Exotic Pet Wonderland

Pet Raccoon Care Guide

Raccoons as Pets

Raccoons look like cute little teddy bears, but they’re full of mischief and mayhem. So what is life like with a pet raccoon, and is it something that you may be interested in?

A map of the united states showing where keeping a pet raccoon is legal

Are pet raccoons legal in your state? Like foxes, before you even sit down to think about trying to share your life with a pet raccoon, there are some legalities you need to consider. Pet raccoons aren’t legal everywhere, and catching a raccoon in the wild to keep as a pet is always illegal. Checking with your state, city and county is highly recommended before you think about owning one of these guys. AND IF YOU FIND AN ABANDONED RACCOON, PLEASE FIND A REHABBER NEAR YOU, DO NOT TRY AND KEEP A WILD BORN RACCOON AS A PET. Animal Help Now is a great app to have on your phone in case of finding wildlife in need. 


Once you know whether or not pet raccoons are legal in your state, it’s important to know what it’s like to live with raccoons.  Raccoons are extremely intelligent animals and must be treated as such.  They are also very stubborn, and can be a bit moody as well. It’s almost like living with a very well armed, perpetually needy toddler. Pet raccoons enjoy being center of attention, so they aren’t really happy just locked away and played with as you wish. However, pet raccoons sometimes do enjoy having time to themselves. Learning to live with a pet raccoon with involves giving up some control and figuring out creative ways to convince them to do things you want, along with childproofing everything to the extreme. 

Enclosures for Pet Raccoons

Raccoon rooms and enclosures can be fun to design as raccoons are curious and love to climb and explore. Some basic rules do apply when it comes to making a suitable enclosure for a pet raccoon, though. I recommend changing your walls in your raccoon room to paneling or something stronger than sheetrock as pet raccoons will pick at sheetrock until they’ve torn holes in the wall.


Also, while pet raccoons are litter trainable, I still wouldn’t use carpet, as they will pick at it and possibly even get their nails hung. Because of how much pet raccoons love to be with their humans, baby-proofing your entire house is ideal-especially cabinets and toilets. Then, if needed, when you can’t be around to watch, giving them a safe room or even possibly an outdoor enclosure is best. A raccoon room or enclosure can be a fun place to give them lots of enrichment too, such as building them climbing structures, hanging swings or other toys, and even giving a pond or wheel. Keep in mind though variety is key, so switching out toys from time to time will keep your pet raccoon from becoming bored and destructive. Since pet raccoons generally litter train pretty easy, having a litterbox in several rooms that they have access too is also needed. Keep in mind that pet raccoons shouldn’t have regular cat litter, as it hurts their sensitive paws and can cause an impaction if they eat it while cleaning themselves. Better alternatives to cat litter are corn cob bedding and pine pellet horse bedding. 

Pet Raccoon Diets

Raccoons are perfect omnivores, and thus your pet raccoon needs a very specific diet. Raccoons, especially pet raccoons are also prone to obesity which can cause several health issues including diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems, so keeping a close eye on their portions is required, along with limiting treats and sugary foods. 

Exotic Pet Wonderland feeds a diet that is around 2/3 meat, eggs, and insects and 1/3 fruits, veggies, plant matter, and nuts. They only get lean meats such as poultry, rabbit, and fish with eggs occasionally. As for insects, feeder insects such as crickets, dubias, and meal worms are great for them, but not all raccoons will eat them. Veggie, fruit, and nut wise is easy, as they can eat most fruits, veggies, and nuts. Our favorites seem to be, chicken, eggs, sugar snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, roses, crape myrtle petals, chestnuts, and walnuts. Pet raccoons can also eat a low fat, low protein dog kibble, and we will occasionally use that as a treat. Mazuri Omnivore Diet is also a good all around kibble to feed your pet raccoons, and is specially formulated for omnivores like raccoons, skunks, and opossums. Because raccoons vary in size and weight some, we don’t measure out their food too much, but we keep them at a good weight by watching their weight and adjusting intake depending on that. As far as a list of dangerous foods go, there isn’t a ton of info, however, high calorie, high sodium, and high sugar foods should be avoided. Cat food is very bad for raccoons and should be avoided at all costs as it can cause kidney issues and even result in the death of a raccoon.

images of different food options for a pet raccoon
a photo of chopped fruits and vegetables and skinned frog legs in a metal dog bowl

Pet Raccoon Vet Care

Pet raccoons need very specific vet care, and are usually a lot for a vet to handle, so finding a vet who is well versed in raccoon medicine is crucial. One of the most important basic things pet raccoons will need from a vet are vaccines. Raccoons cannot handle a live or modified live vaccine, so all their vaccines must be killed. Also, there are a lot of things that racoons can get both dog and cat versions of, so they need extra vaccines.


The main vaccines needed for pet raccoons are- Feline Panleukopenia (distemper for cats), Canine Distemper, Raccoon Parvovirus, and Rabies.


Another very important thing to watch out for are raccoon worms. Pet raccoons need wormed frequently as well, and can get Roundworms, Hookworms, and Tapeworms. Raccoon roundworms are actually transferable to humans and can be very dangerous, so keeping them healthy and safe is a must not only for them, but also for you. As for fleas, pet raccoons can get fleas, but can’t have dog flea preventives, so revolution(not plus, just the original) is needed to keep them flea free. Capstar is also safe to get rid of an infestation of fleas. 


Pet Raccoons also get quite moody if left intact once they are an adult, so spaying and neutering is recommended. 

Pet Raccoon Resources