Raccoons are not always thought of as home pets, but the 2006 feature-length animation title Over the Hedge left many kids asking their parents if they could get one as a pet.
With its title character RJ, a raccoon, voiced by Bruce Willis, the movie told the tale of how a mischievous raccoon came by a mixed-species family, consisting of different foraging animals who ran the risk of losing their natural habitat due to an on-the-rise residential development project.
Illustrating the raccoon’s inherent capacity for mischief, Over the Hedge was quite a movie for its class, touching up on the right values – duty, responsibility, environmental awareness, honesty and forgiveness – a movie that can be enjoyed by kids and adults, together.
But as funny as the movie was, countless kids were disappointed to learn that raccoons are considered as exotic pets to keep, and are even illegal to keep as pets in certain territories.
They also learned a lot of things about the challenges in keeping raccoons as pets. Here as some of those.
The Wild and Sheltered
Just as with skunks or foxes, raccoons are not as easy to keep as cats or dogs. For one, they tend to live longer than most cats and dogs, living up to 10 to 15 years.
Also, the thing with raccoons is that once they are kept as pets, it is nearly impossible for them to be reintroduced to the wild. Given that raccoons are naturally wild creatures, they are not as domesticated as cats or dogs, and if you do decide to keep a raccoon as pet, then realize that it is too much to handle, there’s going to be some challenging degrees to face when it comes to “giving it up”.
But, if you are truly committed in keeping a raccoon as a pet, you’ll find yourself having to be constantly on watch over their activities, since they do tend to cause occasional damage in house environments.
In terms of feeding, raccoons aren’t all that fickle, but feeding them diets which are balanced for mammals greatly helps, along with regular trips to the vet. Though not all vets are qualified to treat raccoons, the search for one isn’t all that challenging, particularly if you live in an area where it is legal to keep raccoons as pets.
All in all though, raccoons are quite interesting companions, full of energy and mischief, just like RJ in Over the Hedge.