As hard as it might be to believe, skunks actually make pretty amazing pets. If you raise them correctly, they can become lap pets and friendly pets. Generally, they get along with other animals such as dogs and cats, but the respect has to be mutual. It is better to get skunks at a young age so you can raise them to be accustomed to other pets. Skunks are quick learners and can be trained easily. Similar to cats, skunks can be litter trained. BUT! Skunks like to chew so, in order to distract him/her from your furniture you need to provide your skunk with some type of chew toy.
Before getting a pet skunk, check the laws for the state you live in as many have restrictions. For example, in Kentucky the law states that you can’t import a skunk, you must get a skunk from a breeder within state, and you must apply for a wildlife permit, which costs $75.00 for a 3 year permit.
- DON’T FEED YOUR SKUNK CAT FOOD – It is too high in protein and fat.
- DON’T LEAVE YOUR SKUNK OUTSIDE UNATTENDED – Skunks don’t have a sense of home like dogs and cats do and they WILL wonder off and likely won’t find their way back home.
- DON’T KEEP YOUR SKUNK LOCKED INSIDE A CAGE – When confined, skunks feel neglected and start acting up, and may develop bad behaviors, such as biting, in order to get attention.
- DON’T LEAVE FOOD OUT – Skunks can and will get into food sources available to them and sometimes that could be harmful to them.
- DON’T HIT YOUR SKUNK – As with any animal, hitting is not a way of training. Skunks will become aggressive with this type of correction and will remember forever that you harmed them.
It is recommended that skunks have 30% to 40% vegetables and 60% to 70% meats and dairy products. Skunks don’t like eating the same thing day by day so spice it up a little. Canned foods have alot of salt, which isn’t necessarily good for skunks. Skunks will eat until they make themselves sick so be sure to give them food in moderation! A healthy weight for a skunk is between 8 to 12 pounds. Be careful, skunks do like to eat rodents and other small animals, so keep them away from any small pets you may have in the house.
If you have food out, don’t think your skunk can’t get to it. They are very clever and can move chairs, climb and move boxes or other available objects. If you are not careful your skunk will be sitting in YOUR chair eating YOUR snacks that were left out!
Skunk Medical Care
Skunks have scent glands that enable them to spray their predators. If you adopt a pet skunk you should get the scent glands removed so they can’t spray you or other pets. Skunks should be spayed or neutered between four to six months, otherwise they may develop stressful behavior problems that can give your beloved pet health problems. Skunks need their nails trimmed every month so they don’t get too long – dog nail trimmers will do the job. As with any household pet, it is recommended that they have a yearly checkup with a veterinarian. The average lifespan of a pet skunk is between 8 to 12 years.
Skunks are very intelligent and curious. They enjoy exploring things, such as cabinets or refrigerators. You may need to get some child locks to make sure they don’t hurt themselves or get into something that could kill them, such as chemicals or harmful foods. Also, be sure that if they do decide to climb that they can get down easily without hurting themselves.
Skunks can bite, but if you get them at a young age you can wean them of such behaviors. Saying “NO BITE” in a stern voice repeatedly is the best way to curb this behavior.