogs are hit in the muzzle/face area because they go at the skunk face-first trying to smell it. This home remedy mixture is not safe for faces. Also, it can discolor the dog’s hair. If you must use this mixture, be sure to RINSE IT OUT thoroughly. And then wash the dog again with a good dog shampoo and, most importantly, conditioner! You do not want to apply that harsh mixture and then not wash it off and re-condition your dog’s sensitive coat and skin.
    9. If you wash at home do not let them just towel dry, especially if they have longer hair. They will MAT and tangle. Even if they are “fur” dogs that don’t get haircuts, their undercoat will clump up on many breeds of dogs. Matted dogs are uncomfortable dogs and water always causes mats and clumped undercoat on dog if you don’t blow dry out and thoroughly brush and comb out the hair/fur.
    10. Call Love Fur Dogs right away to get in for a microbubble. Jennifer has put her cell phone number on the shop answering machine for after hours emergencies to TEXT Jennifer in a crisis like this, if truly needed. Our Thera-clean microbubble machine is literally THE MOST EFFECTIVE way to rid your dog of a skunk smell ever invented. Its why we bought, at great expense, this amazing technology that has so many other applications. The skunk hits alone on the North Shore made this machine worth the price for us. The microbubbles go down INSIDE pores and follicles. No other kind of bath or treatment will get those extra little molecules of skunk oil out from where they hide inside pores and follicles.

    Dogs that have been hit by skunks can, if not microbubbled, continue to smell like skunk for months, especially if they get wet. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!!