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Do skunks make good pets?

Many people may be wondering if a skunk makes a good pet. In the case of a wild skunk, the answer is always no; however, there are some domesticated skunks that have been bred in captivity for around 60 years, and they are known to be loving and docile. It is hard work to be able to keep the skunk happy, but even getting a pet skunk is hard in the first place. Only 17 states in the US allow people to domesticate a skunk. However, there are additional regulations and rules to follow and some of them will require a person to get a permit to own a skunk.

One difference between domestic and wild skunks is the domestic ones don’t have scent glands. The domesticated skunks have to be de-scented when they are about 4 weeks old and they grow up unarmed. Even if it is a simple procedure, there are some debates going on about whether de-scenting the skunk is humane or not. Some say that de-scenting the skunk is stripping it of its natural defense that nature has given to it and it is unfair.

When the pets go out of the house or when it escapes, it can be in danger. A skunk may travel many miles and it can get into trouble if it is not found at the right time. Contrary to dogs or cats, a domesticated skunk does not have the homing instincts of getting back to where it was since the skunks born in the wild learn the necessary skills required to hunt and forage. Without their scent glands, the skunk will not be able protect themselves against the predators. The domesticated skunks will not be capable to protect themselves against cars that also kill the wild skunks. Cars are the primary cause behind the skunk deaths every year, while other causes are persecution by people, diseases and the rabies virus.

A skunk is known to be a demanding eater. It has an eclectic diet and the wild skunks may eat veggies, fruits and insects. There are some skunks that also like garbage. The diet of the skunk has to include lean protein like fish or chicken, cooked grains, and some fruits and vegetables. A skunk has trouble eating processed foods.

While in the wild, the skunk is crepuscular, which means that it is active at dusk or dawn. The pet skunk may be trained so that they may sleep in the night while being active during the day. If they are not sleeping, the skunk should be getting enough attention and love. They are playful and they need stimulation. When they are left alone, they may be destructive and mischievous. The skunks have long claws that they can use to dig for grubs, insects and worms. When they are in the house, they use such claws in opening doors, drawers, cabinets and refrigerators. Pet skunks may steal sweaters, towels and blankets or other soft items that they take to their sleeping den.

You may also want to read:

  • Do skunks attack humans?
  • Are skunks dangerous to pets?
  • Do skunks kill cats?

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