Fall means outside time for many of our pets before they are cooped up for a long winter.

Wild animals also are out and about as well and that increases the risk of contact between Spot and vermin. One such encounter everyone wants to avoid is a nose to the tail with our black-and-white friend, the skunk. While other dangers such as rabies can be spread by serious encounters with them, it’s the south side of the skunk that most often causes problems.

Now is a good time to review the treatment we have discussed in the past should your pet encounter eau de toilette a la skunk.

Because skunks are almost as happy in suburbia as they are in more rural locales, avoiding them can be difficult. Of course it’s prudent to take a wide path around them if spotted first but, inevitably, some pets will have the unfortunate experience of getting sprayed.

Potent chemicals called thiols are responsible for the majority of the noxious spray and prompt removal will minimize both pet and owner discomfort. One of the most published recipes to rid pets of skunk smell is the Krebaum skunk odor removal formula.

Invented by a chemist in the early 1990s, the reaction created by mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda grabs the nasty odor-causing chemicals and neutralizes them.

The Krebaum Formula is a simple mixture of 1 quart fresh 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda and 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent. Make it fresh, work it into the fur, allow it to stand for five minutes and then rinse with large amounts of water. For large dogs, an additional quart of warm water should be mixed in the original recipe. And for especially smelly dogs, an extra bath may be needed.

Keep this recipe handy and hope you never have to use it as you and your four legged friend enjoy the fall!

Questions? Send them to Dr. Sandeman, Home & Garden, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801. Or, email to papertrained@mchsi.com. Dr. Sandeman cannot answer letters or email personally, but questions of general interest will be answered in this column.