Despite their docile nature and beautiful black and white coats, skunks have gotten a pretty bad rap. If you're dealing with skunks romping 'round your yard, keep in mind that these naturally peaceful creatures would rather stay out of your pooch’s way than to encounter him (no matter how friendly your pup may be). There are a few tips to follow to reduce the likelihood of one wandering into your yard and your dog trying to make friends with it, only to be met with that distinctive super-stinky spray!
Tip #1 - Put up a secure fence that is at least 6 feet tall and extends 1 foot underground. If you have a fence, walk the perimeter to make sure there are no holes or cracks that a skunk can fit through. Repair any damaged areas to keep unwanted guests out.
Tip #2 - Keep your dog in at night. Let him out to go potty before bedtime, but otherwise keep him inside. Since skunks usually come out at night, this will reduce the risk of him surprising one during these dark hours.
Tip #3 - Feed your dog inside. Skunks can smell his food, or even his food residue, and will come looking for his next meal.
Tip #4 - Close the windows and doors of garages, sheds and outdoor buildings. Wildlife, including the skunk, looks for warm places to stay and areas that have food in them. Don’t leave these places open, as they may take it as an invitation.
Tip #5 - Pick up food scraps and trash from your lawn. Skunks will follow their noses to tasty-smelling treats, including anything found inside your yard. These guys don’t need free handouts.
Tip #6 - Place garbage inside a trashcan that you keep securely closed. Not only will this reduce the risk of wildlife knocking over the cans to get the goodies inside, it will not tempt the skunk to come any closer.
Tip #7 - Keep the yard mowed and maintained. This will reduce the number of spots where these critters can hide.
Tip #8 - Stay calm and don’t panic if you encounter a skunk. Skunks are actually non-aggressive animals and only spray if they feel threatened. They will hiss and stomp their legs as a means to show they don’t want to be friends. Just walk away slowly without startling the black-and-white fellow.
By Susan Revermann
About the Author
Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.