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What to Feed Your Pet Skunk

Updated on July 18, 2017
Skunks aren't afraid to help themselves.
Skunks aren't afraid to help themselves.

If I was a skunk, I'd write about all of the foods I'd WANT to eat, but not much about the foods I'd NEED to eat. Pet skunks have the same problem of overeating just as we do. Fortunately for the pet skunk, the owner is in control of the dietary choices, otherwise an overweight skunk risks dying an early death just like an overweight person.

Hungry Omnivores

Just like us, a pet skunk instinctively prefers high-calorie food, fats and sugars. This is because in the wild, you never know where your next meal is coming from, so you had to load up on as many calories as you could. But a pet skunk (much like the modern human) has lower energy requirements and so needs a varied diet in order to keep healthy and happy.

Pet skunks will eat just about anything. Since they are still relatively new in the pet world, how to best feed a pet skunk is still the subject of some debate and probably will be as long as people care about keeping skunks happy and healthy.

It used to be thought pet skunks could live on dog or cat food, with the occasional people food table scraps as a treat. Although the skunk will like this "diet", it is far too full of fat and protein for a healthy diet. It would be like raising a child on a diet of only hamburgers, fried chicken and water. They wouldn't be too healthy for too long.

Pet skunks need a mix of fruits, vegetable matter, carbohydrates and protein, like we do. And don't be taken in by those begging faces - pet skunks will eat even when they are full. (Sounds like anyone you know?)

Basic Skunk Menus

A basic morning meal for your pet skunk adult can consist of:

  • ¼ to ½ cup thawed frozen vegetables (no asparagus!)
  • 1 tablespoon cooked chicken or turkey
  • 2 teaspoons of cooked rice, oats or cereal

And their evening meal can be:

  • ½ to ¾ cup fresh or cooked veggies
  • 2 tablespoons of cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of nuts, cooked grains or bread
  • 1 teaspoon of yogurt

Kits (baby skunks) less than four months old need to eat four times a day (like puppies do). They only need about 3 tablespoons worth of food per meal. The food can be a combination of a third protein, a third carbohydrate and a third vegetable. More skunk recipes can be found at Skunk Haven and at Owners Of Pet Skunks (OOPS).

What Not To Feed

These foods are bad for skunks (even though the skunks will eat them anyway!)

  • cat food
  • sweets
  • onions
  • asparagus (known to cause seizures)
  • chocolate
  • processed meats like hot dogs or lunchmeats
  • bacon or bacon fat
  • fried foods
  • lettuce

Are There Any Commercially Available Skunk Foods?

Yes, there are commercial skunk diets available, but they have to be specially ordered directly from the manufacturer. One of the most popular is from the Exotic Nutrition Pet Company's Skunk Diet, skunk nutritional supplements and a canned insect diet for any protein-craving exotic pet. It might be easier for you to make the skunk's meals yourself.

Bon appetite!


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  • Shaddie profile image

    Shaddie 5 years ago from Washington state

    One day, I am getting a skunk. I've had my mind set since I was 13 :) It's nice to find a hub here about skunk care. Do you yourself keep skunks?

  • profile image

    maruzella 6 years ago

    i like to purchase a skunk pet

    you can contacme

  • profile image

    Grace 6 years ago

    Hey, ive wanted a skunk 4 a loooong time... my mama finally said yes, so we're gettin' 1. Any ideas on names?

  • profile image

    sue phillips 6 years ago

    Avoid at all cost raisins, grapes, asparagus. Causes kidney failure and death. My sister has lost 4 skunks and recently found out that she had been given the wrong info about raisins and grapes, they are poisonous to pet skunks. Lots of info on the internet about this now.

  • profile image

    luckyladie66 6 years ago

    I would like to get as much information on pet skunks before i buy one. I want to make sure before i buy one. I think they are very beautiful animals. Any info would be appreciated.

  • aperturering profile image

    aperturering 6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

    I used to work for a wildlife rehabilitation center that had a de-scented skunk and have to say that they do make excellent pets.

  • profile image

    Sherry 6 years ago

    It takes time, but will come around. The more you hold and pet them the more they will seek you out. Great pets enjoy.

  • profile image

    Jessica  6 years ago

    We've had our skunk for about 3 weeks now, but he wants absolutely nothing to do with us! He runs away whenever he sees us! Any idea to when he'll start to open up to us?

  • profile image

    tori 6 years ago

    i have to skunks a black and white (girl) and the brown and white one is a (boy) they r good awsome pets

  • profile image

    Skytech 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info on food for skunks. Rather than pets I have two skunk guests. They have been regulars to my back porch for over a year now. For various reasons I sleep on my porch nearly year round so we're well aquainted and friendly term.

    They have a dish and a water bowl and I've been feeding them chips, popcorn and gingersnaps as well as occasionally chocolate chip cookies and chicken. I now know to cut out the CC cookies! I've come close to hand feeding but we're all taking that route slowly.

    I shall try some of the diet suggestions and see how they fare.

  • nicko guzman profile image

    nicko guzman 8 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

    Where can you get one if they are legal in california.

  • profile image

    TamanduaGirl 9 years ago

    Very good. Once I get my caresheet updated I'll add it here but you can find it by googling anteater care sheet.

  • Good Unusual Pets profile image

    Good Unusual Pets 9 years ago from United Kingdom

    Love the idea of a skunk as a pet.

    Wondering if you would be interested in submitting a few skunk related articles to my unusual pet directory? See my profile for details.

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