Care

Pros and cons of having a pet skunk

Positives

Negatives

Skunkie cuddles

They are stubborn

They have individual characters

Fussy eaters

They are hilarious when they play

The risk of Spraying

Skunks are very affectionate

Vet Bills, vaccinations, neutering

Skunks are intelligent

Play Biting

Skunks are independent

No licensed meds in the UK, you have100% trust in your vet

They have beautiful soft squishy feet, cute button nose and ears

Even though litter trained they can randomly pee elsewhere and territorial peeing

Skunks can live free in the house

Some refuse to be litter trained

The rewards of earning a skunks trust is enormous

Waking you up in the early hours wanting to play

Skunks love their teddy’s, a sweet skunkie trait

Smelly during breeding season

They bond to their owner, but this bond has to be earned

Raiding the bin, digging carpets and braking the bath panel

They can get on with other animals and can form close bonds

Being rude to visitors, showing their bum and running off

They happy smack when content (smack their lips)

They hold grudges

Skunks love to snuggle up, a plus in the winter

Having to skunk proof everything

They are wonderfully cuddly and squishable

Skunks want cuddles when they want them, not when you want them

Skunks can be litter trained

Finding a vet to treat your skunk, some refuse to do so

Skunks are usually clean animals

Finding a landlord who will accept a skunk

They are easy to look after than most exotic animals

Stealing dirty and clean washing

They make you laugh

Messy eaters

There is nothing quite like them

They are prone to putting on weight and can become obese.

Their bum when they walk with tail in the air

Liability insurance if you want your skunk to meet the public

They have a funny cute little shape

No homing instinct

They are a good talking point

Having to learn a whole new way o9f walking to accommodate the skunk weaving in and out of your legs where ever you go

They make good companions

Not being able to put anything on the bottom shelves

Skunks can be loyal

Throwing tantrum’s

Skunks are simply awesome

They can bite when Mardy

They don’t require specialist food

Being a fad pet and being rejected when novelty has worn off

You can take them for walks

They can slip their harness

They love to sleep in bed with you

They wipe their bottom on the carpet

They can be clicker trained

Can be fussy eaters

They have gorgeous soft fur to snuggle into

You can no longer get your skunk descented

They are comical and seem to have a sense of humour

You won’t be able to go on holiday in less there is someone to look after your skunk

They do the skunk shuffle when playing

Toe biting

They love to play with you with their teddies.

Hardly seeing them in the winter due to hibernation

They can follow you everywhere and become a big part of your life

Even though they eat like a bottomless pit in the summer, you still panic when they won’t eat in the winter


Accommodation, Cages & Bedding

If your skunk is a house skunk and has freedom around the house, make sure you skunk proof your home to make sure it’s safe for when you aren't around. Skunks love making nests and quite a few skunks have made nests behind the settee or under the kitchen units which seem to be a favourite with a lot of skunks including mine.

If you decide you want to put your skunk into a cage when you are not a round for his own safety and peace of mind, then a big indoor rabbit cage 23” by 44” (59 cm by 112 cm) or something similar would be ok for this purpose. But make sure you supply your skunk with a bed, water bottle and litter tray, you can buy corner litter trays which can be tie wrapped to secure them to the cage.

Skunks also love their creature comforts and love a nice bed to curl up into. You can buy donut beds, igloo beds (which is a bit like a tent) and fleece blankets which your skunk will love snuggling up in. Skunks are good thieves and will often steal clothes, including under wear and you will often find lots of items in a skunk den which has been stolen.


Enclosures

A lot of skunk owners build enclosures for their skunks, which are skunk proof, have sleeping quarters, allows exercise and fresh air and can hold more then one skunk comfortably. You can then add toys, a digging area and anything else that will occupy your skunk.


Disinfectants

You can buy pet disinfectants especially made for animals and are safe. You can use a small animal disinfectant spray called “Clean and Safe” from pets at home, or you can buy other disinfects such as “Trigene” and “Formula H” online. Just make sure whatever disinfectant you use, that it is safe for animals.


Spraying

A recipe for the removal of skunk spray odour is the use of Hydrogen Peroxide which can be bought from most chemists, though you may have to ask for it. It costs about £1.20 a bottle and I'd suggest buying 2 bottles if you can as they are quite small. (Vinegar)


Household cleaning products

Be careful of all cleaning products around your home, some cleaning products are known to be dangerous to animals in general. This includes Bleach, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, plug ins, some disinfectants, and pesticides.


Exercise

Always make sure your skunk has plenty of exercise and do not keep your skunk cooped up in a cage all day; it’s unfair and not good for your skunk, he needs to able to stretch his legs and mooch around. Even train your skunk to the harness and take him for a walk and make your home skunk proof and give total freedom and if need be put him away when you are not around.

