Keeping Raccoons as Pet
Raccoons are not one of the animals that is commonly used as a pet. however people who have decided to get a raccoon as a pet would often tell you that this creature makes quite a wonderful addition to the family.
You can think of a raccoon as a large ferret or a puppy. However, these creatures have characteristics that are unique to them which means you have to treat them as what they really are and not what you think there are like.
Many experts will advice you not to consider keeping a raccoon as a pet because they are very mischievous and also have plenty health problems that You might not be able to handle. Asides that, they can be very difficult to team.
The scientific name for raccoon is Procyon lotor and they have a lifespan of about 20 years. Raccoons can weigh anywhere from 4 to 30 pounds and the level of difficulty of care is advance.
Raccoon behavior and temperament
Raccoons are active, intelligent, nocturnal, and very social animals but they can be unpredictable and destructive even when they are tame or are born into captivity. Raccoons are not one of those animals that do well in cages, but their sharp teeth and claws can do plenty of damage to your properties and even injure you.
On the good part, raccoons are smart enough to be litter trained, they are also social enough spend time playing with their human owners. In fact seeing a raccoon with its human owners is one of the most adorable sights to behold. They are bright enough to learn the right response for some basic commands words just like your dog and some cats. What else? they can learn to understand the time of your voice.
On the not so interesting side, raccoons will also find a way to get into your belongings and destroy them because they are unpredictable. This means even though they make good companions, they can’t become fully domesticated animals.
Housing your pet raccoon
Raccoons are not animals that can be caged for a long period of time, for this reason most people who have one at home would rather keep it in a dog crate when they are away from home.
A raccoon will spend majority of its time exploring your home, climbing on things, roaming, playing, and being mischievous around your house. Which means that for safety reasons your home has to be childhood. Raccoons are prone to climbing book shelves, chewing on cords, and knocking down valuable things because they are naturally very active.
Because of their level of activity, keeping raccoons in a cage is like depriving it of its rights. You need to provide lots of space for your raccoon to play both indoor and outdoor so that you can have a safe place to let your pet play outside and also have enough room for it inside your house.
An outdoor enclosure is also a great way to let your pet exercise when you are away from home. Inside your home, make sure that your raccoon has access to water, shelter, food, and structures that can aid is jumping and climbing activities.
Food and water for raccoons
Raccoons can eat both vegetables and meat because they are omnivores. Offer your pet raccoon a wide range of foods like insects, dog food, fruits, vegetables, and other sources of protein. You can also offer treats like fatty foods and nuts but do that sparingly to prevent obesity. You must also perform a daily enrichment activity using foods because it is not rare for raccoons to become destructive when they are bored.
You can feed baby raccoons with milk replacement that can easily be bought from pet stores but never make the mistake of feeding your baby raccoon with cow milk or human baby milk. Once your baby raccoon becomes a few weeks old, you must wean it to soft foods first then begin to feed it with a wide range of foods.
Don’t get disgusted because raccoons are messy when it comes to eating, They are in the habit of dunking their food in the water bowl before they eat it. Because of that you will have to change their drinking water very often so that they can always have fresh water to drink.
Common health problems of raccoons
Before you go looking for a pet raccoon to adopt, make sure that you have found a vet who is willing to take one in as a patient wherever the need arises. While having a pet raccoon is legal, finding a very that has no problems working with one is not easy at all.
Raccoons can easily fall I’m with distemper and rabies. And even though it is possible to give them a canine killed rabies vaccine, there is still no proof that the vaccine is indeed protective for raccoons.
If anyone ever gets bitten by your raccoon, bear in mind that regulatory agencies will continue consider the canine vaccine effective and may go as far as euthanizing or confiscating your pet.
Raccoons can develop different kinds of medical issues like; urinary tract infection, Intestinal parasites, obesity, skin infection, and fleas.
However raccoons that are raised by breeders and those adopted as infants are less likely to deal with any of the above conditions. It still remains very vital that you have your pet vaccinated, sprayed, neutered, and dewormed as often as possible.
Is it legal to own a pet raccoon?
Owning a raccoon is considered illegal in many areas so before you adopt one it is important that you check and make enquires to be sure it is legal. In States like Colorado, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, and even Arizona, it is illegal to keep a raccoon as pet.
And in most states there are specific laws that surround raccoon ownership. In some states where is it legal to have a pet raccoon, it may be illegal to bring in a raccoon from another state. Always remember to check with your state of local law before adopting a raccoon or any other exoctic pet.
If you want to get a raccoon please do not consider getting one from the wild our picking up a stray because they may be sick and also dangerous. Look for a responsible breeder or check rescue organisations to see if there is anyone available for adoption.
Having a pet raccoon requires a high level of commitment and time because they love your attention and must be well stimulated. If you care for your raccoon properly, you should have it around for about 10 or 15 years and it should bond well with you and other members of your family. If you are going on a vacation, you need to get someone you trust to look after your raccoon so that you don’t bother much.