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San Bruno Pet Hospital 1111 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066
Phone: (650) 583-5039
Fax: (650) 763-8620

Hospital Hours
M-F: 7:30a-6p
Sat: 8a-5p
Appointment Hours
M-F 8:30a-5:30p
Sat: 8:30a-4:30p

After Hours Emergency
Emergency Clinic


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NOTE: These are offered
as general information
only and NOT a substitute
for a visit to your
veterinarian. If you feel
that your pet has a
problem that may require
urgent attention
call us at (650) 583-5039
immediately. If after hours,
contact the emergency
clinic (650) 348-2575.
Two things to know for skunked dogs 
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call San Bruno Pet -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

A skunk’s spray is a scent you’ll never forget. And when the skunk’s target is your pet, it can be particularly offensive. You’ve probably heard of the old tomato juice trick, but in actuality this is unlikely to do more than just mask the smell.

1. Is Skunk Spray Dangerous?
Keep in mind that the ‘liquid’ in skunk spray is not only offensive to your nostrils, it can actually be dangerous. Skunk toxicosis can occur if the dog ingests some of it, causing potentially life-threatening anemia.

In addition, the spray can be caustic and can cause irritation and damage to the lungs, corneas and other delicate parts of the face in both cats and dogs. Respiratory illnesses and dermatitis can occur with skunk spray as well.

If your dog or cat has been sprayed by a skunk, you may want to call your veterinarian to determine if a visit to the ER is in order. Make sure to monitor them carefully over the next few days to ensure respiratory or eye irritation doesn’t occur, as well as anorexia, vomiting or not feeling well.

Note: A Pet Health Insurance plan can include coverage for injuries and accidents, even those related to a skunk incident.

2. How to Remove (Reduce) the Skunk Spray
Rather than run to the grocery store for vats of tomato juice, here is a better home skunk recipe you can try:
  • One quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp liquid hand soap (not dishwashing soap or detergent)
Note: Do not mix these ingredients in a closed bottle. Baking soda and peroxide together will explode!

Lather and bathe several times, ensuring you rinse well in between washes. Avoid contact with eyes, as this solution can cause irritation and discomfort. There are over the counter skunk products available as well, such as Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor remover, and Skunk Off made by Thornell, as well as various other skunk shampoos that will work better than tomato juice.

Parting tip:If you’re in an area where skunks live, keep your dogs on a leash to help avoid any potential skunk run-ins.

By veterinarian Dr. Fiona