What should i feed a baby raccoon

What Do Baby Raccoons Eat?

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Raccoons, like most other mammals, are excellent parents. They care for their young with diligence. When raccoon babies are born, the adult female raccoons leave the nest to forage for food to help them produce enough milk to feed their young. The babies are able to leave the nest after approximately 12 weeks of nursing. They’ll learn how to forage for food and where to search from their mother during this time.

After nine months, baby raccoons are totally dependent on their mother for survival. The mother raccoons produce up to nine pups. She will only have two remaining after nine months, and she will look for a new partner in the winter to start another litter.

If you’re thinking about keeping a raccoon as a pet, you should be prepared to begin. So, when you get home with your new raccoon and are eager to care for him, the first thing you need to consider is: what does a newborn raccoon eat?

What Do Baby Raccoons Eat? A Baby Raccoon

Raccoons are omnivores and will consume whatever they can get their hands on. However, baby raccoons are entirely reliant on their moms’ milk. To be able to produce a sufficient amount of milk, she regularly goes out to forage for food.

Baby raccoons are blind and mute for the first three weeks following birth, but they develop quickly. The baby raccoon will consume his or her mother’s milk until it is old enough to leave the nest during this time.

Raccoons make their nests in hollow trees or attics to keep their young safe. Coyotes are one of the most dangerous predators for baby raccoons. The youngsters will continue to reside with their mother throughout the first winter, at which time they will gradually depart.

It is not easy for a raccoon mom to raise their kid. While they generally feed their young on milk, they must be fed at all times. Raccoon mother raccoons feed their young every four hours, which implies they have to feed them five times a day on average. The mother raccoon spends the bulk of her time in the nest caring for her kids. The female has an obligation to nurture her young, and she accomplishes this on her own.

The newborn raccoons are ready to begin eating solid food after around six weeks. They’re introduced to insects, nuts, fish, berries, and frogs while they follow their mother and learn how to find food. Raccoons are very adaptable animals, and after a few more weeks, they will slowly start going their way and will be less dependent on their mother.

What Do Baby Raccoons Eat at Home? Baby Raccoons Should be Fed Powdered Milk in Their Early Days

If you’re new to the challenging job of raising a raccoon, this guide will get you up to speed on what baby raccoons eat. It’s easy to ask and understand what baby raccoons eat. powdered milk with high-fat content is fine. Remember, if you want your little raccoon to grow up healthy, never try to feed whole milk to it.

You must feed a newborn raccoon up to five times a day for the first seven weeks of his life. To feed him at regular intervals, you’ll have to get out of bed during the night and respond to his demands for food.

What exactly do baby raccoons eat? They may easily overeat while they are nursing. Just enough should be given to your raccoon so that he feels satisfied. Wait until he begins to refuse the milk before offering him any more.

Massage the genital region after each feeding, and burp the raccoon at the same time. To assist it to relieve itself, use a cotton ball soaked in warm water to massage the area around his genitals.

You and your new pet raccoon will have an exciting few weeks early on. However, the newborn raccoon will be ready to start eating solid foods after the first few weeks.


It’s not difficult to wean a raccoon, although certain individuals may be more difficult to bottle-break than others. When your pet reaches the seventh or eighth week of age, you can start offering some of the adult raccoon’s meals.

After they’re done playing with the bottle, your raccoon will show his omnivorous side and may start to consume almost anything. Even so, you should gradually introduce the food. You could, for example, add baby cereal to the milk or offer him a soft meal like fruit that he can chew on.


It will still be difficult to feed your raccoon after the weaning period. It may be simpler than bottle-feeding, but you will always have to maintain an eye on your pet’s diet.

Raccoons can eat just about anything in the wild, and their diet is quite varied. The raccoon’s wild food is determined by his natural instincts and the various seasons and habitats he encounters. In contrast, a pet raccoon has no choice but to follow your instructions. It is entirely reliant on you for its nutrition.

It’s difficult to compare your raccoon to a dog or a cat. It is not that simple. Although canned food can sustain these typical pets, it will not support your pet raccoon. It may consume cat or dog food in a can, however only giving him that isn’t good for his health. Make certain to provide your baby raccoon with a variety of meals items on a daily basis and select the finest ones.

Baby Raccoons will eat just about anything you put in front of them, and they can eat a lot. You may select from among a wide range of edibles. Fresh vegetables, uncooked corn on the cob, fish, fruit, poultry, grain-free dog food, and eggs are some popular pet raccoon staples.

