Baby skunk season is fast approaching. Baby skunks are properly called kittens or kits. Please make sure before you acquire a skunk as a pet you have learned everything you can about these unique animals. You must understand their nature. You can't feed cat food. you certainly can't place a bowl of dog food in front of the skunk. Learn about exotic pets before acquiring one. The exotic pet has very different care requirements.
You cannot cage a skunk - ever. When they are little, it is easier and safer to have them in a confined space. These little ones are not ready to have run of the house. That day will come soon. If you have an extra bedroom, or maybe even use the bathroom as a skunk room. This helps keep him safe from harm and helps with the toilet training process. When you are sitting around reading, or watching TV, you can keep an eye on him or, let him roam around the house. Eventually you will let the skunk have total access of most of the house.
Skunks can be very destructive; they can scratch up your carpeting and tear it to shreds. You can never, ever declaw a skunk. Their claws are used as fingers and toes. It would be cruel. How would you feel if you didn't have your fingers or toes? Scratching and digging is the nature of the skunk. Are you sure, you want a domestic skunk?
Skunk Proofing Your Home
Skunks can escape out of the smallest places. I am not sure how they do it, but they can flatten out to the depth of a carpet and scoot under many things, like doors. They have a strong since of curiosity and once out, they will sniff and investigate right into totally lost. The skunk is descented when you purchased him and has no way of protecting himself. Make sure there is no way for him to get outside your home. Check out dryer vents, heat vents, pet doors, there are numerous ways for a little skunk to get out. It is extremely rare that a lost skunk is ever found.
Other things you need to do to skunk proof your home is to put childproof latches on all the cupboards that could contain dangerous materials or things you do not want the skunk to get into. Skunks love to dig, keep the potted plants out of reach. Look around at your low tables. Skunks front feet are very much like hands, they have quite the reach on them and can pull things down from tables and can become injured.
Give them soft, cuddly materials for bedding. Give him a article of clothing that you have worn with your scent on it. It will help the bonding process and assure him when he is alone. Good bedding materials are old towels, old sheets, blankets, and even old articles of clothing. Just give him the bedding. Skunks are talented and like to make their own beds. It is a great deal of fun watching them arrange their bedding. A skunk "carrying" a blanket is hilarious. They pull the blanket backwards with their front paws.
Make sure the skunk has plenty of fresh, filtered water available to him at all times. Skunks need a very nutritious diet. Feed high quality protein from insects, lean meats, dairy products, fresh, cooked, and raw vegetables that are washed, the same with fruits, and greens, cooked eggs, cooked grains, and vitamin and mineral supplements. Even natural high quality dog food such as Nutro. Poor diet can lead to many problems for example obesity, seizures (low blood suger ect.), fur loss, hormone imbalance, just to name a few.
Spay or Neutering
Skunks are very aggressive and vicious if they are not spayed or neutered. Neuter little male skunks as early as possible, when you first feel their testicles start to develop. This can happen as early as 3 months. Little female skunks need to be spayed no later than four months. If they start reaching sexual maturity, they can begin to bite and be quite vicious. A while after surgery their previous personalities will most likely return to normal.
When you choose a veterinarian for your skunk be very picky. Find out what his or her policy is if the skunk should bite someone. Make sure the vet has an updated education in skunks In fact, ask the vet if a skunk always carries rabies. If the answer is yes, run the other way - quick! Skunks do not carry rabies. They can contract rabies just like any other mammal by eating an infected carcass, by being bitten, or other means of transmission.
Many skunks have roundworms. You should have them tested for all worms. Skunks should be wormed for roundworms regularly. Get a wormer recommendation or prescription from your vet.
Skunks require vaccinations both canine and feline shots are an absolute must! The skunks should receive his first set at four weeks of age. Make sure the vet is using a killed virus. They will receive a set of baby shots and then a booster shot once a year.
Do not ever declaw a skunk. Skunks claws are his fingers. This is how he holds his food and eats. Think about if you had, your fingers removed how you would feel. Declawing a skunk is animal abuse, plain and simple.
Diana Geiger Exotic Pets Editoron