If you have an enclosure it should be bigger enough to allow exercise with plenty to do to keep him occupied.


Grooming, Bathing & Moulting

A few times a year your skunk will moult, you can keep on top of shedding hair by brushing your skunk, you can buy a small animal brush at your pet shop or on-line, I would recommend a slicker brush.

You may also find that you may need to bath your skunk now and then. If this is the case then use a small animal shampoo e.g. ferret shampoo. “Tea Tree” shampoo is also good. Make sure you do not get shampoo in the skunk’s eyes.


Litter Training

You can start training your skunk to use the litter tray as soon as you get it; skunks are natural corner poopers, so are quite easy to train. Your skunk should choose his corner to use and when he does put a litter tray in that corner. You could put some of his stalls into the litter tray and show him so he knows that is where he has to go. Eventually he will get the idea.

Put several litter trays around the house for your skunk to use, you may find he will use them all, but be aware if the litter trays are full your skunk may do his toilet just outside of it, skunks don’t seem to like a dirty tray. To line the litter tray you can use newspaper, this is this less messy. You can use cat litter if you wish, but you may find your skunk will like to dig in it rather than use it for toilet.

You may find that your skunk will wipe his bottom on the floor after he has used the litter tray, if you find this a problem you can buy a washable rug which is placed just outside his tray ready for him to wipe his bottom.


Microchipping

I would recommend that you get your skunk Microchipped, this is a small chip that is inserted between the skunks shoulder blades.

The chip has a personal number on it that relates to your personal details which is held on a secure database e.g. Pet log. So when the chip is scanned, it will come up with your personal number allowing the person detecting the chip to call the database and inform you if your pet is lost. The Microchip is detected by a hand held scanner that are usually used by Vets, police, animal wardens, rescues, RSPCA etc.

Your skunk has no homing instincts; they are not like cats or dogs where they can find their way home, he will just keep following his nose. So do get your skunk Microchipped, your local vet should be able to do this.


Nail Trimming

I would recommend trimming your skunk claws every month; they do grow quite long and quite quickly. You can buy suitable pet nail trimmers from your local pet shop or online, be sure to avoid cutting the quick. If you do happen to cut the quick an antibacterial powder will help stem the bleeding.

Occasionally a skunk may tear or pull a nail, if this happens, clean the wound and add antibacterial powder. Monitor the nail for infection over the next few days.


Skunk proof your home

To skunk proof your home you can add child locks on all the cupboard doors, block up any holes or places your skunk could get trapped in. Keep your washing machine door shut at all times to stop him climbing in. It is advised to keep the bathroom door shut at all times as this is a well-known place for cleaning products that could be dangerous to your skunk. If there are other rooms in the house you do not wish your skunk to go, keep doors shut.

The other things you can do to skunk proof your home is to keep all plants off the ground and out of the skunks reach and secure all vents, You could use a pet gate or child safety gate (make sure the skunk can’t get through the bars). Keep all kitchen cleaning stuff, bleach and other chemicals out of reach and hidden behind closed doors. If you have bins in the kitchen make sure they are big and heavy enough so the skunk can’t knock them over or climb in side, A 35 litre bin is ideal.

If you have got a small bin keep it behind closed doors. It is also possible your skunk will be able to open the fridge, so be aware of this.


Toys & Entertainment

Some skunks enjoy playing with toys, but if you do buy your skunk toys, make sure they are suitable for animals. You can buy animal toys at your local pet shop or online.


Skunks with other pets

Skunks do get on with other animal species, such as cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits etc. They will even share their beds with them, much like in the wild where they will share their burrows with other skunks, racoons and rabbits.

Of course, smaller pet species rats, mice, hamsters etc. must be kept out of your skunks reach. They will be at risk of becoming hurt or even killed. Skunks will eat small rodents in the wild.

Even if your skunk does get on with your other pets, please make sure they are not left unsupervised.

Skunk Homes
Skunk Cage

A large indoor Rabbit cage is ideal for short term accommodation.


Disinfectants & Supplies

Recommended UK pet supply specialists.

Hyperdrug.co.uk PetMeds.co.uk PetsAtHome.com


Exercise
Skunk Walkies

With a small animal harness, you can take your Skunk for a walk.

Skunks are very clever, so be aware they may slip out of the harness.


Microchipping
Microchipping Equipment

www.petlog.co.uk


Nail Trimming
Skunk Claws

Cut your Skunks nails where marked with a red line.

Ensure you do not cut the quick.


Toys
Magick Playing

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