Raccoon dogs are unique creatures that have captured the attention of many. Often mistaken for raccoons due to their appearance, these animals have a charm all their own. However, before one considers keeping them as pets, there’s a lot to know. Owning any animal, especially an exotic one, requires understanding, commitment, and a lot of care. Let’s dive into the world of raccoon dogs and see if they are indeed good pets.

The Raccoon Dog: An Overview

are raccoon dogs good pets

Natural Habitat and Characteristics

Raccoon dogs, despite their name, are not raccoons. They are wild animals that live in forests, wetlands, and other areas rich in nature. In simple terms, think of them as wild cousins of dogs that look a bit like raccoons.

  • Habitat: They love places like forests where there are many trees, water sources, and lots of hiding spots.
  • Behavior: They are curious, love to explore, and are mostly active during the nighttime.

Misconceptions about Raccoon Dogs

There are a few misunderstandings about raccoon dogs:

  • They are not raccoons: Even if they look similar, they are two different animals.
  • Not all are friendly: Just like how every dog has its personality, raccoon dogs do too. Some are shy, some are playful, but remember, they are wild animals.

Legal Considerations and Regulations

Different places have different rules about owning raccoon dogs. In many places, it’s not allowed to keep them as pets because they are wild animals.

  • Check local laws: Before thinking about getting a raccoon dog, it’s essential to know if it’s legal in your area.
  • Permits: Some places might allow it, but you may need special permission or a permit.

Pros and Cons of Raccoon Dogs as Pets


  • Unique Look: They indeed look different and can be a conversation starter.
  • Adaptable: They can adjust to different environments if cared for properly.
  • Playful Nature: Many raccoon dogs are curious and like to play.


  • Health Risks: They can get sick, and not all vets know how to treat them.
  • Special Care: They need specific things that other pets might not need.
  • Legal Issues: As mentioned, there could be rules against having them.

The Reality of Raccoon Dog Ownership

If someone does decide to have a raccoon dog as a pet, there’s a lot to think about:

  • Diet: They eat a mix of things like fruits, insects, and even small animals.
  • Housing: They need a safe space, preferably outside, where they can move around, explore, and hide.
  • Training: They might not learn tricks like dogs, but they can be taught basic behaviors.
  • Healthcare: Regular check-ups with a vet who knows about raccoon dogs are essential.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Having a wild animal as a pet comes with big responsibilities:

  • Laws: Always be sure you’re following the rules.
  • Ethics: Think about whether it’s fair to the animal to live away from its natural home.
    are raccoon dogs good pets

Alternatives to Raccoon Dogs as Pets

If, after learning all this, you think a raccoon dog isn’t for you, there are other pets to consider:

  • Dogs or Cats: They are familiar, loving, and easier to care for.
  • Other Exotic Pets: Some are allowed and might be easier to handle.
  • Support Nature: Instead of having a wild pet, support places that take care of them, like wildlife sanctuaries.

Remember, every animal deserves love, care, and the right kind of home. Before making a decision, always think about what’s best for the animal and for you.


Raccoon dogs are truly fascinating animals. They have a special charm because they look different and have a mix of fun and curious behaviors. But, just like with any pet, there are things to think about.

It’s important to remember that even if an animal is cute or interesting, it doesn’t always mean it should be a pet. Some animals are happiest when they are in their natural homes, like forests or wetlands. If we really love animals, we should think about what’s best for them.

If you’re thinking of getting a pet, take your time. Think about what you can offer the animal and if you’re ready for the responsibility. And if you ever have questions or are unsure, always ask someone who knows a lot about animals. They can give you good advice.

In the end, whether you choose a raccoon dog, a dog, a cat, or any other animal, treat them with love and kindness. Every pet deserves a happy and caring home.

are raccoon dogs good pets

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