Are Raccoons Good Pets?

Raccoons are famously native to North America, easily recognizable with mask-like markings on their faces. Many people think these animals are adorable because of their cute faces and how they use their little paws like we humans use our hands. But do they make good pets? The answer is no.

Image Credit: Pixabay Raccoons can carry rabies which is a fatal virus to both animals and people if left untreated. Regardless of how many generations of raccoons that have been bred, these animals always fail to form deep connections to humans like dogs or even cats.

Image Credit: Jillian Cain Photography, Shutterstock Surely, youve seen lots of ads for dog training courses online. Even though young raccoons can be playful and docile, when these animals reach adulthood, they can be very unpredictable and aggressive . A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand.

Do racoons make good pets?

Raccoons can be loving and sweet pets, but they require a great deal of work and maintenance as they are still wild animals. They are not the kind of domestic pets you can leave alone for very long; When they get bored, your house can be destroyed in your absence!

Can you domesticate a raccoon?

If you find a raccoon that has been domesticated or rehabilitated, they can be a loving and playful pet. It’s only legal in 16 states to own pet raccoons. … Domesticated raccoons can be housetrained and become affectionate. But pet racoons like to play as much as they like to cuddle.

Are raccoons aggressive to humans?

It isn’t uncommon for a healthy raccoon to be active in the daytime, but it’s highly unusual for a raccoon to be aggressive toward a person. A female may boldly defend her young, arching her back and growling or giving a loud “whoof,” and perhaps lunging at a person she deems threatening.

What states allow pet raccoons?

Arkansas..Delaware..Florida..Indiana..Nebraska..North Carolina..South Carolina..Michigan.

Raccoons are wild animals famous for the mask-like markings on their faces. People like raccoons because theyre cute and they have a unique way of using their paws.

Raccoons can carry and transmit distemper, Salmonella , and leptospirosis, as well as parasites like fleas, to humans. Even in states where owning a domesticated pet raccoon is legal, it may be difficult to find a veterinarian who specializes in care.

Youll need to find a friend or hire a professional whos capable of supervising your pet raccoons needs while youre gone. Raccoons are mischievous animals and use their long-fingered paws to open doors, unscrew lids, and do other tasks. If your raccoon is staying in your house, a large dog crate can work for short periods of time.

Staggered walk Lack of response to noise or nearby movement Erratic wandering Discharge from eyes or mouth Wet and matted hair on face Repeated high-pitched vocalization

You may think you would like a raccoon for a pet. Trust me, you would not. If you really, really want a pet raccoon, get it from a licensed breeder. I dont know where any are but I know that theyre around. In most places it is illegal to keep a wild raccoon. Heck, in any number of places keeping any raccoon may be illegal, especially if you live in a rabies-endemic area like the U.S. eastern seaboard.

Blindness and coma are just two symptoms seen in people; others include loss of muscle control, liver enlargement, and nausea. I ran a wildlife hospital for four years and treated numerous raccoons for various medical complaints.

Veterinarians who do not specialize in wildlife may spend an entire career without encountering a raccoon, which may be just as well. In most instances I am aware of, ordinary veterinarians are allowed to treat sick or injured wildlife in their veterinary clinics until that animal is stable or well enough to be released into the care of a licensed wildlife rehabber. One such operator is David Seerveld, who has a terrific blog about the wildlife he removes from homes.

He takes the raccoons and returns them to a wildlife spot over 10 miles away so they cannot find their way back to that house. Seems that many people ask him for a baby raccoon so they can have them as a pet he is sometimes offered a lot of money for one, but he won’t do it. “I handle a lot of baby raccoons that I get out of attics, and they are just about the cutest animal alive – cuter than kittens or puppies, and they make the most darling noises.

Believe me, if they could be domesticated, they would be, because they are very pretty and smart animals, and they have distinct personalities and a lot of fun traits. Once they hit sexual maturity at about six months of age, they are no longer gentle and cuddly. I’ve heard of many cases in which people keep pet raccoons and suddenly find themselves under attack without warning one day.

Male raccoons are said to not reach full sexual maturity until they are around two years old, but they start the hormonal slide much earlier. The more raccoons get used to being handled a lot from an early age, the more it will help make them more social and less likely to bite. VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community.

