Do Skunks Attack Pets?

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Skunks are animals that were historically found in rural areas, but as more of the rural territory is dedicated to agriculture or urban and suburban settlements, the species has been forced to adapt to their new surroundings in order to survive. This means that in many cases skunks are coming into contact with people and domestic animals more frequently than they would have done historically. Ultimately this does mean that there are unfortunate incidents where skunks actually attack domestic animals, but in fairness to the pest animals, this won't always be their fault.

Pets That Have Been Sprayed By Skunks

The most distinctive feature of a skunk is its ability to produce a foul smelling secretion in its anal glands, which can then be sprayed at potential threats, which in some cases will be inquisitive domestic animals. In the wild many of the animals that could hunt skunks have learned to avoid the black animals with their distinctive white stripe, but for domestic animals they may not have learned such caution, and can be quite distressed if they are sprayed by this foul smelling fluid. Read the guide Best Ways To Protect Yourself From Skunk Sprays.

Physical Attacks On Pets

In some cases skunks will look to deter inquisitive or aggressive domestic animals with more traditional attacks rather than spraying them, or in some cases the skunk may use both methods against the pets. The big concern is whether or not they have been bitten by a rabid animal, and it is certainly worth getting them checked out by your veterinarian. With sharp teeth and claws, some of the wounds inflicted by skunks can often be quite damaging to pets.

Diseases That Pets Can Catch From Skunks

There are a range of parasites and diseases that skunks can transmit, and rabies is the biggest concern as this can cause pets to become a threat to the family. Pets can also contract conditions including leptospirosis and intestinal roundworm from the skunks, while ticks and lice can also jump from skunks to domestic pets.

Dealing With A Skunk Problem In Your Area

If you have pets, then it is worth trying to deal with a skunk that is active in your area, as they are a potential threat to the health and wellbeing of domestic pets. The best way to achieve this is to use a cage trap to catch the skunk. You will need to throw a tarpaulin or blanket over the trap, to prevent yourself from being sprayed as you move the animal, and you should then relocate it at least ten miles away from your property. Read the guide Are Skunks Good Pets?

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