Did you know that domesticated skunks have actually been bred in captivity for over 60 years AND that in 17 states it's legal (if not a bit stinky), to own one?
Here are some things you should know if you're thinking about adopting one of these putrid, yet precious, pets:
Before you stock up on a Costco-sized stash of Febreze, you should know that domesticated skunks have their signature scents removed when the animal is 2-5 weeks old. This makes it much safer for you to cuddle your precious pet, but also a much more dangerous for your baby should s/he escape.
A skunk's scent is its only real protection... that is until you become his/her owner. Then you get to enjoy the sweet smell of power, as you rule the den.
One common myth about skunks is that they have a disproportionately high occurrence of rabies. Because of their naturally occurring scent glands, most rabies-carrying animals actually avoid them – more so than other household pets. In other words, Fido has a better chance at being infected than your personal Pepé Le Pew.
Skunks are extremely curious and love to investigate their surroundings... which would be adorable if they also didn't sport such sharp claws that make their appetite for exploration a recipe for destruction! Word to the wise: skunk-proof your house with child locks and gates.
Skunks are very affectionate and easily bond with their owners. They're also big into snuggling, so be prepared for a lot of cuddle time.
Skunks can be trained to understand basic commands, but don't wait too long – once they're set in their ways, it becomes nearly impossible for them to obey even the simplest commands.
If you don't have a backyard area for your pet skunk to dig in, then be prepared to find holes everywhere in your house. You should never de-claw a skunk because they need their razor-sharp digits to eat and perform other tasks. So do your best to give your skunk a safe space to sharpen their claws. Maybe a super-sized scratch post?
Skunks often steal things from their owners to make their nests more comfortable. Common household objects that they love to curl up in include t-shirts, socks, and even underwear. Make sure you give them lots of options to make their bed, and never make it for them.
Baby Skunks are called kits... and they're simply the cutest things ever.