There are allot of misguided conceptions about skunks, who are members of the weasel family. Some people are very threatened by these animals and think that when you see one you should run away very quickly so they do spray you with urine (which they actually do not spray urine, they have separate scent glands). I am not saying I would run up to a wild one and try to pet it, but most often these animals will only spray if they feel threatened in some way.
Not all skunks are black with a white stripe down their back either. There are all white skunks, white skunks with black stripes down their backs and even skunks with patches of white and black all over their bodies. They have very cute little faces with short snouts. Skunks can live an average of about 8-12 years as pets and about 3-4 years in the wild. They weigh an average of 6-9 pounds, but these can all very.
Skunks eat fruits, vegetables, some meat and just about anything else they can get a hold of. The are thieves and they are probably the ones responsible for getting into your garbage cans at night to see what left overs are good (either that or raccoons). Despite the fact that they may occasionally get into your garbage can and make a mess of your yard, they actually can help you by eating mice, beetles, rats, moles and other household pests.
Having a Skunk
I have heard so many mixed stories on having one of these animals as a pet. I know someone who had 2 and one was very loving and calm and the other was very aggressive and could not even be handled. Personally I think that with a lot of love, attention and knowledge they can be good pets but make sure you will have the patience and time to spend with the animal.
They will have to go to the vet and they will need shots so make sure there is vet in your area that will treat a skunk before making your purchase. If you purchase one from a pet store it should already be desented but it will most likely need to be spayed/netured. This is necessary so that during mating season every year you will not encounter the problems of aggression and restlessness that a skunk will feel if not allowed to mate.
Skunks can require a wide varied diet but you will not have to feed it live prey.
They will eat vegetables, fruits and other foods. Be careful of excessive weight gain though.
Skunks love to play and can be very demanding. You need to devote allot of time and attention to them . They do not chew and make the mess that a raccoon will make, but they are very stubborn and determined. . Use caution if there is a small child in the home as they are still wild animals and have very sharp teeth. On the up side they do not have sharp nails as a cat does they have soft nails.
Please refer to any of the links listed below as they are all very educational .
Skunk, an Encarta Encyclopedia Article Titled Skunk
Domestic Skunks As Pets
Skunk and Opossum Web Site
Owners Of Pet Skunks Helping Skunks & their Owners
Project Wildlife Living with Skunks