The best sign of a good breeder is one who is sure they are selling you a pet for which you are prepared. While you may feel you are being grilled, a breeder that asks potential owners lots of questions is one who is concerned that their animals are going to good homes. If a breeder can’t answer all your questions about what skunks are like and how to care for them properly, be wary. Research care well in advance so you can tell if a breeder is giving sound advice or not.
Perhaps the best way to find a skunk for adoption through a rescue association or a skunk breeder is to network with other skunk owners and ask for their recommendations. There are several email lists/groups that make this possible online. The Owners of Pet Skunks site maintains a list of such groups and would be a good place to begin the search.
Once you are satisfied with the facilities, carefully observe some skunks. They should be bright, alert, and curious, with a full shiny coat. They should be in good body condition, neither thin nor obese. They should be curious about visitors but not overly agitated. They should also have clean eyes, ears, nose and rear end, and no signs of lameness or other problems. Try to handle some kits to see how they interact with you.
Skunk breeders can sometimes be found locally, although you may need to go a little farther away to find a good reputable breeder of pet skunks. You can check your local paper or even an agriculture-based newspaper in your area. Occasionally, depending on where you live, skunks can be found in pet stores. A breeder who breeds skunks as pets is the best choice, as long as the skunks are raised under good conditions and socialized well as kits. In many cases, the selling of skunks for pets is just a sideline for fur farms. This may be your only option, and you simply need to be educated and aware and evaluate any breeder or pet store by several criteria.
When you are choosing a breeder, the best option is to visit the breeder in person, as this is the best way to get a sense of how the breeder raises their animals. The skunks should be kept in clean conditions, which you should be able to assess by observation and odor. Do not be concerned if you are not allowed to see the breeding animals, as many conscientious breeders will not allow visitors access to breeding animals. Ask to see the breeder’s documentation (licensing, inspection reports). Ask if there have been any disease outbreaks, especially distemper.
You should first check the legality of skunks in your area before going to the trouble of locating a breeder. Be sure you can find a vet that will vaccinate your skunk and treat it if it becomes ill. Acquiring a skunk if they are illegal in your area can lead to serious consequences, and even if it is just for vaccinations, your skunk will need veterinary care, and you will be stuck if you can’t find anyone to treat your pet when needed.
When looking for a breeder, some patience is required. Skunks are seasonal breeders, and kits are usually only available in June or July. Many breeders have a waiting list and you may need to contact them a year or more ahead of time to get a kit.
If you are some distance from a breeder, they may be willing to ship a kit to you. This is the least desirable option since shipping can be stressful.
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If you want a pet skunk, the trickiest part will be finding one. Learn how to find a pet skunk breeder.
THERE ARE NO APPROVED RABIES VACCINES FOR SKUNKS. Some vets will suggest you give the skunk rabies shots, but this does NOT prevent the health department from taking your skunk if it bites someone. Do NOT let people pet your skunk on the face, head, neck, paws, or tail. ALWAYS hold the skunk’s head and let people touch the BACK only.
Some vets will suggest you give the skunk rabies shots, but this does NOT prevent the state health department from taking your skunk if it bites someone. If the bite is reported, the skunk will normally be destroyed, so DO NOT let people PET your skunk. If you do, ALWAYS hold the head and let people touch the BACK only.
A balanced variety of f oods is best, vegetables, cooked grains, small portions of chicken or turkey, and small amounts of fruit.
Make sure your skunk eats regularly. Never let a skunk go a day without eating. Try favorite foods, meat, fruit, yogurt. If your skunk won’t eat, force feed pureed foods if necessary.
Many people who are curious or are looking for an exotic pet think that skunks may be the pet to choose. Skunks can be friendly, cuddly, trouble free pets; they can also be exasperating, costly, terrors.
Skunks can climb, especially young skunks. Fractures and internal injuries can easily occur if the skunk falls. Don’t think that you can leave food out on the table or counter if there is any chance that your skunk can get to it. Skunks have pushed chairs, moved boxes, climbed up the box to the chair to the table and been found happily sitting on the table munching on snacks left out. They are especially good at wedging themselves in a tight space to climb up several feet to somewhere they want to be.
The pads of your skunk’s paws may get cracked or scaly (especially during dry periods) and may need extra care. We use Udderly S MOO th cream or Bag Balm ointment to help soften and heal the pads.
If not spayed some females can go into a constant heat, they may pee or leave puddles on the floor. If a male skunk is not netured he may start dribbling pee on the floor. Some skunks may be agressive. Skunks CAN go into heat as early as nine months of age.
Health problems include rectal prolapse, seizures, diabetes, liver disease, kidney failure, heart problems, calcium deficiency, excessive weight, allergies, general mal-nutrition, etc. With proper care most of these can be corrected BEFORE the problem starts.
Thinking of getting a pet skunk? Be prepared before you buy a skunk. Pet skunk care and training. Tips on skunk diet, veterinarian care, skunk neuter, skunk spay, bathing a skunk, cutting skunks nails.