Where Can I Legally keep a Pet Skunk?
Skunks are adorably cute, very intelligent, and can provide years of excellent companionship. Although the idea of a skunk may repulse some people thinking of a pungent smell, many people choose to keep a domesticated skunk as a pet. Currently, a pet skunk is legal in 17 states. States that now allow pet skunks include Alabama, Indiana, Florida, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. In some states where it is legal to keep a pet skunk, pet owners may be subject to additional regulations and permitting, requiring an application, routine home inspection, or fines and fees necessary for proper licensing.
What Is the Difference Between a Wild Skunk and a Domesticated Skunk?
Domesticated skunks are popular pet options in the states where they are legal. For more than 60 years, domestic skunks have been bred and are very different animals from wild skunks. It is essential never to try to capture a wild skunk and turn it into a pet. Wild skunks are not suitable for pet ownership.
The biggest difference between a wild skunk and a domesticated skunk is the lack of scent glands in domesticated pets. When domestic baby skunks are about three weeks old, they are descented, which removes the gland that produces the pungent odor. This simple procedure is easy to do, but there is some debate about whether descenting is humane since it leaves the skunk defenseless. Still, domestic pet skunks should never be allowed outdoors and should be kept primarily in the house where it is safe.
How Do I Care for a Pet Skunk?
Pet skunks can be great additions to the family and provide years of companionship. Of course, even if you live in a state where pet skunks are legal, it is good to understand the specific laws and regulations surrounding pet ownership. Be sure you know this delicate animal's specialized care to keep a pet skunk.
Keeping your pet skunk healthy is essential for a long and happy life. In the wild, skunks will eat insects and fruit. In a home, you should try to offer plenty of protein in the form of fish, chicken, or beans. It is vital to give your skunk plenty of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables such as corn, carrots, leafy greens, peas, and bananas.
It is essential to provide your pet skunk with safe and secure housing, especially if they are kept outdoors. Skunks will attract neighborhood dogs and wild predators, so you must keep your pet safe. Inside, a large cage is perfect for a skunk that will provide enough room to sleep, play, and eat. The skunk can be let out of the cage or trained to walk on a leash with a harness, as long as you are always there to supervise your pet.