Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Phillip Elden: Do Skunks Make Good Pets?

Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden recalls hearing stories of people keeping skunks as pets back during The Depression. He says he thought the stories were made up until he found out that skunk ownership was still legal in a few states, Oregon included. But that brings up the question of whether these feline-like mammals make good pets. 
Q: Do skunk s make good pets? 
Phillip Elden: To those who have had them, yes. Skunks, when domesticated, are domiciled, gentle, and easy to care for. They are much like cats, but do not possess the same internal ability to find their way home. This means they require more hands-on care and cannot be let outdoors alone even for a moment. 

Q: Do domestic skunks spray? 
Phillip Elden: No. Domesticated skunks have been bred that way for the last seven decades. They have their scent glands removed within the first few weeks of life, which is a controversial topic among wildlife advocates. 
Q: Aren’t skunks prone to rabies? 
Phillip Elden: No, and, in fact, domestic skunks may be less likely than a dog or cat to contract rabies. This is because the vast majority of other animals avoid these smelly little creatures like the plague. Other animals do not have any way of knowing that a domestic skunk does not have the ability to spray, and so they steer clear when possible. 
Q: What do you feed a pet skunk? 
Phillip Elden: Skunks can be finicky eaters, and may enjoy anything from insects to strawberries. Unfortunately, some also develop a taste for rotten food, and they may try to forage in the garbage can if it is not securely closed. Most animal experts agree, however, that a domestic skunk should be offered a diet of chicken, fish, cooked grains, and produce. As with all other domestic animals, it’s best to avoid processed human foods as these are not easily digestible by a skunk’s body.