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If you have decided to adopt a raccoon as a pet, it is very important that you know everything related to its care, especially about its diet.
The raccoon is an omnivorous mammal, that is, it eats both meat and fruit and vegetables.
It is important that we know how to calculate the doses in each feeding, whether it is a puppy or an adult specimen, as raccoons tend to develop obesity in some cases.
Keep reading this AnimalWised article to find out all about raccoon feeding.You may also be interested in: Chinchilla diet
Caring for a disoriented baby raccoon
¿You have found a baby raccoon?
If you have found a young or baby raccoon, it can be for various reasons:
- The mother is gone and does not come back
- Their burrow has been destroyed
- The burrow is too hot and the little ones have come out
- The mother is moving all the young to another place
- Predators have appeared
- Your pet has arrived with a baby raccoon
In any of these situations, it is convenient to wait for the mother's return for a while, keeping a safe distance. If it does not appear and you see that the baby has its eyes open, we recommend that you immediately call the forestry agents who will take care of it in a wildlife recovery center.
On the other hand, if the baby raccoon has its eyes closed, it will probably be dehydrated or hungry, in this situation you should provide it with some food to achieve its survival until you call the services.
Raccoons depend on their mother for 3 to 5 months, while they are growing and learning. They are weaned at 12 weeks of age, although they remain with their mother until one year of age. They open their eyes at 8 weeks of age.
¿How should I care for a disoriented baby raccoon?
Get a soft cloth to pick up the baby. It is important that you use gloves to handle it (at 4 weeks of age it already has teeth) and that you do not get upset, because it will surely growl and shake with fear.
Wrap the little baby in a cloth and warm it. You can use a thermal blanket on which you are going to put a towel and on top of it a cardboard box where the little raccoon will be found. It is important that you do not touch directly with the thermal blanket, as you could burn yourself. Place the temperature between 36ºC. Also do not use frayed fabrics.
Check that he has no injuries of any kind by observing his entire body. If you find any wound, wash it with soap and warm water. Apply it all with a cloth, just like your mother would.
Look for external parasites like fleas and ticks and remove them as soon as possible. If you find a large number of insects it may mean that the abandonment or loss of the mother is real.
Go to a veterinarian as soon as possible to certify that he is in good health.
Feeding a baby raccoon
Below we offer you information on amounts and care of feeding a baby raccoon according to its time, remember that you must use a bottle:
- Raccoon newborn, One week. It will weigh between 60 and 140 grams and we will observe the closed eyes still. The face mask and tail rings will be barely visible, there will be no lint on the skin of the stomach. We will get hold of milk for kittens, available at any pet store. You will need to receive between 3 and 7 centiliters of food (5% of your weight) 7 or 8 times a day (every 3 hours) including at night. The milk should be warm, slightly higher than your body temperature. At the end of the meal you should pass a wet wipe over his genitals so that he urinates just like his mother would.
- At two weeks the little raccoon should weigh between 190 and 225 grams. He will still have his eyes closed and will still not show hair on his belly, although there will be fluff all over the rest of the body. At this time we will increase your dose to 9.5 and 11.3 centimeters of milk, also every 3 hours although we can reduce the intakes to 6 times a day.
- With three weeks of life the raccoon will already weigh between 320 and 400 grams. His eyes will begin to gradually open and the coat will finish developing. We will increase the dose between 16 and 20 centimeters.
- During the fourth and fifth week we will continue to increase the dose of intake in relation to your weight. We will always offer you 5% of your body mass in milk.
- At six weeks It should already be between 750 and 820 grams in weight. We will begin to reduce his milk intakes by giving him between 52 and 55 centiliters of milk four times a day and we will stop giving him food at night.
- Between seven and eight weeks we will space the taking time even more.
- After eight weeks we will start offer solid food that he will accept little by little. You can buy food for puppy dogs or cats. At first it will be difficult for you to accept but little by little you will get used to it. At this stage it is very important not to increase the doses of milk.
- Between the 10 and 16 weeks the raccoon should already weigh two kilograms. The raccoon should be used to eating solid food by now and for that reason we are going to remove milk from its diet. Get a high quality puppy food that will make up 2/3 of their total diet, the remaining 1/3 will be made up of fresh fruits and vegetables. At this stage you will let him eat in abundance as it is a period of growth, divide his servings into two daily intakes. It must have fresh and clean drinking water every day, in addition, you can make a small pool for it to cool down which you will change regularly.
At the time of weaning, the raccoon can already be located in a large cage that contains a small wooden nest, for example. Clean it often and protect it from the cold.
- From 16 weeks the raccoon is already totally independent. If you are thinking of releasing him this is the time, leave the cage open (no food inside) and he will start investigating. He may come back a few times before leaving for good, or he may not.
Feeding an adult raccoon
Raccoons eat anything because they are omnivorous animals. Here is a list of foods you can give her:
- I think for cats
- Wet cat food
- Fish in general
As you can see, there are different types of food that you can offer to an adult raccoon. It is important that vary the type of food so as not to bore him and that you investigate to find out what his favorite foods are. Remember never to offer red meat and check their weight after 16 weeks to make sure they maintain a stable weight (they are prone to gaining weight).
The elderly raccoon will continue to eat the variety of foods that we have described above, although yes, we will have to decrease the amount as he decreases his physical activity.