Pet Skunk Information

Recently another skunk owner forwarded me a packet of pet skunk information written by a Veterinarian regarding the care of pet skunks. She was given the packet when she brought two of her skunks for their annuals. At first, I thought it can’t be bad as I know the Veterinarian who wrote it. Then I read it and realized it must have been written prior to her becoming experienced with skunks. I searched for a date to verify that but there was none.

Some of the things mentioned as ok are actually health or safety issues. For instance, if you use litter for your skunk, make sure you do NOT use pine or clumping clay litters. Yesterday news is a better choice for skunks as they may ingest it. View product here. Puppy pads or the use of newspaper to line the litter boxes are easy and inexpensive.

Another recommendation was to feed the skunk a small amount of dog food that would not bring them the recommended protein and fat percentages noted they needed. Interesting that the name brands of the foods are brands commonly sold by Veterinarians. There have been multiple recalls of those brands and they are known to contain grains (which skunks should not be fed) and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

What was the most frightening was the suggestion that the owner feed 2 to 3 grapes per day. Grapes and raisins are known to be fatal to skunks. It is well documented that they are also fatal to dogs. Although the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is not known, the suspected cause is a type of fungal growth common to grapes. There is no known safe amount for those who think just one or two are ok. Symptoms of grape/raisin toxicity are:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Inability to pass urine
  • Kidney failure and death
  • It is very important to understand that all information has an expiration. When you read about something as important as pet skunk care, you need to ask yourself:

  • Is it dated? How long ago was it written?
  • Is the information current? Have you read conflicting information on the same topic?
  • Who wrote it? Just because a Veterinarian wrote something, doesn’t mean there isn’t newer information now available that makes what you read obsolete.
  • What is the author’s experience with skunks? There is plenty of information posted by people who are new skunk owners or do not even own a pet skunk.
  • Your skunk deserves the best care you can give him or her! Take the time to ask questions until you are satisfied you have the best pet skunk information available to make care decisions. Revisit the topic regularly as new information comes to light. Just because something worked for a skunk you used to have, doesn’t mean you can’t do better.

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