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Dog smells like skunk but not sprayed

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of skunks? In all likelihood, you know them for their ability to release an incredibly foul-smelling spray. The spray released by skunks features an odor similar to rotten eggs, but it is somehow more pungent.

Your dog may come home one day smelling like they just got sprayed by a skunk. However, you were with them all the time so you know that no spraying occurred. Find out why your dog smells that way by going through the rest of this article.

Why Does My Dog Smell Like It Has Been Sprayed by a Skunk (When It Hasn’t)?

Let’s be honest. Dogs developing funky odors is far from unusual. You’ve probably gone to embrace your dog before only to be greeted by an unpleasant odor that makes you recoil in disgust.

Dogs becoming stinky is just something that tends to happen. That said, you may go to hug your dog one day and find that their body odor is completely different.

It’s foul, but it’s worse than anything you’ve smelled before. The likely explanation for your dog’s extreme odor is a skunk, but you know that no spraying occurred.

So, why exactly does your dog stink so much? Allow us to highlight some potential explanations.

A Skunk Was Recently in Your Area

The odor released by skunks during spraying is incredibly strong. You don’t have to be very close to the skunk to detect it. The foul smell will immediately grab your attention even if you are just in the vicinity of where the skunk sprayed something.

Because of how strong that odor is, your dog may get it on their fur even if they just happened to be in the same area where a skunk was recently. The skunk’s odor may still be lingering on the ground or some plants nearby when your dog brushed up against them. They will start to stink if that happens.

Consider yourself lucky if your dog just brushed up against some plants tainted with the skunk’s spray. The outcome could be even worse if your pet rolled around in the area where traces of the skunk’s spray are still present.

A skunk may not have sprayed your pet directly, but the putrid oil it discharges may still be responsible for your dog’s foul odor.

Your Dog Has Bad Breath

Your dog may stink, but you may only notice it when they open their mouth. That means they have bad breath.

It’s not unusual for any dog’s breath to stink, but what you’re sensing may be different from normal. The odor could be stronger this time. It may also possess a certain rotten quality that led you to think that it could be related to a skunk.

Is the skunk to blame again in this scenario? Well, it’s one of the possibilities.

Your dog may have eaten or licked something that was exposed to the skunk’s spray. That odor is now kicking around in your dog’s mouth so expect to notice it whenever your pet is panting or eating.

Truthfully, that explanation for your dog’s bad breath may be preferable to the alternative. If your dog’s breath recently became unusually stinky even though they weren’t around any skunks, then it could point to a serious problem.

Your dog may be afflicted with a particular disease that could explain why their breath smells that way. It may be a disease that is affecting their digestive system.

Bad breath caused by a skunk is unpleasant, but foul breath related to a disease could be a cause of major concern.

Your Dog Was Sprayed by a Different Animal

Skunks are the animals best known for using stinky sprays to repel potential predators. However, they are not the only animals capable of deploying that tactic.

Bombardier beetles and millipedes are other critters that will resort to odor-based warfare to ensure their survival. If your dog gets uncomfortably close, those small critters may spray in self-defense. Striped polecats will also use foul odors to keep other animals at bay.

Your dog’s stinky coat could be the result of an encounter with one of those aforementioned creatures.

What to Do if My Dog Smells Like It Has Been Sprayed by a Skunk?

Staying in the same house with a dog that smells like they just got sprayed by a skunk is not ideal. You may be forced to keep them outside because the odor is simply too strong when confined inside your home.

Getting rid of that repugnant smell should be your priority. Detailed below are the things you can do to address that problem.

Bathe Your Dog Using Special Shampoo

If the odor is clinging to your dog’s coat, the only way to remove it will be to give your pet a bath. This bath will be different because you’ll need to use a specially formulated shampoo to get rid of the unpleasant odor.

You can create that special shampoo by mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a container. Work that DIY shampoo into your dog’s coat using rubber gloves then rinse it off thoroughly.

Follow that by using regular dog shampoo on your pet’s coat before rinsing it again.

Once your pet’s coat dries, it should be free of that skunk odor. This method of removing the foul odor also works even if a different animal sprayed your pet.

Give Your Dog Plenty of Water

If you suspect that your dog’s stinky breath is related to them eating or licking something that was in contact with a skunk, you can use water to dilute that smell. Give your pet plenty of water so the odor leaves their mouth faster.

You can also try brushing your dog’s teeth if they are comfortable with that.

Head to the Veterinarian

Bad breath that is symptomatic of a disease should not be ignored. You must take your dog to the veterinarian if you believe that their bad breath is related to an illness. Get your pet checked out so the disease can be treated as soon as possible.