“I think we have a skunk under our shed; the dog is going crazy. How can we get rid of it before it meets up with the dog?” Skunks are a critter none of the Newton Falls Public Library staff wants to meet, so we can understand the urgency of this request
All the editions of Harold E. Bailey’s book, The Friendly Trapper say that skunks find ammonia to be repulsive and cower away from it. He also suggests a poison gas cartridge like ones used for groundhogs. Our patron preferred the former option, as she only wished to discourage the skunk from living so close to her home.
If her dog should meet up with the skunk before she is able to remove it, we also searched for how to deal with the results. The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health recommends dealing with skunking while the spray is still wet as it is an oil. They encourage using a commercial product, as many homemade concoctions can be too harsh especially in the eye and ear areas or will bleach the dog’s coat. A recipe for a homemade treatment can be found at the Humane Society’s website. The instructions do come with cautioning notes not to get it near the pet’s eyes, leaving on too long and bleaching his fur, and premixing as it can explode if left in the bottle. It also includes follow-up instructions for cleaning the owner’s clothing by washing in laundry detergent and baking soda.