Tag Archives: raccoons

Can You Domesticate Raccoons?

Raccoons are not pets

Raccoons may be cute but they are not pets.

Raccoons As Pets

Though raccoons are occasionally raised as pets, they are wild animals and should not be domesticated. Raccoons are not pets in the sense of cats and dogs, and do not have companion instincts. This means they will not obey the commands of their keeper unless it suits their needs. They can easily become fiercely distempered without hesitation. Raccoons are wild animals and belong in the wild, in almost every situation.

Legality

Owning a pet raccoon may not be legal in your state or city. They are considered wild animals and if found with a pet raccoon illegally, owners can be fined, arrested, and charged with Illegal Possession of Wildlife. In addition, to own a raccoon legally, they must be obtained from a licensed breeder and the owner must purchase a license. This license must be renewed every year to keep the pet legally.

Raccoons are known for their destructive, mischievous behavior and they bite frequently. Due to these behaviors, raccoon owners often purchase liability insurance, which can be very difficult or nearly impossible to have approved by insuring companies. The legal expenses and insurance are significant in pet ownership of a raccoon. Considering that most of this is unnecessary with a pet dog or cat it is clear that raccoons are not meant as pets.

Health

The health of raccoons is one reason that they are difficult to own as pets. Raccoons can be difficult to own because many vets do not have the ability to properly care for them. Unless they are wild animal specialists, vets will often turn away pet raccoons. Consider that a pet raccoon may sustain injuries or catch different parasitic diseases and the options for treatment may be fewer, or nonexistent unless a wildlife veterinarian is available in your area.

Raccoons are not immune to rabies. It is unknown if the rabies vaccine (used on dogs) is effective on them. If a pet raccoon bites someone and they file a complaint, it is nearly guaranteed that the pet raccoon will be euthanized. The only way to test for rabies is after the animal is dead, contributing to the likelihood that the pet would be euthanized if rabies were a question. Additionally, raccoons are prone to heart problems and become obese easily. These issues combined make it very difficult to own a raccoon as a pet and keep them healthy.

Commitment

Raccoons are a significant financial and time commitment as a pet. The average indoor raccoon lives around 16 years. Once raised by hand, some raccoons cannot be released into the wild. Raccoon keepers will find themselves unlikely to leave town or vary their schedule often, as it’s rare to find a raccoon pet sitter. In addition, raccoons must have a suitable substitute home if their keeper passes before they do.

Aside from the life commitment of a pet raccoon, they are also a financial commitment and burden on a home environment. They will likely need their own room with bedding and toys. These must be frequently replaced, as they like to destroy indoor furniture, clothes, plants, etc. No place in the home will be off limits unless locks are put in place. It’s suggested that locks should be placed on the medicine cabinet, kitchen cabinets, oven, fridge, freezer, dressers and rooms to allow a raccoon to live safely in a home. Raccoon-proofing a home is an extensive step in ensuring raccoon safety and well being in a home.

Temperament

Raccoons are destructive to a home environment as they are meant to live outdoors. They can cause massive destruction and damage to your home and possessions, as they cannot truly be domesticated. Raccoons will defecate anywhere they please and are not easy to litter box train. Raccoons use their scent to mark their territory and if in a home. They will assume the house is theirs and leave feces not only on the floor, but on top of cabinets and tall objects that only they can reach easily.

Though they may appear to be cuddly, smart creatures, raccoons are very mischievous, vengeful, and have no remorse. If a raccoon is frustrated or mad, they will seek revenge by destroying objects in the home. This can be inspired by something as simple as the owner coming home late from work. Raccoons require constant attention to stay entertained within a house environment and will not behave if left alone. Additionally, they do not cage well, which seems obvious, as a wild animal does not belong in a cage in a home.

Raccoons are very curious and will open every cabinet and even rip through upholstery to examine the object. This behavior is impossible to break, as it is part of their nature. In addition, they will rip window screens, tear buttons off clothes, empty bookcases, and dig up plants, as documented by raccoon pet owners. Some raccoons learn to unlock doors and even turn on sinks and flood homes.

Raccoons do not tend to be comfortable with strangers or sharing and may rifle through pockets and steal whatever objects they please. They will become angered and scared when someone attempts to take their objects back. Raccoons in stressed, scared situations often bite; their teeth are sharp enough to draw blood.

It cannot be emphasized enough, raccoons are wild in natural tendencies because they are wild animals and not meant for indoor, pet life. This poor behavior grows worse as they age and go through mating season.

Raccoons Are Not Pets

The difficulties with legality, temperament, and commitment of a raccoon are excellent reasons to pursue a different route of pet ownership. Dogs, cats, and numerous other pets are legal, domesticated, trainable, and are meant for human companionship. Raccoons are a stark contrast because they are truly wild animals and will never lose their instincts, regardless of breeders breeding generations of “domestic” raccoons. Although they may not significantly harm a human, it nearly guaranteed that they will be destructive and cause damage a home and bite someone, at some time.

If wild raccoons take residence in your home or you find babies without a mother, you should immediately call pest control to safely remove and relocate them. Raccoons are not meant for pet ownership, regardless of their cute, fuzzy appearance.

