Raccoons, indeed, are one of the easiest animals to feed. Because they are scavengers, they can eat anything they find. It’s the same reason why you’ll want to keep them away from your home or backyard as possible.
However, like how chocolates are toxic to dogs, there are also a bunch of food raccoons will avoid eating. These types of food are harmful to their health and can even lead to death in worst-case scenarios.
When trying to control or stop a raccoon infestation at home, you might consider feeding those to these pests.
It’s fascinating how raccoons can search through your garbage and eat your waste, and yet there are some regular types of food they will try to avoid.
You might even be surprised that some of these food kinds can be found in your yard. If you want to know what toxic food you can feed these raccoons, this guide is for you. Let’s explore the following:
- What kinds of food are toxic for raccoons
- The food they eat the most
Learn more about what can poison raccoons and what diet keeps them healthy and safe through this guide.
The Most Toxic Food Kinds for Raccoons
Various toxic food kinds can negatively affect a raccoon’s body.
Here’s what you should avoid feeding your pet raccoons or what you should feed these pests when they try to invade your home:
1. Coffee, Cocoa, and Chocolate
It’s fascinating! Chocolate, the most loved food of humans, and coffee, our energy booster, are toxic to raccoons. All because these types of food contain theobromine, a harmful chemical that can be fatal for these animals.
While some raccoons can eat chocolate, excessive amounts can harm them. Theobromine is a toxic substance that can increase a raccoon’s heart rate, leading to the animal’s irritability, hyperactiveness, and aggressiveness.
Excessive intake of coffee and chocolate can also cause diarrhea among raccoons, leading to vomiting and seizures. And you must know that when the raccoon starts to experience seizures, it can lead to his death.
Theobromine can also negatively affect the raccoon’s kidneys. Different chocolates will have different theobromine concentrations:
- Baking chocolate – 376 mg of theobromine per square inch
- Dark chocolate – 228 mg of theobromine per square inch
If you feed a bar of chocolate to a raccoon, it won’t instantly kill the animal. Daily intake becomes more fatal to the raccoon, which can also speed up his death.
Grapes may be your favorite snack at home, but raccoons will try their best to avoid these delicious fruits.
Grapes contain cyanide, a dangerous element lethal to raccoons. This fruit can make these pests very sick, leading to their death even when they only try to eat once.
One thing to remember is that not all fruits with cyanide are harmful to raccoons. Fruits like plums and peaches are safe because they contain fewer cyanide concentrations.
Another fruit loved by humans that raccoons avoid is avocado.
This green fruit contains persin, a fungi toxin that can cause raccoons to vomit, experience diarrhea, and have heart congestion.
What’s fascinating about raccoons is that they can easily tell whether the food offered to them is avocado.
If you try letting them eat this fruit, it’s part of their reflex to avoid and run away.
4. Onions, Garlic, and Other Spices
The spices you include in your dishes to add flavor are also despised by raccoons.
Onions, garlic, ginger, and other types of condiments are harmful to these animals because they contain sulfoxides and disulfides. These are salt elements that can cause anemia in raccoons.
More specifically, raccoons will develop hemolytic anemia, which causes their bodies to combat red blood cells because they see these as foreign objects.
Raccoons with this type of anemia look weak with pale gums because their bodies lack oxygen. This also means the raccoon’s brain lacks enough oxygen to function well.
5. Seeds, Nuts, and Eggplants
Certain seeds are also dangerous to a raccoon’s health. They contain amygdalin, a chemical that can affect the animal’s body systems, especially its brain, lungs, and heart.
If you ask about the severity of the damage, it would depend on the size of the seed’s kernel, how many you feed the raccoon and the seed’s chemical composition.
Nuts and eggplants are dangerous to raccoons because they are high in starch, which can cause pancreatic problems and obesity. Even though raccoons can tolerate eating eggplants, too much can result in vomiting and diarrhea.
6. Xylitol-Enriched Food
Xylitol is mostly found in sugar-free mints, gums, oral care products, nicotine gum, and sweetened cereals.
While this chemical is good for humans, it’s toxic for raccoons and causes several body problems.
Xylitol can disrupt a raccoon’s digestive system, causing the animal to vomit and experience diarrhea. In severe cases, raccoons can also develop seizures or experience decreased blood sugar levels.
This sugar alcohol can also lead to the raccoons’ loss of coordination and liver failure.
7. Cow’s Milk
Some people prefer cow’s milk over full-fat milk because it tastes sweeter and creamier. But it’s not the case for raccoons.
Cow’s milk can cause severe damage to their digestive systems, leading to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Moreover, this type of milk should be avoided when feeding young raccoons because it can cause malnutrition and maldevelopment.
Cow’s milk can also cause dehydration among baby raccoons, which can be fatal and lead to their death.
The Food Raccoons Can Eat
A healthy diet plan for a raccoon is mixed with fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood.
Like humans, everything should be well-balanced and in just the right amounts to avoid overeating.
For fruits, raccoons will love to indulge in the following:
Raccoons will also eat anything with tomatoes and peanut butter. But in excessive amounts, these are not the safest for them. Raccoons also love crayfish, clams, snails, and fish.
They can practically eat anything, as long as you avoid the toxic food kinds we’ve listed above.
Beware of What You’re Feeding Raccoons
To eliminate raccoons lurking around your home, you must ensure you’re feeding them the right kinds of toxic food.
These include avocados, chocolate, caffeine, grapes, sugar-free gums, spices, and cow’s milk. Giving raccoons these types of food can lead to many diseases, potentially killing them.
We know raccoons are not the pickiest eaters but also have a preferred meal plan to maintain their healthy lifestyle.
So, when you have one as a pet, take note of the food that will make them look and feel healthier while avoiding those that can damage their health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Raccoons Avoid Vinegar?
Raccoons are not fond of vinegar because its intense scent can interfere with their sense of smell. Remember that raccoons need their sense of smell to look for mates and potential food sources.
You can create a vinegar spray to drive these animals away from your home.
Can Raccoons Eat Marshmallows?
Marshmallows are safe to consume by raccoons, provided you feed them in moderation.
This treat is a sweet candy high in sugar, and its high sugar intake is not good for raccoons. It can lead to various problems, including obesity, pancreatic concerns, and more.