pet skunk lifespan
Lianne is a veterinarian, epidemiologist, and freelance writer who's written nearly 400 articles for The Spruce Pets. Skunks are prone to a variety of health issues, including seizures, diabetes, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and obesity. When born and raised in captivity, skunks can make for friendly, intelligent, and unique pets. Also, try to offer your skunk foods high in calcium and taurine, or give it supplements that provide these. However, it’s very likely they can extend their lifespan when living in captivity (we will take a look at that later on). Fortunately, pet skunks also tend to be sociable and playful when they grow up interacting with people.

There are many things to consider before making the decision to become a skunk owner. As pets, young skunks should be fed several times a day while adult skunks can be fed in the morning and evening. For now, it’s important to understand that even tho skunks are mammals, they don’t have a very long life expectancy. And if certain items, such as towels, blankets, and clothing, go missing, your skunk might have stolen them to make its bed softer. This is a controversial procedure, as some people believe it strips away a necessary defense mechanism that a pet skunk would need should it ever get loose outside or otherwise be attacked. Life expectancy of skunks according to the species Hooded skunk. There are distemper vaccines that can be administered, but these often come with adverse reactions, so they are not always a good option. But today, we’re going to talk about them. Due to the fact they are pulled away from their natural predators, and have a comfy place to live, skunks do get to have a longer lifespan when raised in captivity, even when this doesn’t happen in the wild. In the wild, skunks are most active at dawn and dusk. Skunks also need to be vaccinated against common dog and cat diseases, such as distemper, as well as dewormed. Make sure you know all of your state and local laws before committing. The rest of the diet should primarily be fresh, cooked, or thawed frozen vegetables. And most of the areas that allow pet skunks have stipulations, such as requiring permits or necessitating that the skunk was bred within the state. These animals are naturally used to eating a multitude of insects, fruits, veggies and small animals for their source of fat and protein. | How long do hedgehogs live? The aim of this page is to give people a good understanding of what it takes to care for a pet skunk and where to go for more information and help when they need it. Weight: 1 to 14 pounds (depending on the species) Length: 15 to 35 inches Lifespan: 7 to 10 years Native: North & South America The Behavior of the Skunk.

Spaying Or Neutering Your Pet Skunk. They are active and curious, which means they will get into everything in your home. But, as with any exotic pet, appropriate expectations are vital to the enjoyment of having a skunk as a pet. Skunks should be spayed or neutered at a young age, usually when they're 4 to 6 months old, to prevent aggression and potential health issues due to their hormones, such as cancer. Removing the scent glands may be done at the same time, though this is often done at an even younger age while the skunks are still with the breeder.

When planning, make sure to get a skunk as young as possible, before they are sexually mature. The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Fruit can be given as a treat but not every day. Discover the lifespan of the animals: dogs, cats, lions, whales, monkeys…, some cases of skunks that manage to live past the 3 year mark, diet composed of several plants, small insects, and some very small rodents in rare occasions, Life expectancy of skunks according to the species. However, you can safely take your pet skunk outdoors on a harness and leash for exercise and enrichment. Actually, they’re known for having a very short lifespan, and only managing to live up to 3 years out in the wild. The lifespan of a skunk is not as long as other domestic pets. To be more specific, we’re going to take a look at how long do skunks live, what’s their natural habitat and whether or not they can live longer in captivity that out in the wild. Skunks do make a variety of vocalizations to express their emotions, including hisses, chirps, and whines. You should never take a skunk from the wild to keep as a pet. 10 years in the wild and 14 years in captivity. Wild skunks only have a lifespan of about three years, but pet skunks have been known to live up to 10 years.. Before thinking about getting a pet skunk, make sure they are legal to own in your area. And they can even learn to get along with other friendly pets in the house, such as a ferret or even a gentle cat or dog. Always acquire a pet skunk from a reputable breeder or rescue group. Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet.

