Pet skunks fall under the label of exotic pets. If the would-be pet skunk owner can get past the fear of an upraised tail, she may find that they actually make very friendly and playful companion animals. Sadly, skunks as pets are not legal in all states.
Mom, Can I have a Pet Skunk?
If you live in Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota or Wyoming, Skunks as Pets advises that mom cannot wriggle out of a pet skunk question by blaming the local Department of Fish and Game.
Even so, with laws and regulations concerning wildlife being in a consistent state of flux – and also because some jurisdictions require a permit – it is a good idea to check with a state’s DFG before buying a pet skunk no matter where you live.
Getting and Keeping Skunks as Pets
If you have owned a pet ferret before, the odds are good that you got an inside look at what pet skunk ownership might look like. If you never had this opportunity before, consider that skunks as pets demand as much attention as puppies, are as mischievous as kittens and require protective caging, much like rabbits.
Owners of Pet Skunks advise that buying a baby skunk will take place right around June or July, since breeders get their litters in May only. De-scented at the age of four to six weeks, would-be pet skunk owners may welcome their little friends home when they are about two months old. From there the newly minted pet owner must commit to about eight to 12 years of daily pet care.
Spaying or neutering a pet skunk is highly recommended, since it eliminates a good many destructive behaviors (just like it does in cats and dogs). Four months of age is the right time for this procedure. Unlike cats, de-clawing is not possible for these animals. Clipping their nails, much like a dog’s claws, is a good solution.
Roundworms are a persistent danger to the animals and they will likely have to undergo numerous de-worming procedures over their lifetimes. A skilled veterinarian who specializes in exotics will evaluate your pet and frequently check its stools for the presence of eggs. Vaccinations against distemper and rabies are another must.
Be cautious about the rabies shot! Generally the vaccine involved is labeled for dog or cat use, not specifically skunk administration, which may still protect the animal against the disease but won’t convince the state if someone gets bitten by the pet skunk.
If in spite of all these caveats, warnings and difficulties you are still thinking that skunks as pets are grand (and if pet skunks are legal in your state), contact a reputable breeder. Do not trap a wild animal to make it a pet.
Skunks as Pets: “Legal States for Pet Skunks”
Owners of Pet Skunks: “Owning a Pet Skunk – the Big Decision?”