March and April begins the breeding season for many animals. Local skunks are moving around and are more likely to be seen out and about even during the day, looking for a mate or snooping around for a den.
Skunks are not an aggressive animal and will always try to retreat from a human or other large enemy (dog/ cat). An angry skunk will growl or hiss, stamp its front feet rapidly, or even walk a short distance on its front feet with its tail high in the air. The striped skunk cannot spray from this position, and will always try to scare you away before spraying!
In the event your dog/cat HAS been sprayed by a skunk - DON'T PANIC!
1. Keep your pet outside, to not spread the oil the skunk sprayed.
2. Rinse/ wipe off the excess spray as much as possible.
3. Use a safe odour eliminator to clean your pet.
- A common myth is to use tomato juice or vinegar - this will mask the smell but not completely eliminate it or clean your pet's fur
- The safest way to eliminate the smell is to use a specially formulated product such as the Skunk-Off we at IVS carry. These can be safely used around the face, where most dogs/ cats get sprayed. Put an e-collar (cone) on cats so they don't lick it off if leaving the product on. The Skunk-Off can also be used on household items such as carpets, couches, bedding etc
- Another commonly used method is to mix 1 litre of 3% hydrogen peroxide + 1/2 cup of Baking Soda and 1 tsp of liquid dish soap to form a paste. Sponge onto your pet's fur and let soak for 5 minutes. Beware, the "peroxide method" commonly dyes pet's fur in a similar way to bleaching hair and can cause skin irritation if not fully rinsed out.
Use any product with discretion, always read and follow the label for any product you use with your pets
We are lucky here in Oxford County to be host to two wonderful wildlife rehabs. Neither organization receives ministry funding, relying solely on donations and the owner's own pockets to help the animals.
Wayward Paws is the most known, and Shirley has done an amazing job at helping the local wildlife for over 15 years. For more information they can be contacted via her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WaywardPawsOntario/ .
Three Brown Ducks is a newly licensed rehab, specializing in waterfowl. They can be contacted via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/threebrownducks/ .