Exotic Pet, 5 Known Skunk Species

Exotic Pet, 5 Known Skunk Species

Skunks, when born and nurtured in captivity, can make excellent sociable, intelligent, and one-of-a-kind pets. They can become accustomed to being handled by humans and can be quite playful and loving. Skunks, which are native to North America, are known for their scent glands, which may spray foul-smelling compounds at predators.

However, in captivity, such glands are usually surgically removed. This is a controversial treatment, since some say it removes a crucial defense mechanism that a pet skunk would require if it ever got out outside or was otherwise assaulted.

This is why it is vital to keep a pet skunk indoors or closely watched at all times while they are outside. Housing a pet skunk can be tough since skunks are curious animals who like to get into mischief. Furthermore, because there are few specialized skunk meals available, feeding a balanced diet to a pet skunk might be problematic. Overall, these animals demand a significant amount of time and experience on your part in order to be properly cared for.

Type of Skunk Pet

There are twelve species of skunks, with four of them most likely to appear on your property.


Striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis)

Striped Skunk

Striped skunks can be found in a variety of habitats, including suburban subdivisions. They are normally black and roughly the size of a house cat. They also have large white stripes on their snouts and a white v-shaped marking on their backs. They are the largest skunk species, weighing up to 14 pounds.

Hooded skunks (Mephitis macroura)

Hooded Skunk

Hooded skunks are often confused with striped skunks, but their tails are longer and their fur is softer. Hooded skunks have characteristic fur tufts around their necks. Some hooded skunks have two thin white stripes down their backs and tails, whereas others have one strong stripe and a full white tail.


Hog-nosed skunks (Conepatus mesoleucus)

Hog-nosed Skunk

Hog-nosed skunks are huge (2.5 to 6 pounds) skunks with a single broad white stripe running from snout to tail. They live in rocky or sparsely forested areas of North America. Texas is home to a sizable population. They are great diggers due to their long claws and snouts, and they will root through the soil for food.

Spotted skunks (Spilogale)

Eastern Spotted Skunk

Spotted skunks are classified as either eastern (Spilogale putorius) or western (Spilogale gracilis). If you observe a skunk climbing a tree, it’s probably an eastern spotted skunk. Eastern spotted skunks have multiple broken white stripes down their backs and a black tip on their tail that is often shorter than other skunks’ tails. Instead, the western spotted skunk has a white tip on its tail and larger white stripes on its back. These skunks are little, weighing between 14 and 2 pounds.


Skunks aren’t exactly low-maintenance pets. Expect to spend many hours a day entertaining your skunk in addition to feeding and cleaning up after it. Some of a skunk’s personality traits, including as stubbornness and headstrongness, might make it difficult to live with. Pet skunks, on the other hand, tend to be social and lively as they grow up interacting with people.

They are lively and curious, therefore they will get into everything in your house. They can figure out how to open cabinets, drawers, and even the refrigerator. And if particular items go missing, such as towels, blankets, and clothing, your skunk may have stolen them to make its bed softer.

Skunks convey their emotions by a variety of vocalizations, including hisses, chirps, and whines. They are, however, generally quiet animals. When properly socialized, they are also not prone to violence, but they will bite if they feel threatened. Because no rabies vaccine is allowed for skunks, this can have significant repercussions.

As a result, if your pet skunk strikes a person or another animal, police may confiscate it to test for rabies symptoms. After biting, some pet skunks have even been euthanized.

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