Skunks may not make for good pets given the many considerations involved such as the viruses they may carry and the harm they can cause to your family.
There are many laws and regulations that each state has expressed regarding domesticated skunks. People are tempted to keep them because they are so cute and lovable. Baby skunks found on the streets are often brought home by people who then put them alongside their other animals like cats and dogs. Wherever there isn’t a law preventing the ownership of skunks, there are often special permits required to have one.
Skunks are known to spray their unpleasant odor as a way to defend themselves when they feel threatened. Thus, if your cat bugs the skunk, it may spray the cat and you will have to go through many treatments to remove that stinky odor from your cat’s body. The skunk can also spray you if you are not careful.
However, to descent a skunk is actually inhumane as you are removing its defense system. It is unfair for them to be made a pet and then have their scent removed, leaving them with no natural defense method. Of course, if your skunk does not escape, that may not be problematic. But what if one day they run away only to find they don’t have any defense mechanisms to keep them safe? That could end very poorly for them.
Before choosing a skunk as a pet, you will have to learn about their natural diet and try to adhere to it. They are active during dusk and dawn, so you should be sure to nurture them during this time. Most of the time, when a skunk grows bigger and older, owners find it a hassle to feed and nurture them as a pet. They eventually release it in the wild, but the problem is that the skunks will have grown used to being in a homey space and having their needs provided for. If they are released into the wild on their own, they may not have the ability to sustain themselves, so this could be an inhumane treatment of the animal.
Thus whether or not a skunk will make a good pet for you and your family is something that you will have to decide after careful consideration (as long as the laws in your area permit it).
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Skunks page or email us if you have any other questions about Do skunks make good pets?
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.