Skunks are known for their distinctive black and white appearance, but did you know they also have a surprising diet? One question that often arises is whether skunks eat dog poop. In this section, we will explore this question and provide information on skunk’s diet in general.

Skunks are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat just about anything that is available to them. This includes both plant and animal matter. Although skunks are not typically known for eating dog poop, there are circumstances where they may be attracted to it.

Key Takeaways

  • Skunks have a diverse diet consisting of both plant and animal matter
  • They are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything available to them
  • Although skunks do not typically eat dog poop, they may be attracted to it in certain circumstances

Understanding Skunk Behavior and Food Preferences

Skunks are nocturnal creatures with a timid disposition. They are known for their distinctive black and white fur, but what they eat is often overlooked. Their diet is omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

Skunks are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat whatever food is available. They are scavengers by nature, which is why they are often attracted to human settlements.

Skunk Diet

Skunks eat a variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, carrion, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. They are known for their affinity for grubs, which they can detect through their strong sense of smell. Skunks also consume mice, snakes, frogs, and birds.

In addition to animal matter, skunks also feed on plant material, including leaves, stems, and berries. They have been known to damage gardens and lawns in search of food.

Scavenging Habits

While skunks are known to forage for food, they are primarily scavengers. They will eat anything they find, from trash to carrion. Skunks often frequent urban and suburban areas in search of food.

They are attracted to areas where food sources are plentiful, such as dumpsters, pet food dishes, and even bird feeders. Once they find a food source, they will return to it regularly, making them a nuisance for many homeowners.

Behavior and Food Preferences

Skunks are shy animals and prefer to avoid confrontation whenever possible. However, they are not afraid to defend themselves if they feel threatened. When they feel threatened, they will emit a foul-smelling spray to deter predators.

Skunks are also attracted to areas where they can find shelter, such as under decks and sheds. They prefer areas with dark, enclosed spaces where they can sleep during the day.

It is important to understand the behavior and food preferences of skunks to prevent them from becoming a nuisance. By taking steps to deter skunks from your property, you can coexist peacefully with these fascinating creatures.

Skunks as Scavengers: What Do They Eat?

Skunks are opportunistic feeders, which means they have a diverse diet that includes both plant and animal matter. They are known to consume insects, small mammals, fruits, vegetables, carrion, and even bird eggs, depending on what is available in their environment.

Food Type Examples
Animal Matter Insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, and carrion
Plant Matter Fruits, vegetables, and nuts

Skunks are also known to consume dog poop. While it may seem unusual, this behavior is not uncommon among scavenging animals. In fact, skunks are attracted to the smell of decomposing matter, and dog poop provides an easy source of nutrition for them.

It’s important to note that skunks are not solely reliant on scavenging for survival. They are capable of hunting and killing small prey, such as mice and insects, and can also consume a variety of plant matter.

Overall, the diverse diet of skunks contributes to their ability to adapt to different environments and survive in a wide range of habitats.

The Omnivorous Nature of Skunks

Skunks are an interesting species when it comes to their dietary habits. These furry creatures are omnivores, which means they consume both plant and animal matter. Their dietary habits mainly depend on their habitat, seasonal availability of food, and the age and sex of the skunk.

Skunks have been known to feed on plant matter such as fruits, nuts, and seeds. They have a preference for insects, especially beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets, which make up a significant part of their diet. In addition, skunks are opportunistic scavengers and will feed on small mammals, birds, and carrion when the opportunity arises.

Research has shown that skunks have a preference for meat-based diets in the winter when plant matter and insects are scarce. In contrast, during the summer, they shift their diet towards plant matter and insects. Skunks are known to avoid certain insects, such as ants and bees, which can sting and cause pain.

Therefore, the omnivorous nature of skunks allows them to adapt to a wide range of environments and food sources.

Do Skunks Really Eat Dog Poop?

Skunks have a varied diet, consisting of both plant and animal matter, and they are known to scavenge for food. But do they really eat dog poop?

The short answer is yes, skunks do eat dog poop, along with other types of feces. This behavior is known as coprophagy, and it is not uncommon among many animals, including raccoons and coyotes.

However, it’s important to note that not all skunks engage in this behavior and it’s not a significant part of their diet. Skunks may be attracted to dog poop for a variety of reasons, such as the smell or the presence of undigested food particles.

So while skunks may eat dog poop, it’s not a behavior that pet owners should be overly concerned about. However, it’s always a good idea to keep your yard clean and pick up after your pets to minimize the attraction of wildlife.

What Attracts Skunks to Dog Poop?

Skunks are scavengers and will eat a variety of foods, including plant matter, insects, small mammals, and carrion. However, they are also known for their attraction to dog poop, which can be a source of food for them. But what is it about dog poop that makes it so appealing to skunks?