Fruits and Vegetables for Baby Raccoons

You must also satisfy his predatory instincts and offer mice, minnows, or insects to him from time to time. If at all feasible, don’t make these goodies readily available to your raccoon. Place them in a plastic container, hide them, or release the minnows into a basin of water if possible. Raccoons like exploring and competitions, which means finding a method to get the food keeps them occupied. As a consequence, your raccoon will be more cheerful, less bored, and less destructive within your home.

How To Feed Baby Raccoons? A Baby Raccoon in The Wild

If you come across an abandoned baby raccoon and believe he is orphaned, you may need to care for him. After it’s moved to a new location or lost, you’ll need to get him warm and hydrated, then feed him with a milk replacement solution. Baby raccoons can be poisonous and carry germs, so handle them carefully and wear gloves.

Step 1:

Make sure it’s not too cold. A baby raccoon can’t stomach food until it’s at the right temperature. If your baby raccoon has been out in the cold, he’ll need to be warmed up before eating. Warming him with a soft blanket and a hot water bottle is sufficient until he feels warm to the touch.

Step 2:

By pinching the baby raccoon’s skin, check for dehydration. When you pinch the skin, or if the eyes are sunken, it may be severely dehydrated and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. If it appears only slightly dehydrated, offer him a rehydration solution (also known as Pedialyte) right away.

Step 3:

Choose how much to feed it. The quantity you offer your infant raccoon will be determined by its weight, so you’ll need to weigh it first in grams. Plan to give it 5% of its body weight in milliliters at each feeding after you’ve measured its weight.

Step 4:

It’s best to feed it with an eyedropper. It will most likely be best if you feed your baby raccoon with an eyedropper at first since you can regulate the amount of fluid he receives. Express the milk gradually into its mouth while holding it on its belly or slightly upright. It’s normal for the baby raccoon to struggle with the eyedropper at first. You may need to squeeze your hand around its muzzle in order for it to maintain a grip on the dropper.

Step 5:

Put it in a bottle. You may be able to transition from feeding with an eyedropper to feeding with a pet bottle after you’ve mastered the technique. These are readily available at most pet retailers. Lay the raccoon facedown or slightly upright, as with the eyedropper. Massage the raccoon’s back from his neck to his tail base to encourage a purring response and stimulate sucking by inserting the nipple of the bottle into his mouth.

Step 6:

Waste removal should be stimulated. This step is critical to your baby raccoon’s survival. Mother raccoons frequently stimulate their young to urinate and defecate by licking them. As a surrogate raccoon mother, you’ll need to massage the raccoon’s feces with a warm washcloth or a feather. This must be done before and after each feeding until the baby raccoon is able to discharge waste on its own.

Step 7:

Mix the two together. When your baby raccoon’s teeth begin to grow, you’ll need to start including solid foods in its diet. Begin by combining a bit of crushed kitten food with its formula. Feeding canned eggs, soft fruits, and oatmeal soon thereafter is a good idea (just make sure they’re real).

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Raccoons?

The northern raccoon is a species of mammal that has black masks and lives throughout North America. They are predators and scavengers, and their grizzled black, gray, or brown fur allows them to blend in with their surroundings. They are most recognizable for their dark masks.


Coyotes are powerful and versatile hunters, capable of consuming anything from large prey to rubbish. They will consume raccoons, both adult and juvenile alike. Coyotes hunt in packs, but one coyote is enough to kill a single raccoon.


Great horned owls, according to the Michigan Natural History website, are big birds that range in length from 18 to 25 inches and have wingspans of 48 to 60 inches. Despite the fact that their diet generally consists of little mice and rats, cats will consume larger animals including opossums, raccoons, and skunks. While they typically avoid eating adult raccoons, they have been known to kill and consume them.


Foxes, like raccoons, compete for the same food sources and live in similar climates. If given the opportunity, foxes will devour small, young raccoons. Fox urine is effective as a raccoon repellent. Foxes are high-level predators that prey on a variety of species including rabbits and snakes.


Wolves are predators that subsist on meat, and though they do a lot of scavenging, they are also good hunters. To bring down a large beast species, wolves will hunt in packs, but a solitary wolf can easily kill a raccoon. Wolves prey on raccoons as well as other rodents such as shrews and hares.

Large Cats

Raccoons are hunted by a variety of predators, including lynx, cougars, and pumas. If they have the opportunity, these huge predators assist to control the raccoon population. They can consume both juvenile and adult raccoons.


Raccoons are hunted for their fur and because they are considered pests. Raccoons will prey on chickens, which can lead to the spread of rabies. People will hunt raccoons using dogs and guns, capture them in traps or poison them. Some people will go after raccoons for food; however, others do it for the sake of competition.

How To Protect Baby Raccoons From Predators?

