Pet Skunks are becoming more
popular than ever especially with the problems and illegality of the
Prairie dog. Skunks are adorable, hardy, intelligent and
mischievous. (May require child locks on cabinets!) They come
descented, but require spaying (or neutering). Fecal exams will not
tell you if they have worms. They are very susceptible to fleas but
only Advantage brand should be used since look alike brands may be deadly
Skunks are not domesticated
animals and cannot be handled, treated or disciplined as such. Learn
proper skunk handling!
Diet is critical. The
number one long-term problem with this species is obesity often leading to
fatty liver disease and a shortened life span. Lack of exercise,
improper diets and overeating are to blame. Some "Skunkie
diets" and some raw diets have proven to be inadequate causing
anemias, deformities (like rickets in people) electrolyte imbalances and
poor hair coats. A proven and inexpensive diet is Mazuri omnivore
Zoo feed A, which is a Purina zoo line. Add vegetables, small
amounts of fruit, cottage cheese, gut loaded crickets and king meal worms
and you're in business. This diet is proven to satisfy the natural
instincts of these omnivore/insectivores.
Direct sunlight via short
play or walks is necessary a few times a week or use a UVB bulb 3 to 6
hours daily. This is important to metabolize calcium through natural
vitamin D even though skunks are primarily nocturnal.
Do your homework first and
don't believe everything you read. Find a veterinarian who is versed
in and sees a lot of skunks and their problems to learn best how to avoid
them. Your skunk depends on you for proper care.
The above is a reprint of an article
written by Jack Landess, D.V.M., as a public service. Reprint
permission was obtained from the Florida