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Skunk Care 101

Skunks have become quite popular as pets in recent years. They do have some wonderful qualities: they’re adorable and playful, and can be quite affectionate. However, skunks are not the easiest pets to have. Therefore, it’s important to do plenty of research before deciding. A Happy Valley, OR vet discusses basic skunk care below.

Restrictions

Skunks are illegal in many states. Even in states where they are legal, you may find city, county, or subdivision restrictions. If you may someday move to another state, keep that in mind as well. While they are legal with permits here in Oregon, there are some specific restrictions. Skunks should always be purchased through licensed breeders or dealers. Ask your vet for more information.

Veterinary Care

Skunks should be de-scented and spayed or neutered before they are six months old. It’s absolutely crucial to find a good vet that handles skunks, as their veterinary care needs are different from those of dogs and cats. For instance, some parasite control products that are safe for other pets are toxic to skunks. Rabies vaccinations are another tricky area. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Temperament

These frisky furballs absolutely love to get into things. You may find your nosy pet ransacking your drawers, rummaging through boxes, or climbing into the cupboard to score a snack. They need a lot of attention, as they get quite unhappy if they feel lonely. Actually, many skunks are quite cuddly, and even like to nap on their owners’ laps.

Grooming

Skunks do groom themselves, but will benefit from regular brushing and—if your vet approves—the occasional bath. You’ll also need to trim your pet’s claws regularly, and apply a paw balm to their paw pads.

Food

Skunk diets are a bit more complicated than popping open a can of food. Skunks require a precise mix of produce, grains, and meat, which must be prepared fresh daily. Your little buddy will also need lots of taurine and calcium. Ask your vet for more specific recommendations.

Toxins

Many common household products—such as aerosols and cleaning agents—are toxic to skunks. Be very careful with what you choose!

Litterbox

Skunks can be litterbox trained, though this can take time and patience. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.

As your Happy Valley, OR vet, we’re happy to provide veterinary care for skunks. Call us today!

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