Experienced raccoon parents build insulated and well-hidden dens, such as abandoned burrows of other animals or hollowed tree trunks, to avoid predators. Raccoons are able to get into areas that other animals cannot because of their hand movement and dexterity, which they use to pick up things in their environment and access places that would otherwise be inaccessible to other creatures.

Infrequently maintained places, such as attics, barns, deck spaces, and basements, provide excellent security from virtually all dangers.

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What Do Baby Raccoons Eat?

So you finally have your pet raccoon. You are now ready to start your adventure of raising a baby raccoon. So as you arrive home with your new pet, eager to take care of him, this is the first question you need to answer: What do baby raccoons eat?

If you wanted a head start on your relationship, you probably bought a raccoon that is still on the bottle, which means a very young raccoon. Purchasing a raccoon that is still on the bottle is necessary for the bonding process. But taking care of these critters is in itself a challenging and demanding task. You need to establish a friendly relationship with the animal from an early age. Such an approach will prove beneficial in the long run and you will experience fewer problems with your pet.

What To Feed Baby Raccoons

This is your first encounter with the demanding task of having a pet raccoon. The question, “what do baby raccoons eat”, is quite simple: powdered milk with high fat content. Just keep in mind this important information — never feed your little raccoon whole milk.

If the food your new pet requires is quite simple, the how and when of feeding are a different story.

For about the first seven weeks of life, you need to feed the baby raccoon up to five times a day. To feed him at regular intervals, you will even need to wake up during the night and respond to his pleas for food.

How much food do baby raccoons eat? While they are nursing, they may easily overfeed. You must give your raccoon just enough to feel that his belly is full. Do not wait until he starts to refuse the milk because this is a sign that he has already had too much.

After each feeding you should burp the raccoon, and at the same time, using a cotton ball soaked in warm water, massage the genital area to help him relieve himself.

The first few weeks will definitely be an amazingly busy time for you and your new pet raccoon. But after the first few weeks, the baby raccoon will be ready to get into some solid foods.

What Do Baby Raccoons Eat After Bottle-Breaking?

Weaning a raccoon is not difficult, though some individuals may be harder to bottle-break than others.

When you see that your pet is big enough, usually around the seventh or eighth week, you can start to introduce some of the foods raccoons will eat as an adult.

After the bottle, your raccoon will begin to show his omnivorous side, and he can start to eat almost any kind of food. Even so, you should introduce the food gradually. You might, for instance, add baby cereal to the milk or give him a soft food like fruit that he is able to chew.

What Do Baby Raccoons Eat After Weaning

After your baby raccoon has been weaned, the task of feeding the animal will still be demanding. It may be easier than bottle-feeding, but controlling your pet’s diet will always be your responsibility.

Raccoons living in the wild can eat practically anything, and their diets are pretty variable. The wild raccoon diet depends on the animal’s personal instincts and the different seasons and habitats he is dealing with. In contrast, a pet raccoon cannot make his own decisions about food. He is completely dependent on you.

You cannot treat your raccoon like a dog or a cat; it is not that simple. These common pets can survive on canned food, but not your pet raccoon. He may love cat or dog food in the can, but feeding him only that is not healthy for the animal. Make sure to give your pet a variety of food items daily and to choose the healthiest ones.

What do raccoons eat in the home or the wild, what to feed a raccoon

But there are ready-made omnivore diets that you can purchase that can provide proper, well-balanced nutrition for your pet raccoon. In addition to using an omnivorous diet, you can add other foods by learning what a raccoon eats in the wild.

What kind of food does a domestic raccoon eat?

Domestic raccoons eat just about anything, but it is important to provide them with a balanced diet to avoid obesity and other health problems. If you're planning on getting a raccoon as a pet, it's perfectly fine to feed it cut, prepared food like you would a cat or dog. nine0003

But if you plan to release it into the wild at some point, you need to present its food as naturally as possible. This way, your raccoon will develop the foraging and hunting skills he needs to survive.

Provide your raccoon with a constant supply of water in a small bowl or trough.

Always keep water in the same place so your raccoon knows where to find it. Raccoons love to wash their food before they eat it, so always make sure they have water by their side when they eat. nine0003 © shutterstock

Feed your raccoon a varied, balanced diet rich in protein. In general, you need to avoid simple carbohydrates and focus on filling foods such as:

  • eggs,
  • vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • nuts,
  • chicken,
  • fish,
  • turkey.

You can feed him table scraps if he is relatively healthy. It's also perfectly fine to give a raccoon a treat from time to time to reinforce good behavior, although raccoons tend to be a bit more naughty than standard pets. nine0003

Baby raccoon nutrition

© shutterstock

Baby raccoons require very different care. Baby raccoons separated from their mothers are completely defenseless and prone to dehydration.

