Bathing a dog – Special Bath Problems in dogs

See Removing Mats for advice on removing burdocks and chewing gum.


The old remedy for removing skunk oil involved soaking the affected parts in tomato juice and then giving the dog a bath. What you usually ended up with was a pink dog who stilled smelled faintly of skunk. A new recipe appeared in Chemical & Engineering magazine and has been widely quoted on the Internet. It is far more effective and does not require repeated use. It can be used on cats as well as dogs. The recipe is as follows:

1 quart (1 l) 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (from the drug store) 1⁄4 cup (55 g) baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) liquid dish soap

Bathe the pet and work the solution into the coat. Follow with a tap water rinse. In long haired dogs, most of the challenge is getting the solution down to the skin.

Discard any unused formula because the release of oxygen caused by the chemical reaction could make the container explode.

Tar and Paint

When feasible, trim away any hair that contains tar, oil, or paint. To remove residual substances, saturate the effected parts with vegetable oil. Leave for 24 hours, then wash the coat with soap and water or give the dog a complete bath.

Do not use petroleum solvents such as gasoline, kerosene, or turpentine to remove any substance from a dog’s coat. These products are extremely harm- ful to the skin and are highly toxic if absorbed.