Raccoons are known to be able to eat almost anything, these animals will even go as far as rummaging through your trash in search of a meal. If you own a raccoon as a pet you may be wondering whether these animals eat dog food, if you’re trying to keep raccoons away from your property you may be wondering the same thing. So, do raccoons eat dog food? This article looks into it
Raccoons do eat dog food, in fact, raccoons will be very attracted to the dog food in your garden. These animals will go to great lengths in order to get into your garden to access this food, dog food is not only delicious to raccoons but it is relatively easy to access as well.
Do raccoons eat dog food?
Raccoons are happy to eat a variety of foods, even foods that humans and other animals would prefer not to eat. This characteristic makes them opportunistic feeders, they are also happy to eat both plant and animal matter, this makes them omnivores.
Not only that, but these animals are also more than happy to make a meal out of pet food, dog food included.
It can be quite easy for raccoons to find food in suburban areas, and other areas where humans live. Trash cans are usually filled with foods that raccoons will enjoy, and so are our yards. They will enter our yards looking for food.
All a raccoon needs to do, in order to make a meal out of your dog food, is to use their strong sense of smell to sniff out the dog food in your garden and then make their way into your garden at night.
These animals use their human hand-like paws to eat dog food. They do not eat like dogs do, picking food up using their mouths, rather, raccoons eat like humans do, they grab food using their hands and put it into their mouths.
Dog food contains all the nutrients that dogs need for survival, namely, fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients will be very helpful to raccoons as well.
Note: Although dog food is nutrient-rich, it has been designed to fulfil the nutrient needs of dogs, not raccoons. The best diet for raccoons would be a diet that mimics what they eat in the wild
Raccoons in the wild eat a diet that includes nuts, fruits, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. Giving them foods like these will ensure that the animal maintains good health.
If you don’t have access to these foods you can choose to feed these animals grain-free dog food and supplement their diet with foods like eggs, earthworms, fish, gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, mice, and poultry.
Do raccoons eat pet food?
Raccoons eat a little bit of everything, including a variety of pet foods:
Bird food: Birds are fed pellets as well as a variety of nuts and seeds. Although raccoons will benefit from eating all of this, raccoons should not be given too many nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are high in fat and should only be given in moderation.
Cat food: This food can be given to raccoons just as dog food can, it should be supplemented with foods like chicken, mice, fruits, vegetables, fish, mealworms, gut-loaded crickets, and earthworms,
Why you shouldn’t feed wild raccoons:
Feeding your pet raccoons may be a good thing but feeding wild raccoons is not recommended, feeding wild raccoons is not recommended because:
Entitlement: Raccoons are naturally scared of humans, if you choose to feed raccoons, and you allow them to see you leaving food out for them, then the animals may start to feel entitled to food from humans. This can cause them to beg humans for food or even cause them to become aggressive around humans who don’t feed them
Dependence: Raccoons can become so used to being fed by humans that they become dependent on humans for food and lose their ability to forage and hunt for food.
Spreading of disease: Raccoons carry a variety of diseases that domesticated cats and dogs cannot fight off. If you feed them and they start interacting with your cats and dogs they may spread diseases to your pets.
In conclusion, raccoons do eat dog food, if you’re taking care of a pet raccoon you can feed your pet dog food and supplement it with other foods.
If you leave dog food out, raccoons will be drawn to it and make their way into your garden.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat dog poop?, Do raccoons eat deer?, Do raccoons eat dead animals?