What Foods Do Raccoons Eat?

Posted by Christy Caplan
Raccoon

Raccoons are known for stealing food! One fun fact we learned about raccoons is that their forepaws are surprisingly dexterous which helps them "steal" food and is why they have such a bad reputation.

Raccoons' forepaws have five fingers and they can easily grasp, hold and manipulate objects in their forepaws. 

When they're not stealing food, wild raccoons like most wild animals have a diet that varies season to season. Generally speaking, they're omnivores and eat both veggies and meat.

What do raccoons eat?

As omnivores, the vegetation in their diet consists of cherries, apples, acorns, persimmons, berries, peaches, citrus fruits, plums, wild grapes, figs, watermelons, beech nuts, corn and walnuts. 

Some of the raccoon's favorite animal treats are frogs, fish, crayfish, insects, rodents and bird eggs.  

Their diet varies every season, and they will eat everything from fruits and nuts to insects and amphibians. The majority of their diet consists of worms, insects and other invertebrates. 

Do raccoons eat meat?

According to Live Science, when it comes to meat, raccoons consume more invertebrates than vertebrates. Small reptiles, amphibians, birds and other vertebrates make up the smallest portion of their diet. 

Do they wash their food? 

Though these animals look like the outlaws of the outdoors, raccoons are very clean creatures. They are known to wash their food in streams and even dig latrines in areas they frequent regularly.  

What about 'pet raccoons?'

Save nuts and seeds as treats! The Spruce Pets tells us grain-free dog food is a good staple food to give to your pet raccoon on a daily basis.

"You can supplement kibble with poultry, fish, or eggs along with fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole prey items such as mice. Just giving dog food will not do. Gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, earthworms, and other invertebrates should also be offered and double as enrichment if these prey items are still alive."

Feeding a raccoon pet food seems crazy! Yet those that have pet raccoons typically use this as a staple along with a variety of foods.

A raccoon's diet needs to be varied as these animals are foragers. They eat out of garbage cans when looking for a source of food if they need to! I'm very cautious as our chicken coop could easily be raided by a few raccoons.

Do you know anyone that shares their home with an exotic pet? We'd love to hear more! Please leave a comment below!

WATCH NOW: Trouper the Raccoon Is Now a Wildlife Ambassador

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What Foods Do Raccoons Eat?