When you think "skunk" what comes to mind? Stinky? Scavengers? Pests? Wild skunks are all of those things but what about domesticated skunks? Yes indeed! There ARE domesticated skunks. Skunks are capable of being great pets if you're well informed on how to take care of them. Pet skunks come to you descended.
First things first. It is not legal to own a pet skunk in every state. Further more, if you live in one of the legal states, you must purchase your pet skunk from a licensed breeder. The states where it is legal and with no restrictions to own a skunk are Florida, Alabama, and Wyoming. The states where you may legally own a pet skunk with certain conditions are Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virgina, and Wisconsin. If you live in one of the conditional states, contact your state offices to inquire about the specifics of legally owning a pet skunk. Any licensed skunk breeder in your state could likely advise you as well. If the state you live in is not on this list, contact your state offices and inquire and contact them again yearly. The laws change frequently so don't loose hope.
Skunks make great pets. Skunks are super affectionate. You can hold and cuddle your pet skunk twenty four hours a day and it sill won't be enough. They are very playful too. They will stomp their front feet on you and back up to try to get you to get down on the floor and play with them. Skunks generally get along well with other household pets like cats and dogs. Of course you can expect some sort of pecking order to be established between the pets but that's normal.
What do skunks eat?
Skunks will eat anything but don't feed them anything. A happy skunk is a healthy skunk. What about cat food? Skunks will eat cat food but it's not good for them. Cat food has a high content of fat in it. Over time, it will destroy your pet skunks liver. Cat food will result in a 3 to 4 year life span for your pet skunk when they should live for 10 to 12 years. Skunks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, tuna, and chicken. A vanilla cookie is a good treat for them too.
Skunks can be pests too. They are very demanding. When they want to eat, they'll pester you until you feed them. The same applies to play time. Do you know what is an excellent play area for your pet skunk? A potted plant is tons of fun for your skunk. Skunks can also get into nearly any cabinet in your kitchen. Skunk proof your home.
Skunks don't do well with grabby children either. Children must be taught to respect your pet skunk.
As far as disciplining your pet skunk do NOT swat them. Swatting your pet skunk will make them mean. You hurt them, they'll grow to hurt you back. Don't keep your skunk locked up in a cage. That will make them mean. It's important for them to co-habitate with you and you family. Giving your pet skunk a "time out" in an empty bathtub is a good effective way to discipline your skunk.
Skunks can be litter trained and it's important to teach your skunk from an early age not to bite. They can leave a nasty puncture wound.
Have your pet skunk spayed or neutered. Skunks are induced ovulators. The male must use terror tactics to get the female to ovulate. The mating ritual for skunks is a brutal process. You do NOT want your pet skunk to get in heat. Trust me on that.
Do NOT let your pet skunk outside. Unlike cats and dogs, skunks have no homing instinct. They will not be able to find their way home.
Lastly, find a vet that will treat your skunk BEFORE you buy one. A good question to ask your vet is, "what would you do if my pet skunk bit one of your staff?" There is no rabies vaccination available for skunks. If they tell you that they would have to test your pet skunk for rabies in the event of a bite, that means your beloved pet skunk will have to die to be tested.
Skunks make great pets so if you live in a legal state and want one. Find a breeder and prepare for a great time with you new pet skunk.