There aren’t many of us that would consider owning a raccoon as a pet. Most people consider them to be bothersome. Rarely does a raccoon become a good pet.
The raccoon is a medium-sized mammal that can be found in most areas of North America. Raccoons grow to a length between 16 and 28 inches with their tail ranging between 7 and 16 inches. They are rarely more than 12 inches in height at the shoulder. The weight of an adult raccoon varies greatly depending upon what they eat but the average raccoon usually weight in-between 8 and 20 pounds. The most defining characteristic of the raccoon is the dark, black fur that surrounds the eye area. The rest of the face is usually white. The body fur of a raccoon is darkly colored and usually gray. Raccoons are also well known for their tails that has contrasting black rings around it.
Owning a raccoon takes a significant amount of time and patience. This is one pet that will need constant supervision, care and attention. A raccoon kept in a domestic setting has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years so be prepared to make a lifelong commitment by adopting a raccoon. Once raised in a domestic setting, an adult raccoon will not survive in the wild.
Giving a raccoon lots of attention will usually keep them out of too much trouble. They are smart, active and full of energy. They love to play and should be socialized with other household pets and children at an early age.
Adult raccoons do not do well in confined spaces. They like to explore and have free run of the house. Baby raccoons can be caged for short periods of time but should be allowed to play outside of their cage. They can be very destructive and will require constant supervision just like a child. Cabinets, doors and other household items will need to be raccoon proof including child safe locks on all of the cupboards.
Raccoons are naturally omnivores and will feed on just about everything they can find in the wild. When raised domestically, raccoons often suffer from obesity. It is very important to provide your raccoon with a healthy, nutritious and varied diet. Provide your pet with plenty of water. Raccoons should be fed a healthy mixture of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, chicken, turkey and fish. Alternatively, a raccoon can be fed a high-protein dog food mixture, high-quality cat food and in some cases ferret food. Raccoons will eat just about anything but in order to keep them healthy make sure you provide a proper diet.
Owning a pet raccoon is illegal in many states. As with any exotic animal, check the legality of owning one in your area and jurisdiction. You may be required to obtain specific licenses and permits. Also, not all veterinarians will treat raccoons because they are considered an exotic pet. Be sure that you find one willing to treat a raccoon before you adopt one. Raccoons are susceptible to roundworms and distemper.