There’s something about the masked face of a raccoon that just can melt your heart. These adorable animals are interesting to watch and can be a cuddly armful but what are the pros and cons of owning a raccoon as a pet?
A few facts
There are some facts about raccoons you may want to be aware. One is that in some states it’s illegal to own one, so you need to check your state and county laws. Plus, even if your state allows a raccoon as a pet, some city ordinances won’t permit it.
Even if the raccoon you bring home is bought through an established breeder, they will still have wild instincts and be very independent. One day he might want to play and other days when he doesn’t want to be bothered. Raccoons need a space which they can claim as theirs, so their own room is the perfect solution. In that room, there need to be toys, things to climb on and bedding.
If you don’t give a raccoon enough area in which to roam or toys to keep them entertained, then problems will start. A raccoon is very inquisitive, can get into places and spaces you wouldn’t expect and also be incredibly destructive. You can’t leave a raccoon alone for long periods of time because when they become bored, that’s when the destruction can start.
For food, raccoons need to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Plus, adding some chicken, fish or dog food of high quality will round out and supplement his diet. Also, a raccoon that is raised in captivity can live 10-15 years so owning one is a commitment.
Pros of raccoon ownership
There are some pros to owning a raccoon besides owning an exotic pet. Many people like the thought of owning an animal which isn’t considering your common pet. Some of the pros are:
- Raccoons are smart, funny to watch, unique looking, and playful.
- When a raccoon is young, it can be amicable and will play and run around like a cat or dog.
- It’s entertaining to watch them wash their food before they eat it.
- They can use their paws just like hands and can open an assortment of items.
- They can be very affectionate, become attached to their owner and enjoy periods of snuggling.
Cons of raccoon ownership
Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros in raccoon ownership. So, think seriously about the cons before purchasing a raccoon as a pet:
- Raccoons aren’t easy to housetrain. A raccoon can be trained to use a litterbox or on a walk outside, but if they become angry with you, they’ll be doing their business around the areas of your home.
- Raccoons like to bite. They will bite anyone and anything including other family members and pets.
- It’s extremely difficult to find a vet who treats exotic animals. Plus, you need to show proof of purchase to prove you haven’t illegally obtained the animal.
- Once your raccoon reaches sexual maturity, it will become difficult to keep him anywhere but in a cage, unless it is spayed or neutered.
If you are considering a raccoon as a pet, thoroughly research all about them before considering bringing one home.