June 2008
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June Pet Tip of the Month – What’s that smell? A SKUNK!

Ah, Yes, spring has sprung! Not only are we enjoying it, but all of the wild life is also, as I can plainly SMELL! As the evenings are getting warmer the windows are inevitably opened during the night for a cool breeze and restful sleep. That is until awakened by that familiar “tire fire” smell that I have gotten used to, emanating from Butch. But this time it wasn’t Butch, it was that good ol’ skunk smell! This is something that all pet owners have the possibility of dealing with sooner or later. My Neighbor Ken and his family had to deal with this at 2:30AM when Lilly, their black lab mix came nose to nose, or rather nose to butt, with a skunk and was sprayed … did I mention it was 2:30 AM? Imagine that, while you are standing at your doorway and your canine comes back after a brief potty break! Well, mayhem ensued for the rest of that sleepless night trying to get the smell off of poor Lilly! I had quite an incident when a skunk got its head stuck in my garage door … from the inside! What a situation, a “live” skunk stuck in my garage. More details of this are in the book, but I did learn a neat little elixir for getting rid of the smell from the guy who helped me remove the skunk.  This is what he told me to use: 1 quart new bottle of hydrogen peroxide mix in a 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap. This potion can be used on pets, people, places or things but it does have a bleach-like affect on clothing and could discolor them. Naturally you shouldn’t ingest any of this or get it in your eyes. This stuff worked ON-THE-SPOT! The smell left immediately!Being the inquisitive type, I researched this concoction and found out that it was actually developed by a chemist named Paul Krebaum, and that this stuff actually neutralizes the skunk oils that contain the odor. It figures! I also found out some other important information about this stuff like, the ingredients must be mixed in an open container and used immediately. You can’t mix the ingredients in advance because oxygen released from hydrogen peroxide may cause a closed container to explode. You should let the solution soak on your pet’s hair for five minutes before rinsing it off with water. Repeat these treatments as needed. You can also contact your local zoo or the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services for more information and other remedies to this smelly problem.

Word of caution, Go outside with your pet after dark if at all possible. A skunk will be more likely to see you and run away before your dog has a chance to see it!

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