Feed baby raccoons puppy powder in an equal mixture of sterilized water and goat's milk.

Children should be fed several times a day. Talk to your veterinarian about supplemental vitamins to help keep your little raccoon strong and healthy. nine0003

Never feed a raccoon cow's milk.

Feeding wild raccoons

Feeding raccoons outside of your home can be a fun way to bond with these adorable animals and watch them interact. There is no right or wrong way to feed wild raccoons, although there are some guidelines you should follow to avoid harming the animals and yourself.

Provide your raccoons with plenty of healthy protein-rich foods. It can be a mixture of nuts, fruits, peanut butter, fish, turkey and chicken. nine0003

Raccoons also love dog and cat food.

If you are feeding a large group of raccoons, place several different bowls of food so they don't fight each other over food. Raccoons are generally peaceful animals, but they become vicious if they don't have enough food.

Do not hand feed wild raccoons. They are cute and pleasant to look at, but raccoons have sharp claws and teeth.

They also carry rabies, a potentially fatal disease. If you get bitten by a raccoon, the authorities will take it away and kill it. nine0003

Don't let the raccoons get too used to free food or they'll demand it when you don't want to give it. Spread out their meals so they continue to forage and hunt and only come back to your yard once every couple of days. This is better for you and for the animals in the long run.

Feeding Patterns

Most raccoon feeding occurs at night, as they are nocturnal creatures. Daily attempts are rare for them. Raccoons forage with their long fingers and fast, dexterous paws. When raccoons are near a body of water, they often dip their finds into it, a means of simultaneously checking for random things that might stick to food, as well as making the food smoother. nine0003

However, when no water can be found, they give up this behavior. In terms of lifestyle, raccoons are usually quite independent. However, if there is a lot of food available in a certain area, you may find many raccoons gathered together.

Raccoon at home.

Is it worth it to start and how to maintain?

Nowadays, more and more often exotic animals become pets, and raccoons are no exception. This is not strange, because a sweet, smart face and a mischievous, cheerful character will leave few people indifferent. But you should not make hasty conclusions, based only on such insignificant criteria, and immediately run headlong and buy a raccoon. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with all the available information about the animal. Think it over and decide if you can take on that responsibility for as much as 20 years. Yes, yes, exactly for 20 years, because that's how long raccoons live at home. nine0003


  • Is it worth getting a raccoon?
  • Where to buy a raccoon?
  • How to choose and equip a cage?
  • How to feed a raccoon at home?

Is it worth getting a raccoon?

Before you start a raccoon, first of all, you need to answer the most important question: " Do your living conditions allow you to do this?" If you do not have free space in your apartment that can be arranged for a raccoon, then it is better to find another pet for yourself. Raccoons cannot live in an apartment or house on a free range like a cat or dog. They definitely need a spacious enclosure and a place for safe walks. For these purposes, a separate room will do, in which you can place an aviary and remove all wires, flowerpots, heavy objects and other dangerous things. nine0003

The next factor to consider when getting a raccoon is whether you or your family are allergic to animals . If anyone in the family suffers from this disease, getting a pet is strictly contraindicated. Also, you should not buy a raccoon when there are small children under 7 years old in the house . The animal bites and can harm the child quite badly.

We must also remember that raccoons can not always be made manually . Mostly domesticated animals become tame. Taken from a breeder, they often remain wild, although they take food from their hands. Sometimes it even happens that home-grown raccoons can show aggression towards humans. Such cases are very often associated with a change in character during puberty and rut. nine0003

In addition to the change in character during the rutting season, raccoons begin to actively mark their territories . From such marks, a specific smell may appear in the apartment. In addition, raccoons do not always learn to urinate in the tray. This also often leads to the appearance of unpleasant odors in the apartment.

It is worth considering the fact that raccoons are nocturnal animals, and the peak of their activity falls precisely at this time of day. Until the animal adjusts to your schedule, you will need to get up at night to feed and pay attention to the pet, and not bask in the crib and dream. nine0003

Raccoons do not always get along with other pets living in apartment . Especially if these are birds or rodents, which are their food in the wild. More friendly to each other will be a raccoon and a cat or a dog and a raccoon raised together. In any other case, pets always compete with each other for leadership.

In addition to all of the above, most zoologists are not in favor of raccoons as pets. The main reason is that animals bite and scratch strongly. It is impossible to wean a raccoon from such a habit. Wild nature makes itself felt. If the raccoon doesn't like something, be prepared for abrasions and deep scratches on your legs and arms. nine0003

If, after all of the above, you are not afraid and are still ready to bring such an unusual inhabitant into your home, then you definitely need to know where to get such a miracle.

