Whenever you think of raccoons, you most likely think of them as wild animals that live in the woods. However, quite surprisingly, you can even keep these wild animals at home as pets. This might not be the conventional way to own a pet but you will find some great reasons why raccoons make great pets.
First of all, raccoons are super adorable. They will always amuse you with their awkwardly funny antics. But, it’s not just the show. Raccoons are quite intelligent and can be trained to do amazing things. And if that doesn’t convince you, raccoons are also very clean. Almost like cats they will groom themselves until they are squeaky clean.
Raccoons may make great pets but there are certain problems you may face if you own a wild animal as a pet. This article will talk about these problems as well as educate you on how to domesticate a raccoon and what to feed them. You will also get to know whether or not it is legal to own a raccoon as a pet.
Reasons Raccoons Could Make Great Pets
Raccoons are very clever creatures. They can solve complicated problems and also have excellent memory. Although they are still wild creatures and so, capturing one will likely be ineffective and illegal. Thus, if you can manage to find a raccoon that has been domesticated and trained well enough to stay as pets, they may make wonderful pets.
Tame raccoons are easy to housetrain and once done, they can become quite loving, as opposed to their wild nature.
Pet raccoons, on the other hand, like playing as much as they enjoy snuggling. They have adorable black markings across their face which makes them even cuter to snuggle with. Tame raccoons can also be hard to predict and quite mischievous.
A common misunderstanding people usually seem to have about raccoons is that they are unsanitary. Well, this is quite untrue. As many people might be unaware, raccoons clean their food before eating it.
They prefer to rinse their food with water and wipe it clean of any dirt before eating it. They do so using their distinctive paws which are almost like hands. So, even though they may search through your trash for leftovers, if given the choice, they will clean it at first.
The sense of touch in raccoons is very developed. Their paws allow them to grab a variety of items, climb, and view their surroundings. Raccoons also use their paws to feel around and unlock locks as well as twist off lids to open containers. More or less in the same way humans do.
Raccoons' back paws, however, are as impressive. They can rotate their paws 180 degrees which allows them to climb down trees head first.
Raccoons are so insanely intelligent that some say they can even outsmart the scientists! Several studies show signs of their intelligence over the years. One study shows that even after three years they can still differentiate between the similar and different symbols after only a short period of learning. This shows that they also have an extraordinary and stable memory.
They can also discover hidden objects from any place. Thus, in the intelligence scale, they are just in line after monkeys.
Some Advice For Keeping Pet Raccoons
When you are not home to look after your raccoon, you can keep them in a huge dog kennel if you have one of those. However, raccoons are very active and are likely to not stay in a cage for too long. You can feed your raccoons both meat and vegetables. You can include most kinds of basic pet food such as dog food, eggs, poultry, fruits, fish, and veggies in their diet.
If you let your pet raccoon loose in your home then you will need to raccoon-proof it. Raccoons are known for gnawing on cables and destroying valuables. As a result, everything that may cause them harm or may get destroyed must be removed from their immediate vicinity. If you have the room, a safe outside cage for your raccoon is excellent. This is a great alternative if you want your pet to have a secure place to play.
You will also see that cages and tiny spaces are not suitable for them since they prefer to climb and explore. This means that even if they are domesticated, it still does not imply that they will outgrow their wild nature.
Your outdoor space should be as big as possible, with walls to keep your animal contained. You should keep food, water, and other jumping and playing structures available for them inside. To keep your pet occupied, you can also include toys such as balls. You can serve them treats like nuts but in moderation so your pet does not become obese.
A bowl of fresh water should also be provided at all times. The best thing to do is to consult your veterinarian to determine the amount and type of food that is ideal for your raccoon. This quantity usually varies depending on its size, age, and degree of activity. Raccoons eat in a sloppy manner. Prior to eating, they prefer to immerse their food in their water dish.
This means that you will have to change their water and feed them regularly at a spot that is easy to clean. Adult raccoons typically require two meals each day, one in the morning and one in the evening, but it is better to check your veterinarian for precise recommendations. You may just place their food in a bowl for them to eat or even put it in food puzzles as a sort of enrichment.
All over, raccoons are excellent pets, but they will require a lot of attention and care.
Things To Consider Before Getting A Raccoon
Raccoons may seem like fun animals to keep as pets but you have to know that these animals also come with certain problems. It may be difficult for you to keep raccoons as pets, and having one in your house will provide some difficulties. It’s good to know about these beforehand so you can be prepared.
As raccoons are wild animals, they may be violent and may bite your family members, and other animals. Moreover, if you do not tame adult raccoons then they can become violent as early as they are only six months old.
Whereas some raccoons may be interested and approachable to humans, on the other hand, other raccoons may be wary of humans and retreat if they are approached.
Raccoons can likely spread rabies due to staying in the wild. Currently, there is no authorized rabies vaccine which means that if your raccoon attacks or scratches someone, they may be taken away and killed for testing and safety reasons.
Leptospirosis, salmonella, and distemper, as well as parasites like fleas, are all diseases that raccoons may carry and transfer to humans. Baylisascaris is also a disease that is a result of roundworms from raccoons. This disease can be fatal to humans.
Now that you know the reasons why raccoons make great pets, you might be quite keen to bring one home. However, you need to be mindful of the problems they bring along with themselves.
Moreover, it might also be illegal in your state. Thus, you need to ask yourself whether their friendly nature weighs out the heavy consequences and if it is worth it. All over, raccoons are excellent pets, but they will require a lot of attention and care. Thanks for reading the whole article. Wish you and your pet raccoon good health.
I’ve owned a raccoon for 6 years and still going. Yes, they do rinse their food, but they are everything except clean eaters. The food is everywhere and a lot of it is left dissolved in water, which can turn pretty yucky over the course of just one afternoon. What a load of rubbish.