This is a controversial procedure, as some people believe it strips away a necessary defense mechanism that a pet skunk would need should it ever get loose outside or otherwise be attacked. There are some formulated and pre-packaged foods that can be purchased, but it is best to feed them fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked poultry, grains other healthy foods. These animals are naturally used to eating a multitude of insects, fruits, veggies and small animals for their source of fat and protein. Wild skunks only have a lifespan of about three years, but pet skunks have been known to live up to 10 years.. Before thinking about getting a pet skunk, make sure they are legal to own in your area. With a bit of research potential owners can learn all they need to have a great pet and be able to provide the necessary care for a domestic skunk. They enjoy exploring things, such as cabinets or refrigerators. Housing a pet skunk can be somewhat difficult, as skunks tend to be curious animals that like to get into mischief. Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. You should never take a skunk from the wild to keep as a pet. Consult your veterinarian for the appropriate timing and quantity of food for your particular animal. Avian And Exotic Veterinary Medicine, 2020. The majority of states ban skunks as pets. But a pet skunk can learn to be on its human's schedule. Plan on at least an annual wellness exam for your animal. Weight: 1 to 14 pounds (depending on the species) Length: 15 to 35 inches Lifespan: 7 to 10 years Native: North & South America The Behavior of the Skunk. Some pet skunks have even been euthanized after biting. It should be known that even when the scent gland is removed and the skunk cannot spray, it may still have a slight odor and this is normal. As social animals, they generally enjoy being handled by and playing with their human family members. And they can even learn to get along with other friendly pets in the house, such as a ferret or even a gentle cat or dog. But in general they’re quiet animals. Due to the fact they are pulled away from their natural predators, and have a comfy place to live, skunks do get to have a longer lifespan when raised in captivity, even when this doesn’t happen in the wild. In fact, skunks will only live between 6 and 10 years. It is also important to spay or neuter the animal. Spaying Or Neutering Your Pet Skunk. And if certain items, such as towels, blankets, and clothing, go missing, your skunk might have stolen them to make its bed softer. Actually, they’re known for having a very short lifespan, and only managing to live up to 3 years out in the wild. You also can see whether a rescue group has an older skunk whose personality would fit your lifestyle. That means closely monitoring any open doors and windows. Fruit can be given as a treat but not every day. Avoid canned vegetables with salt. This is why it’s critical to keep a pet skunk indoors or highly supervised during any outdoor time. Domestic skunks can come in different colors and patterns and while most are black and white striped skunks, there are also spotted patterns that can be found. Contrary to what most people might think, skunks don’t live long. Most striped skunks weigh about 14 pounds while the spotted skunks are much smaller, weighing just 1 to 3 pounds. There have been some cases of skunks that manage to live past the 3 year mark, although this isn’t as common as you would expect, and they usually die either when they reach 3 years old, or a little bit sooner. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Skunks are prone to a variety of health issues, including seizures, diabetes, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and obesity. With some time and research anyone can learn how to provide a safe and loving home for these unique animals. They can learn to be comfortable when handled by people, and they can be quite playful and cuddly. You can keep your skunk in a large dog kennel whenever you're away from home to make sure it stays safe. Skunk Percussions Skunks are very intelligent and curious. There are many diseases that claim the life of a skunk, even when well cared for. When born and raised in captivity, skunks can make for friendly, intelligent, and unique pets. Also, try to offer your skunk foods high in calcium and taurine, or give it supplements that provide these. A proper diet can prevent or minimize many of these problems, so regularly discuss your pet’s diet with your vet. In addition to feeding and cleaning up after your skunk, expect to spend several hours per day keeping it entertained. Like we mentioned before, skunks actually do live longer in captivity than in the wild, being able to live up to 8 years (easily surpassing the 3 years mark). Known for their black and white fur and their unique smell, skunks are definitely one of the most underappreciated mammals. Nuts, cooked grains, a small amount of dog food, and plain yogurt can also be mixed into the diet. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Always acquire a pet skunk from a reputable breeder or rescue group. Simply put out their meals in a bowl for them. When planning, make sure to get a skunk as young as possible, before they are sexually mature. Some of a skunk's personality traits, such as being stubborn and headstrong, can make it a challenge to live with. There are many diseases that claim the life of a skunk, even when well cared for. However, you can safely take your pet skunk outdoors on a harness and leash for exercise and enrichment. Make sure it is allowed and that there is a nearby vet that can offer care to the animal from a young age on up. This means that if it bites a visitor, it will have to be tested for rabies and if it is positive, the animal will have to be destroyed. This is illegal in most places unless you are a licensed wildlife rehabber. If you’re interested in similar pets, check out: Otherwise, check out these other exotic animals to find your next pet. They are active and curious, which means they will get into everything in your home. The average lifespan of a pet skunk is between 8 to 12 years. Lianne is a veterinarian, epidemiologist, and freelance writer who's written nearly 400 articles for The Spruce Pets. The average size of a skunk is between 15 and 35 inches in length and weighs up to 18 pounds. It is due to this various reasons than skunks only manage to live up to 3 years out in the wild, having a very short and quick lifespan when compared to other animals. In the wild, skunks are omnivores, eating nearly anything they can find. Consult your vet for the proper dosage. With some general research, you will soon find whether you can enjoy the company of these loving and curious critters in your home. They can learn to open cabinets, drawers, and even the refrigerator. This is typically a surgery that is perfumed before the animal reaches 6 months of age. Adult Size: 15 to 35 inches long, weighing up to 18 pounds, Life Expectancy: 6 to 10 years in captivity. | How long do otters live? They tend to be very calm animals, although they are not predators themselves, but more a prey, and can actually be in danger of being attacked by wolves, foxes and even dogs when living in the wild. Skunks should be spayed or neutered at a young age, usually when they're 4 to 6 months old, to prevent aggression and potential health issues due to their hormones, such as cancer. 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