Can You Keep Raccoons as Pets?
Raccoons have been kept as pets in the United States and Europe since the early 1900s. They can make great companions, as long as you’re willing to invest the time and money necessary to properly care for them. Before you consider getting a raccoon as a pet, there are a few things you need to consider.
Check Local Law
It’s important to check with your local and state laws in regard to pet raccoons before you consider getting one. These laws vary by region, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time. Depending on the location, owning a pet raccoon may be illegal or strictly regulated.
Raccoons can carry parasites and diseases, so anyone who handles them should wear protective gloves and thoroughly wash their hands when done. Keeping your raccoon up to date on vaccinations is also very important. Additionally, raccoons have sharp claws that can cause injury, so be sure to trim them regularly.
Raccoons have specific needs that must be taken into consideration when keeping one as a pet. These include:
- Diet: Raccoons require a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and high-quality dog food or cat food. Regular feeding is important, but it’s also important to not overfeed them.
- Enclosure: Raccoons need a large enclosure with plenty of space to climb, explore and rest. Outdoor enclosures are best, but they must be secure and protected from the elements.
- Human Interaction: Raccoons will bond with people over time, but they require patience and consistent interaction in order to do so.
All of these factors should be taken into consideration before getting a raccoon as a pet. While it’s possible to keep them as companions, if done incorrectly, it can lead to negative consequences for both the animal and the owner.