Warm weather has arrived over the past few days and Mother Nature is waking up after the long winter. With the longer daylight hours and the warm temperatures, skunks have re-emerged and are making their presence known.
Skunks search for food during the night and very early morning. They feed on insects, grubs, mice, and berries and are often seen in town rooting around with their snouts in lawns searching for grubs. They will also seek out human garbage and will find their way into garages and even basements where pet food is kept. If you feed your cat or dog outdoors you may be attracting skunks. At sunrise, they return to their dens which may be a burrow in the ground or beneath a building.
The biggest risk for pet owners (especially dog owners) is being sprayed by a skunk. The spray is potent and not only stinks but it burns and can cause temporary blindness if sprayed into the eyes. The best remedy for spraying is to avoid it - remember the skunks are out there from dusk until dawn and they may be on your lawn or your neighbour's lawn - keep your dog on a leash. If you do get sprayed you can use the recipe that is provided below. Save it or print it. It may come in handy. Effective commercial products are also available.
Skunks can be carriers of RABIES. Although the incidence of rabies is low when it is found it is most often in a skunk. Skunks are also carriers of Leptospirosis a disease that can be fatal to dogs. It is important to KEEP YOUR PET'S VACCINATIONS UP TO DATE. Also, remember that skunk droppings on your lawn should be cleaned up and discarded immediately to prevent your pet from becoming infected with a serious intestinal parasite transmitted in the skunk's stool.
If you have any questions about skunk odour removal, vaccinations, or parasite control for your pet please don't hesitate to contact us. Further information is available on our Facebook page.
The “Secret” Recipe
• 1000 ML of 3% hydrogen peroxide
• ¼ cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
• 1 teaspoon liquid soap (dish detergent)
Mix the above ingredients together in a plastic bucket and wash the infected object (e.g. human, canine, feline, garage, car, basement, etc.). Make sure to keep the solution away from the eyes, nose, and mouth. The skunk odour should disappear immediately.