How to Care for a Pet Raccoon

Discussion Topic Created:
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Not many people think of raccoons as pets, but they make great ones, if you're okay with their mischievous personality. Here's how to care for one!
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Decide if you really should get one. Raccoons live for around ten to fifteen years, and need vet care, supervision, enrichment, and play time. You can't just stuff a raccoon into a closet! Consider who will look after your pet when you go away, or in case you're unable to care for your raccoon anymore - pet raccoons can't survive in the wild! Raccoons can also get into a lot of trouble, and have a tendency to bite (and bite hard at that). Your raccoon will need to live in the house, or he'll just be a caged wild animal you keep in your yard.

Find out if raccoons are legal in your area. Raccoons are banned in many areas, and you don't want to end up having to relinquish your coon because he's illegal in your area.

Find a breeder. You can ask for a list of breeders from your state wildlife commission. Look for a kit between six and eight weeks old that's gentle and quiet, and ask to wean him yourself - this will create a firmer bond between you and your coon.

Build an outdoor pen for your raccoon. Raccoon love space to roam and play, so make it large enough for your raccoon to play. Raccoon also like high places and little hidey-holes to burrow away in. A reasonable 10x10 foot area will be plenty for your little guy to roam around.

Give him a place to sleep. Your raccoon won't be picky when it comes to beds. A small pile of soft hay or straw will do. If you really feel like going the extra mile, a small pet bed will do, however the raccoon might not like this new bed and refuse it.

Give the raccoon a place to raise its young. Especially if your raccoon is female, it is going to want a safe place to raise its young. A small alcove will probably do. Be very careful not to interfere with a mother raccoon and its young, as the raccoon will become very aggressive.

Feed your coon a balanced diet. It should be made up of fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean chicken and fish (or high grade dog food instead of meat). Avoid red meat and people food.

When training raccoons, use fruit as a reward over dog treats. They seem to love grapes.

"Save" some of the soiled articles from the raccoon. It is very important that you place a piece of feces (use all safety precautions) at the new location. This lets them know it is their smell. Relocate the soiled item and feces to a desired location.

Clean the undesired location with a bleach and water solution. You may need to do this several times.

Locate a vet experienced with raccoons. Find one for general check-ups, and one that works during the night for emergencies.

The most common issue that "domesticated" raccoons face is obesity due to lack of exercise and improper diet.With obesity, comes heart disease and joint strain. Try avoid feeding your pet raccoon nuts, table scraps and carb heavy items like grains and bread.

Many vets and breeders recommend you also stay away from feeding your pet raccoon fish and shellfish due to the high mercury content in most sea creatures. Acute mercury poisoning presents itself as increased aggression.

Give your raccoon lots of entertainment. He should be given toys such as stuffed animals, his own room to hang out in, and a bed (complete with bedding). Play with him every day, and give him training to keep him occupied and prevent naughtiness.

Have fun with your raccoon. Raccoons make great pets for dedicated, informed people. Plus, they look cute.

Don't let your raccoon get fat, as this shortens his life and can cause heart issues.
Generally adults can't be tamed very well; stick to kits if you want a pet.
If you don't want your raccoon to destroy your belongings, give him his own toys to shred!
Always keep track of the whereabouts of your raccoon.
Raccoons are solitary animals and don't usually get along with other coons.
Never hit your raccoon!
If you decide on a raccoon for a pet, be prepared for biting! It's a natural reflex and can't be completely removed.

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  1. Jane Hammilton
     created a discussion topic
    May 16, 2015 @ 7:36 PM

    How to Care for a Pet Raccoon

    Keywords: rac,wild, aggressive, bite, careful

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