Can Racoon Dogs Be Pets? How to Care for One!

Racoon dogs can be kept as pets, but you will need to have a special permit from the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service to have them in the United States. That is because the USFWS classifies them as injurious wildlife.

That does not mean they will attack you. What it means is that because they’re omnivorous animals and can adapt really well to plenty of environments, they will do well in urban areas, and that could make them an invasive species.

What is a Raccoon Dog?

The raccoon dog, also known as tanuki or mangut is a very old species; an East Asian animal native to China, Japan, Korea, and the far eastern regions of Russia.

In recent times, the population looking to taming it and keep it as a pet has increased. Now, it has been introduced to Northeastern Europe by fur farmers.

The scientific name is Nyctereutes procyonoides and is considered an invasive species in Eastern Europe, and in Spain, among other countries, it is forbidden to trade or bring it to the wild; keeping it as a pet is out of the question.

I was opportune to observe some at the zoo and I noticed they’re small, wild canid, curious, intelligent and are quite easy to train and work with. Pretty much anything you put in their exhibit, they will explore and play with.

Can Racoon Dogs Be Pets

Is a Raccoon Dog from the Raccoon Family?

No, they are not. They do resemble a raccoon, but they aren’t from the raccoon family (Procyonidae).

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What’s more surprising is that – raccoons aren’t dogs, they are in the canid family (Canidae) and are most closely related to foxes.

They were originally from East Asian nations such as Northern Indo China, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula; but they have been introduced to plenty European countries and have now grown to be a prolific invasive species.

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Are Raccoon Dogs Omnivores or Carnivorous?

Raccoon dogs are omnivorous animals and can feed on plenty of food items including plants, fruits, insects, and meats.

In Europe for instance, they love to hunt shrews and voles while in Germany they consume plenty of amphibians and fish. In Japan, they love to feed on mostly insects and fruits.

Like your pet dogs, these animals are ground foragers that eat mostly insects and fruits. They are highly adaptable in their diet.

Like other canids, they are farmed in some countries for their fur. Some other notable facts about the tanuki include:

They are the only member of the Canidae family that hibernates.

Also unusual for canids, they are avid climbers, sharing this trait only with certain fox species.

Their fur was once misrepresented as fake fur in the United States.

They do not bark and make relatively quiet vocalizations.

Can Racoon Dogs be Domesticated?

No. Tanuki, or “raccoon dogs” are wild animals, not domesticated pets.

Raccoon Dog Vs Raccoon

Can Raccoon Dogs Climb?

Raccoon dogs can climb trees, SOME WALLS, swim and dive underwater.

Raccoon Dog Vs Raccoon

Raccoons belong to the Canidae family while raccoons belong to the Procyonidae family.

Raccoons are between 16 to 28 inches in length, while raccoon dogs have the elongated torso and a short tail and are measured at 18-28 inches.

Where Do Raccoon Dogs Live?

Over the years, Raccoon dogs have grown to live in Japan, Vietnam, China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Austria, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Germany, Sweden, and Finland.

Are Raccoon Dogs Dangerous?

A healthy raccoon dog will avoid confrontation with humans or pets. However, when threatened, these critters will bite and scratch.

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Are Tanukis Legal or Not?

The United States and several other countries have banned the ownership of raccoon dogs. So, yes, it is illegal to own a Tanuki in the US without a permit/license.

Raccoon dogs are not currently illegal in the water-surrounded UK.

Are Raccoon Dogs an Invasive Species?

Raccoon dogs are an invasive species in Russia, Europe, the United States, and some other countries.

Raccoon dogs pose several threats to wildlife, including predation of ground-nesting birds and other small animals. They also carry several pathogens, including the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis—which can be potentially deadly to humans when left untreated—and Trichinella spp.

Where Are They Established?

Raccoon dogs are native to Eastern Siberia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan and have successfully established themselves in Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, and Brandeburg.

Can You Own a Raccoon Dog?

In the United States, the raccoon is labeled illegal to import, or even own with the exception of some American zoos.

In Europe and some parts where they have been newly introduced, it is legal to own raccoon dogs as pets.

Can You Own a Raccoon Dog

The Tanuki Temperament in Captivity

In captivity, the raccoon dogs are similar to the red fox. Raccoon dogs can be expected to become destructive indoors, have poor ‘house manners’, and have high activity levels. Like other exotic canids, an outdoor enclosure is definitely best.

Raccoon Dog Diet

Raccoon dogs are able to eat varieties of plants, small animals, and insect materials.

Dog food is suitable for raccoon dogs, unlike foxes and cats. Whole prey sources can include chicks, insects, mice, frogs (frog legs can be purchased from some stores), and fish, which are items they consume in the wild.

Varieties of other foods can be offered such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and more.

Habits of the Wild Raccoon Dog

The Tanuki Or Mangut dog is monogamous. It is not a violent animal in any circumstance. It enjoys living as part of a small group in warm burrows in wooded areas.

The females give birth to 5-7 pups during the spring. These are cared for by males while the females go away to hunt.

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Being omnivores, raccoon dogs can adapt to eat anything: Birds, rodents, reptiles, berries, fruit or vegetables, even carrion or rubbish.

The Enclosure

Most exotic canids require an indoor room exclusively for them or (ideally) an outdoor run. Tanukis can become destructive indoors and claw at wooden furniture and carpeting, so unless your indoor space is specialized for them, you’ll want to keep them outside.

A wall of about 40 inches is high enough to contain them. Remember, to provide a barrier underneath the surface to prevent them from digging out.

Is a Raccoon Dog A Dog or A Raccoon?

Raccoon dogs aren’t raccoons, they are most closely related to foxes. They come from canid (dog) families and are native to the forests of eastern Siberia, northern China, North Vietnam, Korea, and Japan and are now widespread in some European countries, having been accidentally released, or has escaped.

What do Raccoon Dogs Eat?

Raccoon dogs are omnivores that naturally feed on rodents, insects, birds, fish, amphibians, carrion, mollusks, berries, nuts, and fruits.

Are raccoon dogs legal in the UK?

No, it’s illegal to sell raccoons and breed them in most parts of Europe.

Can Racoon Dogs Be Pets Near Philadelphia, Pa?

It is illegal to own, keep and breed raccoon dogs in the United States.

Can Racoon Dogs Be Pets Near Pennsylvania?

It is illegal to own, keep and breed raccoon dogs in the United States.

Can You Have A Tanuki As A Pet In Japan?

It is illegal to own, keep and breed raccoon dogs in the United States.

Can A Racoon Mate With A Dog?

No, raccoons and dogs cannot mate. The Tanuki is not a hybrid of dogs and raccoons.

The raccoon dogs are actually part of the Canidae family, which is the same family as foxes and wolves, so they’re much closer to dogs than they are to raccoons

Can Raccoons Breed With Possums?

No! Raccoons and possums are not related species and so raccoons cannot hybridize with them.

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