Hold up. Hold on. Just wait. Do you really WANT a pet skunk? The smelliest, oddest looking little rodents on earth? May I ask why?

Are they cute? No. They're always the same two colors. Are they cuddly? They look like furry sticks! So, why do you want one? 'Cuz you legally can in Iowa? Ahh. Makes sense. It's not common for states to allow them. But yep, the Hawkeye State does.

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As of 2022, Iowa is one of only 17 states where you can, indeed, own a stinkin' skunk as a pet. But before you go out to the side of a busy road and set a trap, there are rules, pal. Let's check 'em out.

Photo by Bryan Padron on Unsplash
Photo by Bryan Padron on Unsplash
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First off, your little smelly friend has to be a captive-bred skunk. In other words, you cannot go out and capture one, take it home, and name it Larry. Not legally anyway. By the way, yes, skunks are specifically mentioned as being "okay" in Iowa law.

Think about that for a second, skunks appear in Iowa law. For the record, so do rhinoceros'. They appear under "illegal to own" in case you're wondering.

Next, they're NOT legal in Des Moines. So if you're heading to the capital, you're SOL.

Photo by Bryan Padron on Unsplash
Photo by Bryan Padron on Unsplash
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Skunk ownership isn't easy

Be warned, skunks are far from perfect pets. According to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, they have awful eyesight. That means they may think they're coming to you for cuddles, and then end up in your deep fryer.

They also are very curious and kinda smart, so they're likely to rummage through your cabinets, trash, and cupboards. Be warned. They're like babies that never grow up.

They also eat a TON and so be prepared to feed 'em. Like dogs and cats, avoid chocolate. Also, avoid cat food.

And last, they tend to STINK. When they feel threatened, they spray. That said, captive-bred skunks typically have those glands surgically removed. Like declawing a cat, it's considered very cruel to do this. But, being sprayed by a frightened skunk also stinks. For real.

If you do get a pet skunk, let me know how it goes for you. In the meantime, I'll stick to my cats.

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