A pet skunk?

Can one keep a skunk as a pet?

It's not the skunk that makes a good pet. It is the person that can or cannot be a good skunk owner. The skunk is definitely not a good pet for everyone to keep. Keeping a skunk will take a considerable amount of perseverance. But this applies to many other animal species as well. Keeping a puppy or kitten can for some persons be terribly disappointing and it is very unfortunate that many pets end up in various animal shelters. Skunk shelters are not common, with the result that the many skunks are sold over the Internet and thus at an early age have had three or four homes.

Keeping a skunk is not as easy as it seems. Not only should the animal get used to the new environment and owner but the owner will have to adapt to the skunk as well. Can you provide a skunk enough space? Do you have time to clean up the poop and mess that a skunk leaves behind, if it is not completely potty trained or still had occasion to make a mess of it. It is possible that the skunk chooses your partner, as one who can take care of him, touch or hug, would you still find it ever so nice to have a skunk? If the skunk after weeks, even months of potty training still disappoints you, what then? Suppose you think the skunk is really great, but your partner finds it too much work and very disappointing, what's going to happen with the skunk? Are you willing to correct undesirable behavior consequently and make new adjustments in the house? Remember that you are not only up for the cost of the purchase, but also veterinary charges, beside the vaccinations, a microchip, neutering /spaying.

Are skunks domesticated pets?

Domestication means; made into a pet or livestock. Overall, there are many generations of captive bred animals needed before the first signs of domestication is revealed. This is reflected in the loss of shyness and even the urge to approach people. In addition, in many cases variations in coat color and pattern occur . An animal that has more litters per year will be easier domesticated than an animal that raises only one or two litters per year.

According to studies of domestication (Hafez 1975, Hale 1969, Craig 1981, Slijper 1944 and Naaktgeboren 1984) the following arguments are conditions to succesfully keep an mammal as a pet or livestock. We have made a comparison with the Syrian hamster (golden hamster) and the striped skunk. The Syrian hamster is recognized as a domesticated animal. The points have no order of priority.

Temperament which makes it unlikely to panic - A creature with a nervous disposition is difficult to keep in captivity as it may attempt to flee whenever startled.

Striped skunk; is not shy by nature, they are even found in very busy cities close to humans.

Syrian hamster; is shy by nature because it is a prey item.

Modifiable social hierarchy - Social creatures that recognize a hierarchy of dominance can be raised to recognize a human as the pack leader.

Striped skunk; does live in loose groups but without a strict hierarchic structure, they do however overwinter in groups.

Syrian hamster; lives strict solitairy.

Pleasant disposition that fits human behaviour to prevent misinterpretations and cause agression- Large creatures that are aggressive toward humans are dangerous to keep in captivity.

Striped skunk; young wild urban skunks often interact with people, cats and dogs pushuading them to play with. The highest density of skunk populations are found near towns and cities because of the easy food (pet food left outside and garbage).

Syrian hamster; lives very secretive in secluded rural areas.

The biorythm of the animals fit that of humans.

Striped skunk; crepuscular and nocturnal.

Syrian hamster; nocturnal.

Humans can pick the mating partner and mating occurs with little effort, this enables breeding.

Striped skunks; these skunks have been bred on a large scale for the fur trade since 1841 in fur farms. 15th and 16th century explorers mentioned skunks kept as pets by native americans.

Syrian hamster; was dicovered in 1931 and has just been bred since 1939.

The animals have a flexible adaptability.

Striped skunks; this is the most abundant skunk species and has the largest distribution. They inhabit all types of habitats.

Syrian hamster; it's range is limited to a small area. It has adapted to a specific environment but is outcompeted in other types of habitat.

The nourishment of the animals is easy obtained.

Striped skunk; There is no standardardized food product as there is for dogs but all ingredients to compose a daily mail is readily available.

Syrian hamster; Most pet stores sell special hamster food.

Conclusion; striped skunks are as domesticated as Syrian hamsters and have been bred for al longer period of time.