Because raccoons are cute, smart and nearly everywhere these days, people often wonder if they would be good pets. The answer is no, for several reasons.

Raccoons can also carry zoonotic parasites and infectious diseases (including rabies) that pose a threat to you, your family, and other pets. Theyre faster and larger than youd thinkreaching over two feet long, weighing up to two dozen pounds, and running at speeds of about 15 miles per hour.

Why Racoons Don’t Make Good Pets?

Raccoons are mischievous and unpredictable by nature and they can be aggressive. Even if you think you’ve tamed a wild raccoon, that animal can turn on you at any moment and deliver a wicked bite with its sharp teeth. A raccoon also has long sharp claws that can do serious damage to a human if the animal strikes out.An interesting thing about raccoons is that these animals have varying temperaments. Some can be friendly toward people while others can be skittish and aggressive. It’s simply not worth the risk to keep a raccoon as a pet because you’ll never know for sure if the raccoon you tame will turn on you and attack at a moment’s notice.

Raccoons Can Carry Rabies and Other Diseases

Raccoons can carry rabies which is a fatal virus to both animals and people if left untreated. These masked creatures can also carry and transmit other diseases including distemper, salmonella, and leptospirosis. But that’s not all! These animals can be carriers of fleas, lice, roundworms, and other parasites that can make humans very sick.

Raccoons Can’t Be Completely Domesticated

Unlike easily domesticated dogs, raccoons are not social and are animals that exhibit hostile and instinctual behaviors toward humans and other animals. While dogs easily bond with humans, raccoons are unable to form close emotional connections to humans even after several breeding attempts. Many people have tried to breed raccoons over the years to try to make them good pets. However, these attempts have failed time and time again. Regardless of how many generations of raccoons that have been bred, these animals always fail to form deep connections to humans like dogs or even cats. By nature, raccoons are independent, curious, aggressive, and unpredictable.

Raccoons Can’t Be Trained Like Dogs

Surely, you’ve seen lots of ads for dog training courses online. But have you ever run across a raccoon training course when surfing the web? Of course not! Raccoons are not domesticated animals that can be trained like dogs, it’s that simple!Raccoons are wild animals with wild animal instincts. Even though some people have taken in baby raccoons and trained them to use a litter box, these animals grow up to be independent, unpredictable adult raccoons that cannot be trained like dogs.

Do Raccoons Make Good Pets?

Raccoons are intelligent animals. They can problem solve and have good memories. However, raccoons are wild animals, so taking one from the wild won’t have good results and is likely illegal. If you find a raccoon that has been domesticated or rehabilitated, they can be a loving and playful pet.It’s only legal in 16 states to own pet raccoons. You’ll need to find out if your state allows them before bringing one into your home.Domesticated raccoons can be housetrained and become affectionate. But pet racoons like to play as much as they like to cuddle. Tame raccoons can be unpredictable and mischievous. They like to climb and explore and are not suited for cages or small rooms. Owning pet raccoons can be a big commitment, as they need a lot of attention and care.

Pet Raccoon Problems

Raccoons can be difficult to keep as pets, and you may face challenges having one in your home.

Caring for a Raccoon

If your state permits owning pet raccoons and you want to add one to your family, you’ll need to find a reputable raccoon breeder who breeds domestic raccoons to be pets in homes. Do not bring wild raccoons into your house, which is illegal almost everywhere.Your raccoon needs a spacious enclosure where they can move and roam about freely. You can train your raccoon to use a litter box, if they will be an indoor pet. If your raccoon is staying in your house, a large dog crate can work for short periods of time. But a pet raccoon needs to be able to roam freely when you’re there and able to supervise. Child-proofing your home will be necessary — pet raccoons will get into everything.Having a raccoon enclosure outside allows your pet raccoon space to play. To engage their natural instincts, they need toys and things to climb on. Make sure the enclosure has a top so your pet doesn’t wander off.Raccoons eat both meat and plants. They can eat poultry, fish, insects, vegetables, and fruits. Young raccoons will graze and eat as much as they want, but as they get older, you should limit their meals. Complete dog foods make a great diet staple for racoons. They also love to dip their food in water before eating, so give them a shallow water dish along with their meals.