One reason is that dog poop contains high levels of protein, which is an essential nutrient for skunks. In addition, skunks have a keen sense of smell and can detect the presence of dog poop from a considerable distance away. Once they locate the source, they will often return to the same spot for repeated feedings.

Another factor that may contribute to skunks’ attraction to dog poop is the location. Skunks are nocturnal animals and are often active at night. This means that they may encounter dog poop in yards or other outdoor areas where dogs are active. If this area is close to a skunk’s den or preferred foraging grounds, they may be more likely to return and feed on the dog poop.

It’s also worth noting that skunks are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever food is readily available. If a skunk is unable to find a reliable food source, it may resort to scavenging in areas where it can find food, including dog poop.

In summary, skunks are attracted to dog poop because of its high protein content, strong odor, and easy availability. To prevent skunks from being attracted to dog poop, pet owners should ensure they promptly clean up after their dogs and dispose of feces in a sealed container.

Dealing with Skunks and Dog Poop

If you have a pet dog, it’s important to understand that skunks may be attracted to their poop. To prevent skunks from scavenging on your property, there are several steps you can take.

1. Clean Up After Your Dog

The most effective way to keep skunks away from your property is to pick up dog poop as soon as possible. This will eliminate the source of their attraction and reduce the likelihood of skunks coming near your home. Always keep in mind that dog poop should not be left lying around your yard.

2. Secure Your Garbage Bins

Skunks are also attracted to garbage and food waste. Make sure that your garbage bins have secure lids that are tightly closed. This will make it harder for skunks to gain access to your garbage and reduce the amount of food waste produced in your property.

3. Use Fencing

If you live in an area with a high skunk population, you may want to consider installing a fence around your property. A fence can help prevent skunks from coming into your yard, and it can also keep your pets from wandering off your property, which is also a great thing.

4. Use Skunk Repellents

There are several natural and chemical skunk repellents that you can use to keep these creatures away from your property. You can use a mixture of vinegar and water to spray on the areas where skunks are likely to come, or you can purchase skunk repellent sprays from your local hardware store or pet supplies store. However, be careful when using these products as they can be harmful.

These are just some of the ways you can deal with skunks and dog poop. By being proactive and taking the necessary precautions, you can minimize the chances of encountering skunks on your property and enjoy a peaceful coexistence with these fascinating creatures.


Skunks may not be the most popular of creatures, but they play an important role in the ecosystem. Understanding their behavior and dietary habits can help us better coexist with them and avoid unpleasant encounters, especially when it comes to their attraction to dog poop.

Remember, skunks are omnivores and consume a variety of foods, including insects, plants, and small mammals, in addition to carrion and occasionally, dog poop. While it may seem unappealing to us, dog poop provides valuable nutrients for skunks and can be difficult to resist.

Preventing Skunks from Being Attracted to Dog Poop

To avoid attracting skunks to your yard, it’s important to dispose of dog poop properly. Here are some tips:

  1. Regularly pick up after your dog and dispose of the poop in a sealed trash can.
  2. Avoid leaving dog poop to decompose on your lawn or in garden beds.
  3. Consider using a designated dog poop compost bin, which can be emptied regularly and kept away from areas frequented by skunks or other scavengers.
  4. Use motion-activated lights or sprinklers to deter skunks from entering your yard at night.

By being proactive and taking steps to prevent skunks from being attracted to dog poop, you can minimize the chances of encountering these creatures and enjoy a cleaner, safer outdoor space.


Q: Do skunks eat dog poop?

A: Yes, skunks are known to eat dog poop. While they have a diverse diet, they are attracted to the scent and nutrients found in dog feces.

Q: What is the diet of skunks?

A: Skunks are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet consists of insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, fruits, nuts, and even carrion.

Q: Why are skunks attracted to dog poop?

A: Skunks are attracted to dog poop due to its strong scent and the nutrients it contains. The odor acts as a lure, while the nutrients provide sustenance for skunks.

Q: How can I prevent skunks from being attracted to dog poop?

A: To prevent skunks from being attracted to dog poop, it is essential to promptly clean up after your dog. Use a scoop or bag to dispose of the waste in a secure garbage container.

Q: What are some tips for dealing with skunks and dog poop?

A: To effectively manage skunks and dog poop, consider training your dog to eliminate in a designated area away from your home. Additionally, ensure your yard is well-lit and secure to deter skunks from entering.

Q: Why is it important to understand skunk behavior and dietary habits?

A: Understanding skunk behavior and dietary habits is crucial for coexisting peacefully with these creatures. It allows us to take necessary precautions, minimize potential conflicts, and ensure the well-being of both skunks and pets.

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