Can I Feed a Baby Raccoon In My Yard?

One evening you look out your window to find that there is a baby raccoon wandering across your yard. Maybe there are even a few of them. It is clear that something is wrong. The mother has disappeared or has been injured or killed, and the babies are left to fend for themselves.

Your heart goes out to these animals. The poor babies are all alone, and you know that if someone doesn't take care of them that they will most surely die. So, you decide you will give them some food. Now you are wondering, should I really feed a baby raccoon? That is a really good question.

The Reasons to Do So

Obviously, your heart goes out to these animals. There is nothing worse than a poor baby animal that is defenseless, hungry, and has no way to survive. It would seem completely harmless to give the animal a little bit of food. Maybe you could put some leftovers from dinner outside, or give it a little bit of cheese. No harm could come out of that, it would seem.

In this way, you would know you did the humanitarian thing. You looked out for a poor critter that would not have made it without your help. In fact, you could be quite sure that some other wild animal would devour that little baby during the evening. You did the right thing.

Maybe It Wasn't the Right Thing

It would seem like this is the most sensible thing to have done, but you may have just set yourself up for some real trouble. You can't just stop it feeding the baby wants. It knows there is food at this location, meaning it is going to continually return to your yard looking for food.

You may be okay with that. You may not think that is an issue at all, but let us give you a few reasons why you should be concerned.

First off, raccoons carry a number of diseases. If this animal keeps returning to your property, he is bringing his waist along with it. There are often parasites, bacteria, and viruses in raccoon feces and urine. By this animal coming back, it is also relieving itself in your yard. That is putting you, your family, and your pets in jeopardy. You could very easily get an illness from one of these parasites, maybe even become severely ill.

In addition, raccoons often carry rabies. Your dog or cat may be outside while one of these animals scurrying across your yard. Scared by your dog approaching it, it may lash out, biting or scratching your pet. Now you have to worry about your animal having rabies. Was that really worth it? 

There is no doubt you want to do the humane thing. You want to look out for this poor critter. The risks are too great though. Instead, what you should do is contact your local animal control agency or wildlife refuge. They will be able to help you and help the babies.

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