Raccoons make interesting pets. They are curious, mischievous, playful, and get into everything. And they eat quite a variety of foods. There are no formulated raccoon diets (to my knowledge) that are pre-made and ready for you to purchase so it can be difficult to provide a proper, well-balanced diet to your pet raccoon.
What Do Raccoons Eat in the Wild?
Raccoons are omnivores which means they eat a little bit of everything. Their diet will vary a bit from season to season and they will eat everything from insects to fruits to nuts to amphibians. The majority of their diet consists of worms, insects, and other invertebrates along with plant material including fruits. Small reptiles, amphibians, birds, and other vertebrates make up the smallest portion of their diet. They will eat what is available, when it is available, and have a fondness for nuts and fruit.
What Do Pet Raccoons Eat?
Since we have complete control over the food our pets eat it should be easy for us offer only the healthiest of food items to our raccoons. A complete and balanced diet is impossible to have for pet raccoons without giving a variety of food items daily.
Grain-free dog food is a good staple food to give daily to your pet raccoon but you need to supplement the kibble with poultry, fish, or eggs along with a large amount of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole prey items such as mice. Gut loaded crickets, mealworms, earth worms, and other invertebrates should also be fed. Nuts and seeds should be left as treats and not fed in a large variety due to their high fat content.
Raccoons love to dunk their food in water before eating it therefore you should provide a large shallow dish (such as a kitty litter box) that is available to them during thier feeding times. They are very messy eaters!
Pet raccoons are also very prone to obesity therefore you should monitor how much food you are feeding and make sure your raccoon is not overweight. If you are afraid your raccoon will become or already is overweight give "Raccoon Weight Loss" a good read. Nothing good comes from an overweight raccoon.
How Much Does a Raccoon Eat?
A weanling should be allowed to eat all that he or she wants in a day but once your raccoon has reached about six months of age you should start limiting his or her diet. A quality, grain-free dog food will have a high calorie count therefore a handful of kibbles goes a long way. Start with about 1/8 cup dry dog food two to three times daily and add in some of the other necessary items in small amounts. A tablespoon or two of fresh veggies and fruits along with some egg, chicken, insects, and an occasional mouse should create a balanced diet without causing your raccoon to become overweight. If you start to notice your raccoon losing his waistline or can't feel his ribs anymore you should cut back the amount of food you are feeding.
Does A Raccoon Eat Food Out of a Bowl?
A raccoon will certainly eat food from a bowl but it is better to make them do a little work for their food. Try offering invertebrates such as crickets in a plastic under bed storage box so the crickets can't escape or putting food on the steps, underneath boxes, or inside of things. Make your raccoon exercise his brain and the rest of his body when it is feeding time and you'll find he is happier being healthy and mentally stimulated. Raccoons are very smart and need interesting things to do. By making feeding time a challenge you will keep your pet raccoon from becoming bored and destructive.