I would like to introduce myself; I am the domestic skunk. My wild cousin is called a striped skunk. Though technically I am a striped skunk I just don’t readily admit to it.
I have been raised domestically for a couple hundred years. I don’t mind being called a domestic skunk, an exotic pet skunk, pet skunk, or even a companion skunk.
Certain select people can be a great pet for the domestic skunk. I can be eccentric and can be a very stubborn animal. We are smart, very curious and can be a bit troublesome at times.
First things first always remember that SKUNKS RULE! I am boss, if you remember that we will do just fine!
A few ground rules and then we will get started:
Skunks rule the house.
If something is yours and I WANT IT, it's mine.
If it's on the floor and I want it, it's mine. That is until I don't want it anymore, but I will change my mind; maybe.
I love attention; I don't want to be bothered. I love to be held, kissed, and petted; I HATE being held kissed and petted.
I am VERY intelligent, I am incredibly strong, and above all else I am inquisitive. I will someday learn to get into the cold food box you have.
Some people will tell you I can't climb; I'll repeat that when you find me on top of a bookshelf. If I smell food I WILL find a way up!
I must be fixed, if I' am a male I must be neutered or if I am a female I must be spayed. I must be fixed, even if I'm not broken.
Learn everything about me before you even consider letting a skunk own you because I am very unique.
Before you decide to purchase a domestic skunk as a pet please check and make sure I will be legal in the state, county or local government that you reside in. If I am discovered in an illegal state, terrible, awful things can happen. I may be confiscated and killed; you will cry. I'll be dead. Enough said!
Please research skunk breeders and purchase me from a reputable breeder. Make sure the skunk you pick out is spirited and alert. Check its eyes and make sure they are clear and bright. Don't take a striped skunk out of the wild to turn into a pet!
Please locate a veterinarian before I arrive, one that knows about how special the domestic skunk is. I could be an expensive pet when it comes to veterinary care, please make sure you can afford me. I will need to be spayed or neutered. I will need both canine and feline vaccinations. I might become ill and require many tests and maybe even surgery. I will be descented when you pick me up; meaning my scent glands was removed surgically. The capability of the skunk spraying is their main line of defense. However, I will not be neutered or spayed.
I will need to see a veterinarian for a checkup shortly after I arrive at your house. I will also need to be wormed. We have roundworm problem and will need to be wormed. It may not show up in fecal tests because it may be too early for the awful little critters to show up yet. I need to be wormed at eight weeks of age and then every other week for four treatments. Then to be sure I am roundworm free, I need to be wormed about every four months. Wormer medicines you can buy without a prescription are Evict or Nemex 2. A skunk can also get tapeworms. It is a good idea for skunks to have a checkup every six months.
Never have my claws removed my claws are the same as your fingers. Would you like your fingers removed?
Descented skunks do not smell. If I have an odor I most likely have a roundworm problem. Or maybe it was the cabbage I ate? Or I could be sick! We need both feline and canine distemper vaccines. We have to have a killed vaccine. Check with a skunk knowledgeable veterinarian for all recommended vaccinations find out from the veterinarian what is their procedure on skunk bites? Will they report it? If they do I will be destroyed; my head will come off, enough said!
I will be a tiny baby when you pick me up. I need to be close to you and will need to bond with you. Keep me close to you, in a pocket, inside a tucked in shirt, or in your brassiere If anyone just said YUK! A skunk in a bra, I am not the right pet for you. Please don't take me home with you!
I may eat or not eat when you bring me home. Try giving me something like smashed up vegetables, a little cottage cheese, cut up pieces of chicken or turkey, but NO BEEF! Make sure I have plenty of fresh filtered water.
I love to play! Please don't teach me to play rough. I make cute little noises. I can even make a whistling noise! I love going stomp stomp and then I rake back my feet. This means I want you to get down on the floor and play with me. You go stomp stomp with your hands then rake back. This is great fun.
I also love to play hide and seek. Tell you what; you think of games and I will think of games, then we will play them together.
I love toys but make sure they are safe toys. I love stuffed animals and lots of soft stuff to make me feel more secure. Give me an article of clothing that you have worn with your scent on it. These will sooth me and I will be less frightened of my new home Give me my own stuff, then maybe I won't ruin your stuff. I like to make my own bed. Just supply me with comfortable soft bedding I will do the rest myself.
