Yesterday evening after my husband had been watching a show about California’s green energy program a show about Skunks came on PBS. It was part of their Nature series.
I’ve always been kind of fascinated by skunks. There were several in my hometown neighborhood in Ottawa, and now that we have our own house here in Toronto I’ve noticed that we have a number of skunks around here too.
I’ve never had a problem with skunks. If I see one I stay away from it and try not to startle it. Plus I know that they don’t climb, so our yard being solidly fenced all the way around (in the back) it’s unlikely that we’ll have any skunks in our backyard unless they dig under the fence.
Now that we have a dog I’m a little more cautious about skunks. Midnight, our Labrador Retriever (18 months old) thinks every animal or person she comes across is a potential friend. Typical of the breed I believe.
We always walk her on leash in our neighborhood. In part because it’s the law around here and secondly because she’s so excitable I’m afraid she’d run out in front of a car if we didn’t!
There are some nice off leash areas here in Toronto, but the only one that worries me as an area where she might disturb a skunk is the off leash area in Taylor Creek park. It has a large wooded area, trails and of course that pond that she likes to take a dip in every time we go there.
One great tip that I picked up from the “Skunk” show was how to easily remove that skunk smell if you or your dog gets sprayed by a skunk.
Get rid of that skunk spray smell
Go outside with a bucket and the following three ingredients:
- 1. 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (you can get that in your local drug store)
- 2. 1/4 cup Baking Soda
- 3. 1 teaspoon liquid detergent
Mix the three ingredients together in the bucket. I think it will fizz up, so use it while it’s fresh.
If it’s your dog that’s been sprayed by a skunk use a pitcher or measuring cup to gently pore the solution over your dogs fur. Be careful not to get it in your dogs eyes. Let the solution sit on your dogs fur for about five minutes and then rinse with clean water.
I know the old cure is to bath your dog or yourself in tomato juice but they said on the show that that just covers up or masks the smell for a while … the real cure is the solution I listed above.
One other thing that I learned while I was watching the show was that it seems that where feral cats are located in cities there are often a lot of skunks. In one town discussed on the show the cats and skunks were actually hanging out together. Since there were so many skunks in town they were becoming a problem for the residents so once the towns people discovered the correlation between the feral cats and skunks people stopped leaving food out for the free roaming cats and the skunk population went down!
Most of the years we’ve lived here I’ve seen a few free roaming cats regularly visiting my garden during the day and night. I didn’t see them very often last year, but I think that might be because of the dog. Anyway … that got me thinking that we might have more skunks running around this area because of the free roaming cats too. If you’ve noticed the same in your area encourage your neighbors not to leave food out for the cats and other opportunistic animals and maybe you’ll notice a drop in skunks in your general area too.