A recipe that all dog owners should have, especially if they live in or walk their dog(s) in wilderness areas.
1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tsp dish detergent
This is a recipe for de-skunking your dog(s) and yes, it works. How do I know? Well, what do you think?
Last weekend our new puppy Finn decided to test out his bravado by cornering, chasing, then attacking a full grown skunk. He did this while my husband and I watched through horrified eyes.
The dog’s brain locked in on its target and no matter how much we yelled for him to stop, his little brain did not register our distress calls. It was the skunk who eventually got his attention.
Our poor hound was about 4 feet behind Finn and the skunk when the Eau de fragrance struck her directly in the face. I swear she was telling him to stop moments before she became a casualty of the event. You see Emma is a veteran of the mountains and she too had to learn the hard way when it comes to meddling with wildlife. So she knows when to walk away and bless her little heart, she did at first.
We thought that the scent would be our only problem to deal with, but we quickly discovered that it was only part of what we were going to have to contend with. My poor husband also got sprayed a little and about 40 minutes after inhaling the scented oils he became very nauseous. This is when we knew we were going to be in for a long night.
After we bathed both dogs and left them outside for a few hours to dry, I went to the internet to do my research on the subject and I was alarmed at what I found. Being sprayed by a skunk can wreak all kinds of havoc on a persons (or canines) nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Some dogs can experience damage to the nasal cavities and lungs and others may have seizures. Some even experience decimation of their red blood cells. The chemical constitutes in the skunks musk can actually cause the red blood cells to burst. There are even a few dogs each year that die from being sprayed.
Our dogs were very lethargic for a few days with black tarry stools, which told me that there had been some damage to their red blood cells. My hound, who did not instigate or participate in the attack, became extremely ill and I had to watch her carefully for a few days. Although her body no longer smells foul, thanks to the recipe above, her face still does stink because it is not recommended to wash an animals face with it. 7 days post-skunk her breath smells so very strongly that we are left thinking that she may have some permanent damage to her lungs and olfactory receptors.
You might be wondering why we didn’t take them to the vet and here is why. There is not much a veterinarian can do unless the dog can’t breath, is so lethargic they can’t get up, is having seizures or is bleeding. The only thing that can be done is to wait it all out. Fresh air, exercise and lots of water to flush out the system is about the only thing to do. Emma required 24 hour monitoring for the first 3 days.
Finn, the little mischievous fiend, bounced back much quicker although he still does sleep an awful lot.
Keeping pets can be dangerous as well as very expensive. We are fortunate that I have a background in animal science and lots of reliable medical resources (No web MD for us). Without this, Finns misjudgment would have cost us at least a thousand dollars, as most vets want to keep the animals for 24 hours observation. If they had administered any medications the price would have gone up from there.
When I use to work for our local animal shelter, I observed lots of people who could not afford to put food on the table for their families without the help of government assistance and yet they wanted to adopt a dog. I also came across people who didn’t have enough money to pay for the adoption fee, yet they thought they could afford to bring a new 4 legged friend into their homes.
Our 2 dogs cost us about $800.00 a year for just food and yearly vet checks with vaccinations. My dogs do eat top of the line dog food that is supplemented with homemade dog. So we do spend a little bit more then the average pet owner, but not much because cheap dog food can cost more in medical expenses as a dog ages. We would rather pay for the dog food now and not line the bank accounts of our local vet later.
The point here is that pets are expensive and if you are trying to live a frugal life they may not be for you. Just some food for thought.