Should We Have A Raccoon As A Pet? Raccoons are undoubtedly very cute and playful, and they’re known to be very well behaved around people they love. So, one might raise questions about their popularity as pets.
While Raccoons are quite loved, people usually don’t take them up as pets, and there are good reasons behind that as well. In some ways, they can be like puppies or ferrets. If you’re close to the raccoon, chances are that they won’t bite you.
Then again, they’re pretty tough to maintain and they’re also famous for their unpredictability. Even if they don’t harm you, there’s no saying that they won’t destroy your property or your belongings.
These are the reasons why most experts will discourage you from taking raccoons as a pet. We understand that we have been highly discouraging up to this point, but that’s only because we wanted to clear up about the bad stuff first.
Now, let’s talk about the things that you’ll know before you take up a raccoon as a pet.
Should We Have A Raccoon As A Pet?
1. Is Having A Pet Raccoon Legal?
Well, taking raccoons as pets isn’t legal in every region. If you’re living in Idaho, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, or Arizona, then you can drop the idea of petting a raccoon, as it’s illegal to do so in these areas.
In fact, you’ll face some laws regarding raccoon ownership in most states, even though doing so isn’t straight-up illegal in all the states. So, before you take a raccoon as a pet of yours, you should look into what the law of your region says about it.
Other than seeing what laws apply to the pets, you must also look for laws that state what will happen to you if the raccoon breaks loose or bites someone else. In some regions, the penalty for these can be pretty harsh, and you never know whether you’ll have to face these or not.
So, before getting a raccoon for yourself, we highly recommend knowing the laws for your region.
Related post: How To Take Care Of Raccoons
2. How Should You Get A Raccoon?
There are many ways of getting a raccoon. You can always take a raccoon from the wild, but it’s not recommended. Like this, there are other ways of getting a raccoon, but we don’t recommend doing that. If you’re a certified wildlife rehabilitator.
Animals taken from the wild can be hard to handle. They’ll remain irritated most of the time, and unless you have vast experience in handling them, you won’t be able to keep them happy. Then again, if you ever wish to leave them out to the open only because you can’t handle them anymore, you’ll end up destroying their lives for the second time, because by that time they’ll get used to being around humans.
The best way is to get the raccoon from a reputable breeder. You should carry out a background check on the dealer from whom you’ll be getting the raccoon. We highly discourage following an internet ad.
When you’ll be buying a raccoon, you also need to know about its origin and other basic information. If you buy it from a reputable breeder, then you’ll get access to this information.
3. Where To House Them?
Now that you know how to buy them, it’s time for you to prepare a house for your pet raccoon. If you’re living in a home that’s not big enough and lacks outdoor spaces, then you can build something similar to a doghouse.
While raccoons aren’t as big as dogs, they need a lot of space, or they might feel stressed. This is a major reason why you should keep them in an outdoor space. Other than that, raccoons can be mischievous too. If you keep them in your home, the chances of them lurking around and playing with your belongings are pretty high. While doing this, don’t be surprised if they end up damaging your property.
Raccoons love chewing on cables and cords, knocking things down, and climbing on high shelves. All of these aren’t only damaging for you, but harmful for the raccoon itself too. So, you need to house them in a way that’ll keep them away from such things.
4. How Do They Behave?
Raccoons are one of the most unpredictable pets that you can get for yourself. However, this is only because they’re very intelligent. That means you can train your raccoon to a great extent if you train it from its childhood.
Raccoons have good problem-solving ability. So, you can leave them with food puzzles while you’re out, and that will keep them entertained. They also have a good memory. Another important thing to know is, raccoons are mostly nocturnal. Even if you raise them in your home from their birth, they’ll most likely remain like that.
If you’re planning on taming a raccoon, we recommend giving it enough space to move around. Raccoons have sharp teeth and nails, so they’ll end up destroying your property easily. However, if you house them outdoors with plenty of space and trees to climb, then they’ll remain happy and won’t pose a risk to your property.
As we’ve said earlier, raccoons are very intelligent. This is why you’ll also be able to teach them some basic commands like sit and shake. You can even train them to use the litter box. However, unlike dogs, raccoons are quite selective, and it really depends on your raccoon whether he wants to learn something new or not.
5. What To Feed Them
Raccoons eat both meat and plants, and you’ll need to provide them a balanced diet for keeping them healthy. You can provide them a variety of food items including poultry, fish, egg, insects, vegetables, dog food, and even fruits.
However, food items such as nuts must be fed sparingly to avoid obesity.
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This heavily depends on the region and how much time you can spend. If you think that you’re up to this task, then you should definitely have a raccoon as a pet.