I can NEVER EVER be caged. When I am little and not in your pocket or bra, keep me in a playpen (though, I will climb out of this in no time at all), give me my own bedroom Give me an area in your bedroom. But in a short time give me run of most of the house.
I will most likely get along with most of your other animals, but always keep a close eye out, someone could get hurt. Be very cautious introducing a baby skunk to an adult skunk especially at food time!
I think cats are pretty lazy, but we'll get along ok. As long as he/she takes bowing lessons, doesn't touch MY STUFF, my food, touch my bed and conforms strictly to all above mentioned rules.
You need to learn to feed me; the royal dignitary. What I want and what I need are two very different things. I should never have any junk food. But if a chip hits the ground, it is mine! I like fresh vegetables. Keep it varied so I learn to like a lot of new foods. I can have just about any vegetable, peppers, corn, peas, carrots, okra, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. I like fresh fruit. I like a little bit of cottage cheese and a small amount cheese. I need calcium and vitamin D3. I need protein in the form of chicken, turkey but never beef.
My wild cousins, many times removed, ate insects in the wild and they are very good for me too. Just make sure they are from a safe source. I like grasshoppers, cicada, Dubai roaches, Mario worms, and other insect creepy crawlers. I can have a couple pieces of a high quality chicken dog food occasionally. Please provide me with plenty of fresh filtered water. Skunks are very sensitive to chemicals, poisons, and toxins.
You can add extra calcium by sprinkling some calcium powder on my insects. You can buy the same calcium that reptile parents “gut load” their pet's crickets. Most parents keep their skunk children in the house so we have little sun exposure. Spending time each day with a full-spectrum light will help us with our need for vitamin D3 so we can absorb calcium. Many domestic skunks develop bone and neurological problems; the full spectrum light will help prevent this.
Keep your dog's food locked up because someday soon you will walk in and a skunk tail will be sticking out of the dog food bag; of course it’s not MY TAIL. I would never do anything wrong.
Sweets are not good for my teeth or for me but I will keep asking. Have you ever tried to floss skunk’s teeth? Please don't ever feed me chocolate, it is very bad for skunks.
I'm going to try to convince you 24 hours a day that I'm hungry, hungry now, hungry a few minutes from now, always hungry. That is my nature. We find only small amounts of food at a time in nature, the drive is keen, and we have a strong drive to search. There is neither wild cat food nor wild dog food in nature. Cat food will kill us for sure.
The domestic skunk can live well into our early 20's, our little cousins the wild skunk is not that fortunate. So if I tell you I'm still hungry after eating, please don't listen. If you feed us too much we will lose our sexy figures and die prematurely. Also don't under feed me; the "Twiggy look" can cause serious health issues also.
If I am a male skunk or a female skunk I must be spayed or neutered, at an early age. I should not go into season the first time. If I am a female, being in heat is very stressful on my body. If we don't mate, we don't go out of heat. Little boy skunks can get downright mean and nasty. Skunks are VIOLENT LOVERS. Leave the breeding issues to the professionals. Mother skunks will protect their young above all else.
I can be litter boxed trained. Skunks are naturally very clean animals. They usually pick a corner where they want to go to the bathroom. You put a litter box there. I'm not sure who is training, but it works. As we begin letterbox training you may need to put a litter box in a second corner. Be patient, I am a skunk, therefore smart – I will come around eventually.
When training. NEVER EVER HIT ME. If you have stuff you don't want me to ruin, put it up where I can't reach it. Potted plants are like paradise for skunks, we love to dig. If I am closed behind a door, we will scratch and thus ruin carpets. If you can't handle this, don't bring me home.
Make sure there is no way for me to get outside the house. I can crawl out the smallest of places. Have you checked your dryer vents and heat ducts? Check over your home carefully. If I happen to get outside I will keep walking and sniffing, walking, and sniffing, I will become lost, we have no homing instincts. Our defenses were removed; we have no protection anymore, so we will die wandering outside on our own. We are very curious creatures; this alone can get us into a lot of trouble.
We make wonderful pets for the right people; remember we are unique.
My other skunk articles at Exotic Pets BellaOnline.
Skunk as a Pet
The Latest in Popular Pets - Skunks
Bow to Me for I am the Domestic Skunk has been around for many years. I had no intentions of dusting it off and bringing it back to BellaOnline, but after so many requests - you guys win.
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