Even though skunks are viewed as a nuisance, they actually make amazing pets. Pet skunks are not as rare as many think and many owners claim their pets are highly intelligent and loving animals. When a skunk is to become a household pet, it will undergo a surgical process where the scent gland is removed, eliminating the ability to spray. This is done at a very early age and allows the ability for the animals to become members of the family without any odor concerns.
Many people will wonder about the natural behavior of a skunk and whether this affects their quality as a pet. They can be a challenge to live with as they are quite active and very curious creatures. They will also steal items from around the home to use when making their beds softer. Skunks can be stubborn and can be difficult to train, but with some patience and dedication, anyone can train a skunk to be a great house pet.
If you are looking for a pet that will stay in a cage for a long time, a skunk is not the right choice at all. They do like to be able to roam freely and will not enjoy being caged for any length of time. Luckily, these animals can be potty trained to use litter or papers, though this is challenge for new owners. It will also be essential to make sure the home is escape proof as a skunk will naturally want to return to its outdoor habitat.
In regards to the overall health of a domestic skunk, they will need a wide variety of food in their diet to maintain their health. They will usually be very accepting of many daily foods that are in the home, which can include:
- Dog kibble
Skunks should be spayed or neutered when they are very young and they should also receive vaccinations that will protect them from common cat and dog diseases. Prior to getting a skunk as a pet it is important to make sure to have a local vet in place that will offer treatment. This is not a common pet, so make sure the vet is able to offer treatment and assistance should there is a medical emergency.
On of the main concerns of people who are interested in having a skunk for a pet is whether they carry rabies. In the wild, it is common for a sunk to be a carrier, but not every animal has the disease. They will have to be infected by another animal to get rabies, so they are safe if they have been a pet from a young age. Unfortunately, there is no rabies vaccination that can be given for skunks, so if it does bite someone, rabies testing will be requires.
Skunks are also not legal to own in all areas, so be sure to check with local authorities before getting one of these animals as a house pet.