Attic Solutions Alert: Dangers Of Wild Animal Bites

Vicious Raccoon, Rabies, Wild Animal, pest control, animal removelA bite or scratch from any wild animal, or even that of a domestic house pet like a dog or cat, can be dangerous. Even if the wound is minor, it can become infected and spread throughout your body. Further, any bite can carry disease. One of the most common causes for worry among wild animal bites is rabies.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral infection of warm-blooded animals. It is most commonly found in bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes in North America, although wild animals can infect dogs, cats, and livestock. The disease attacks the nervous system and, once symptoms develop, it is 100 percent fatal in animals.

How Do You Get Rabies?

You can contract rabies through a cut or scratch on your body, or through the mucous membranes (the lining of your eyes or mouth). The virus travels to your central nervous system in your brain and then travels to various organs where it multiplies.

Rabies Symptoms

  • Stage 1 (symptoms lasting 2 to 10 days)
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Vomiting
    • Decreased Appetite
    • Malaise
    • Pain, itching or numbness around the wound site
  • Stage 2
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Disorientation
    • Agitation
    • Becoming paralyzed

How To Diagnose Rabies

Animals are diagnosed fairly quickly. A test called direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA) is most often used by laboratories and results can be had in as little as a few hours. In humans, it is a bit more complex. Several tests must be completed for confirmation including saliva, serum, spinal fluid, and skin biopsies from the back of the neck.

What Is The Treatment For Rabies

There is not a cure for rabies and it is more difficult to treat once symptoms have presented. However, there are vaccines that provide rabies immunity following exposure or to prevent it (which is useful for people who work with animals like vets).

What To Do If Bitten By Wild Animal

  • Wash the wound with soap and water.
  • If bleeding, apply pressure.
  • Dry and cover the wound, but do not use tape or bandages to prevent trapping bacteria.
  • Call your doctor or healthcare professional for further instructions.
  • Locate the animal that bit you if possible.

How To Prevent Being Bitten

  • Avoid strange or sick animals.
  • Do not bother animals who are eating.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • Do not separate fighting animals.
  • Always get your family pets their rabies shots.
  • Supervise your pets outside.
  • Do not play with or approach wild animals.

As soon as you suspect you may have a wild animal infestation, call Attic Solutions immediately at 847-464-1861 for removal. We are trained professionals and equipped to deal with the issue. We will remove the animals and fix any property damage they may have caused.

 

Do Raccoons Hibernate?

If you’ve ever had your garbage can ransacked, you are familiar with raccoons! These creatures are highly adaptable and thrive in both urban areas and the wild.

Becoming familiar with raccoons can save you both time and money since these rascals are known to occasionally cause trouble for homeowners.

Related: How to keep raccoons away from your home

Do Raccoons Hibernate?

Contrary to popular belief, raccoons, in fact, do not hibernate during winter. 

Raccoons will eat a large amount and variety of foods to store up fat in preparation for winter. They will stay in their den for weeks at a time to avoid extreme cold and snow, using as little energy as possible.

Raccoons may sleep for days and weeks at a time, but it is not true hibernation. Sometimes raccoons will even den together in small groups to keep warm.

Related: Raccoons Living Under Your Shed or Deck

 

raccoon family on propertyRaccoon Characteristics

Raccoons are typically known to be loners. Males usually only spend time with females in dens during mating season.

One of the only times raccoons will band together is during a particularly cold or harsh winter to help keep warm. Once it warms up, the raccoons head their separate ways.

Raccoon Diet

Raccoon ScavengersRaccoons are certainly not picky eaters; in fact they will eat just about anything. Raccoons are carnivores as well as scavengers. The mainstays of their diet include mice, crabs, fish, frogs, nuts, and seeds.

They also love to get into food that humans leave behind. This is why you may find your garbage strewn about if you leave it out overnight.

Related: Raccoons in the Attic

Raccoon Habits

raccoon-78576_640Perhaps one of the most unusual habits raccoons have is dunking their food in water before eating it.

The raccoon’s scientific name is Procyon Lotor, which actually means “washing bear.” This makes sense considering their odd food-washing habit and bear-like markings. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active at night.

Raccoon behavior FAQMost raccoons spend the day in their dens and as soon as dusk approaches, they head out in search of food. Some places raccoons like to search include farms (crops are a big hit with them), ponds, lakes, and of course your garbage can. As sunrise approaches, raccoons typically call it a night and head back to their den to sleep.

Related: Raccoon Behavior FAQ

Raccoons and Hibernation

raccoon-86615_640Raccoons do not hibernate in winter. This myth may have started because during very cold days raccoons take refuge in their warm dens.

Depending on the climate and weather, raccoons may spend weeks in their dens, living off of their fat stores, until the climate becomes somewhat milder.

When raccoons are sleeping off the cold temperatures, those fat stores keep them alive since they do not eat. This is why raccoons seem to be particularly troublesome in the spring; they’re starving and they want YOUR garbage!

If you suspect raccoons may be a problem in your area or are afraid a raccoon has claimed a part of your home as its den, contact us today for a free estimate.

Our staff is trained in the most effective methods for dealing with raccoons and will evaluate the situation, trap the pests, and repair the damage caused by their stay.