This way, you can keep most of your skunk's toys and bed in one room and limit its access to parts of your home that are unsafe for it (as well as prevent it from getting into items you don't want damaged). The difficulty of caring for a skunk is advanced and you must have that in mind before you get one as a pet. There are many diseases that claim the life of a skunk, even when well cared for. With a bit of research potential owners can learn all they need to have a great pet and be able to provide the necessary care for a domestic skunk. In fact, skunks will only live between 6 and 10 years. They're also natural diggers and might dig into a carpet or scratch furniture if they don't have enough toys of their own. Due to the fact they are pulled away from their natural predators, and have a comfy place to live, skunks do get to have a longer lifespan when raised in captivity, even when this doesn’t happen in the wild. They can learn to open cabinets, drawers, and even the refrigerator. Contrary to what most people might think, skunks don’t live long. There have been some cases of skunks that manage to live past the 3 year mark, although this isn’t as common as you would expect, and they usually die either when they reach 3 years old, or a little bit sooner. The most iconic trait of the skunk is, of course, its ability to spray its perceived threat with an obnoxious smelly, oily substance.Their spray is located in a gland under the tail, which can shoot up to 10 feet in distance. Pet skunks are mainly kept in the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Italy.. Most skunk owners will tell you that skunks are wonderful pets and are very intelligent. Make sure it is allowed and that there is a nearby vet that can offer care to the animal from a young age on up. Consult your veterinarian for the appropriate timing and quantity of food for your particular animal. You're more likely to find these via online stores rather than your local pet shop. By using The Spruce Pets, you accept our, Learn The Basics of Caring for Pet Skunks. It should be known that even when the scent gland is removed and the skunk cannot spray, it may still have a slight odor and this is normal. Some pet skunks have even been euthanized after biting. So make sure it always has access to its litter box, and plan to scoop out the litter daily. Simply put out their meals in a bowl for them. They’re also not prone to aggression when properly socialized, but they will bite if they feel threatened. A proper diet can prevent or minimize many of these problems, so regularly discuss your pet’s diet with your vet. And some people set up entire rooms, such as a small bedroom, as "skunk playrooms." Avoid purchasing an animal through the internet or from a classified ad, as you're less likely to get accurate information about its origin and health history this way. The lifespan of a skunk is not as long as other domestic pets.

It is also important to spay or neuter the animal. The average lifespan of a pet skunk is between 8 to 12 years.

This means that if it bites a visitor, it will have to be tested for rabies and if it is positive, the animal will have to be destroyed. Avoid canned vegetables with salt. You can keep your skunk in a large dog kennel whenever you're away from home to make sure it stays safe. Nuts and dog kibble can also be mixed in to offer a variety and some added nutrients. Most people allow their skunks to roam their homes while they are there to monitor them. Nuts, cooked grains, a small amount of dog food, and plain yogurt can also be mixed into the diet. The average size of a skunk is between 15 and 35 inches in length and weighs up to 18 pounds. Of course, when living in captivity skunks continue to eat what they would normally eat in the wild, meaning a diet composed of several plants, small insects, and some very small rodents in rare occasions. Avoid chocolate, as it is toxic to skunks. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend the correct course of vaccinations. Known for their black and white fur and their unique smell, skunks are definitely one of the most underappreciated mammals. This is illegal in most places unless you are a licensed wildlife rehabber. But a pet skunk can learn to be on its human's schedule. It should be active and alert. In fact, skunks will only live between 6 and 10 years. Striped skunk. Be aware that it can be difficult to find a veterinarian who specializes in skunks, so ensure that you will be able to see one before acquiring a pet skunk. Furthermore, skunks can be trained to use a litter box like a cat or ferret. 10 years in the wild and 14 years in captivity. So if your pet skunk bites a person or another animal, authorities might seize it to monitor for rabies symptoms. Skunks generally lack a homing instinct, so once your skunk is gone, it likely won't be able to find its way back home. Aim to interact with any animal before you bring it home.

Overall, these animals require a lot of time and expertise on your part to care for them properly. However, skunks don't tolerate being housed in a cage for extended periods, so aim to keep its time in the kennel to only a few hours. For your pet skunk to turn out really great, the owner has to be good to it as well. Native to North America, skunks are known for their scent glands that can spray foul-smelling chemicals at predators. These animals need lots of stimulation, and many enjoy playing with dog or cat toys. If your skunk gets loose, it can cover miles in a day. The information presented here is by no means all the information there is on captive-bred pet skunks and caring for them. This will socialize the skunk and keep it loyal once it establishes you are the boss. Skunk temperament and behavior That means closely monitoring any open doors and windows. Read our, The Spruce Pets uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. In some states, it is illegal to have this animal as a pet, so this is the first step to take.

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