Where to buy a raccoon?

Buying a raccoon should be taken seriously. In order not to bring into the house an absolutely wild animal, which will not be possible to cope with. Now on the Internet there are many sites and message boards with offers to sell raccoons. But "not all that glitters is gold." Many of the proposals are "pure water fraud." For tame raccoon puppies, cubs of raccoon dogs or poached babies are often given out. nine0003

In order not to become a victim of fraud, first communicate with the owners of raccoons, at least on Internet forums. Maybe one of them has offspring from their pets. And if not, you can always ask where they got the baby raccoon. Having received the necessary information and choosing a place to buy, you should discuss some details with the owner of the babies.

First ask if you can see the puppies and their parents. If the sellers have a lot of excuses, they say, they can’t show it due to quarantine or something else, think about whether you applied there. The reluctance to show the parents should raise suspicions whether domestic puppies are being offered to you. Accordingly, the price of domesticated babies is higher than for raccoons from a nursery or poached. nine0003

It is not uncommon to come across offers to buy cubs from a kennel. But keeping them in the house will be quite difficult. Such puppies often get sick and are poorly tamed. The reason for the pain is not observing the purity of the gene, namely the crossing of close relatives. Be sure to visit the nursery before purchasing. Look at the conditions in which kids and their parents live. Surely after what you see, you will not want to buy puppies. Refusal for any reason to show the nursery and kids, the reason will doubt the reputation of the institution. nine0003

Be extra careful with delivery ads. Very often, babies are sent by a courier who does not even know what he is delivering. Having received the parcel, you can not be happy, but burst into tears of horror. The box often contains half-dead, or even worse, suffocated puppies. To prevent this from happening, take your baby raccoon yourself.

Be sure to visit your baby at least once before buying. See how he behaves. A healthy puppy will definitely frolic, play, run and even bite. The patient, on the contrary, behaves calmly and quietly. If the owners will say that he is just very tame, do not believe it. Babies bite and show their character already on the 10th day of their life. Ears, eyes, nose and under the tail, everything should also be clean. If something is wrong, choose another puppy or contact other sellers. nine0003

Having decided on a puppy, you will need to find a home for him. Every raccoon, big or small, needs a cage.

How to choose and equip a cage?

A cage about 1m wide and 1.5m high is suitable for keeping a raccoon in a house or apartment. You can buy such a cage in a specialized store or make it yourself. You can make it from different building materials. The cage for the raccoon must be divided into several tiers and equipped with a manhole. On each tier, install some kind of entertainment for the pet, such as a hammock, ladders or rings. For food and water, equip a place on the lower tier. Set up a place in the cage where the raccoon could sleep with bedding. nine0003

Do not buy a small cage for a raccoon. In it, the animal will not feel comfortable, and it is in the cage that the animal will have to spend most of the time.

The cage should be installed in a specially equipped room, but in no case on a balcony or loggia. Living in such a small space, the animal, especially in hot weather, easily suffocates. Even if your balcony is shaded by trees, don't risk your pet. The body of an animal is arranged quite differently than the human body. Imagine that you were put on a fur coat and forced to walk all day in 40-degree heat. This is how your raccoon will turn gray on the loggia or balcony. And if the raccoon also lives without a cage, he will definitely try to open the window and will certainly fall. If these arguments are not convincing for you, it is better not to start and do not torture the animal. nine0003

How to feed a raccoon at home?

Raccoons are omnivores. In the wild, small rodents, lizards, frogs, small birds, and fish become its prey. By the summer, when berries and fruits ripen, they regale themselves on them. In agricultural areas, it often eats vegetables and grains.

The pet raccoon's diet should include foods that he eats in his natural environment. These are vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, seafood, eggs, dried fruits, berries, nuts. In addition to natural food, you can use premium dog and cat food. nine0003

Meat can be given to raccoons both raw and cooked, but not fatty varieties. But it is better that the raccoon eats thermally processed meat. Raw meat can be infected with helminth eggs and the animal will need to constantly carry out prophylaxis against parasites.

Lean meats that can be given to a raccoon:

  • chicken;
  • beef;
  • turkey;
  • veal;
  • rabbit.

Fish , like meat, must be boiled before being given to a raccoon. The following types of fish are suitable for feeding:

  • hake;
  • walleye pollock;
  • cod;
  • sea bass;
  • flounder;
  • blue whiting;
  • tuna.

River fish can also be given, but the benefit to the animal will be negligible.

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