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While you may be tempted to put skunk repellent in your yard at the first sighting of these smelly white-striped creatures, you always want to have the safety of your family in mind.

Since your furry family members are often the most likely to explore in your yard, you want to be sure that any repellents that you use are safe for them, too.

Today, let’s take a look at your options for skunk repellent. 

Is skunk repellent safe for dogs? How can you rid your yard of skunks without hurting or scaring your best friends?

Let’s explore these questions and find some solutions that will work for your entire family.

Is skunk repellent safe for dogs?

The answer greatly depends on the type of skunk repellent that you use.

People embrace many different chemical repellents when trying to get rid of skunks, and they are not all created equal.

Some repellents are safe for your dog, and for skunks as well. 

Many skunk repellents merely annoy the animals, causing no harm.

However, other repellents, especially commercial chemical repellents, are not safe to use around dogs.

So, when you are deciding which skunk repellent to use, you should keep your entire family in mind.

If you choose a commercial chemical repellent, read the label carefully. 

Read all the fine print, and be sure that you understand how the repellent works.

The way that the repellent deters skunks often gives you insight about the safety of the products for your pets.

If the repellent skunks burns, irritates, or harms the animal, think twice about using this chemical around your dog.

Particularly, beware of products that use naphthalene.

While naphthalene is a chemical most commonly used in animal repellents, it is harmful to both animals and humans. 

A known carcinogen, naphthalene has long-term effects on your family’s health.

Soem people use mothballs as a home remedy to deter skunks and other pests, but this is not safe.

Naphthalene is the main chemical in mothballs, so you should keep it away from animals – especially your pets.

Now that we’ve considered some of the skunk repellents that are not safe for dogs, let’s take a look at repellents that you can use around your furry family members.

Many skunk repellents recommend keeping dogs away from the area where you apply the repellent.

If this is the case, the chemical is probably not safe for dogs. 

If you choose to use such a repellent, proceed with caution, and keep your dog away from the area.

Even the best-behaved of dogs can sometimes let their curiosity get the best of them. 

So, be sure to put precautions in place so that your dog cannot access the area.

Skunk repellents that are safe for dogs

Natural remedies are some of the best options for removing skunks from your yard while protecting your pets.

Motion lights

Skunks are rather timid creatures due to the abundance of predators.

So, you can easily scare them with motion activated lights. 

The skunk trips the sensor, the light activates, and the skunk fears the change. 

While motion activated lights keep predators out of your yard, there is a high chance that skunks will spray when they are scared.

If you are not bothered by a little skunk spray for the greater good of keeping skunks away, motion lights may be a good choice for you.

However, if you absolutely do not want skunk spray in the area, stay away from scare tactics.


Sometimes skunks are afraid of humans, so you can use sounds to keep them away. If you play a radio overnight, skunks may not come into the area.

A constant sound works a little differently than motion lights.

Because the sound won’t spook the skunk, there is a reduced chance that they will spray. 

The downside is that constant sound may disturb you and your neighbors.

And, this is far from a foolproof method. 

However, skunks may not be afraid of the sound.

Mild chemical repellents

Mild chemical repellents are some of the safest and most effective skunk deterrents. 

You probably already have these items in your home, and they are inexpensive if you do not.

While your pets will not love these repellents, they are safe for animals and children.

The downside is that you must frequently reapply them, especially after strong winds or rain.

Cayenne pepper

A little cayenne pepper brings terrific flavor and heat to your dishes, but animals are not fond of this spicy ingredient.

Cayenne pepper slightly burns their nose and irritates their skin, causing them to stay out of the area.

It does not severely harm the animal. 

Cayenne pepper merely gives the animal the same effect as when you accidentally inhale this spice while you are cooking. 

You can rest assured that the animal will be fine after encountering cayenne pepper, but they will not want to return to your yard.

Citrus peels

Citrus peels often keep predators like skunks away, but they may draw in other pests. 

Use this home remedy with caution. Be sure to remove rotten peels from your yard, or you will have a smelly mess!

Replace peels often for the best effect.

Predator urine

As we mentioned earlier, skunks have a lot of natural predators. 

So, they are very aware of predator scents, and they will stay away from an area where they smell a predator.

You can fool skunks by placing predator urine in your yard.

Once skunks smell the urine, they will be afraid to enter the area, and they will leave.

However, before applying predator urng, be sure that there is not a nest of kits. 

If this is the case, the mother may abandon them, and you will need to call animal control.

Predator urine may upset your pets.

Dogs and cats are particularly territorial and may become anxious if they smell another animal in the area. 

So, proceed with caution, and try to make the situation as comfortable for them as possible.