Skunks thrive on Fruits, Vegetables, Proteins, Grains, and a small amount of Dairy. They should never be fed anything like Dog Food, Cat Food, Ferret food, etc. While there are some commercially available skunk diets, check carefully to make sure that the main ingredient is not corn, as skunks are prone to obesity and excess corn filler is unhealthy for them.
Yes. Skunks are not as easy to litter train as a cat, but they can be trained to use a litter box. Here are a few pointers that will help you to get your pet using the restroom like you want:
Skunks prefer to back into a corner to use the restroom, so a corner litterbox will often make them more comfortable (and keep poop off your walls).
Skunks are often particular about the substrate in their litterbox. If your skunk is using the restroom right next to the litterbox, or napping in the litterbox instead of pooping, try changing the litter to a different type. I have used corncob litters, newspaper, puppy pads, and pine litter all with success.
Do not use chemically treated litters, clumping litters, or litters with "crystals" in them. Skunks like to wipe their bums on the ground after using the restroom. All the aforementioned litters have ingredients that do not do well if a piece of the litter is caught in their backside during this process.
Do pet skunks still have their scent glands?
This depends on your location. In the UK it is not legal to remove a scent gland from a skunk unless it has a life threatening issue (such as an infection) which requires the removal. Because of this many UK skunk owners have pet skunks with fully intact scent glands. In the US there is no ban on scent gland removal and almost all skunks will have their glands removed before they ever leave the breeder.
What is with that brown skunk?
Skunks have been bred in captivity for many years and have developed quite a few different colour morphs and patterns as a result. You can get skunks in a variety of shades from black to white with plenty of choices between. See our Skunk Colours and Patterns page for more information
Where do you get a skunk?
This one depends on the location. In most states, because of the laws requiring permits, you cannot just go on craigslist or an online website and order yourself a skunk. You have to look for licensed breeders or retailers. Google is a good place to start in your search. Make sure when you find a breeder or retailer that they have all of their paperwork up to date. Keep a receipt after purchasing your skunk, as it is helpful should you ever need to show it to fish and game to prove your animal is legally acquired.
There are also a few skunk rescues (Florida Skunk Rescue and Skunk Haven) which offer skunks up for adoption. These skunks are often great pets who had to be given up due to housing issues or families moving to states where the skunk cannot go. If you are located near a rescue you can talk to them about adopting a skunk.
Are skunks Legal in my State?
Each state has its own rules about captive wildlife. I try to keep the legality map up to date with information on the current laws in different states. If you are unsure whether a skunk is legal in your area (some states only allow skunks in particular counties) contact your state's fish and game to make sure before purchase.