It’s happened to all of us. We eat something and without fail, our pets surround us and start mooning at us with those puppy eyes until we fold and share our snacks with them.
Some snacks are not healthy for pets at all. Most dog owners know that chocolate is a huge no-no, one that can make a dog very sick and even have fatal consequences.
But what about raccoons? Can they do what dogs can not and actually enjoy a bar of chocolate without ill effects? Think again.
Can Raccoons Eat Chocolate?
Raccoons are sturdy creatures and they have evolved to survive a lot of things – but not chocolate. Sure, these critters do not often see this sweet treat but some pet raccoons might be offered some. Tourists might also throw chocolate to cute, wild raccoons.
The truth is that their metabolism is not suited to dealing with chocolate, making it a terrible decision to feed this treat to them.
Chocolate is rich in compounds like caffeine and theobromine, both of which raccoons cannot digest. A small chunk of chocolate can be disastrous for some animals. Raccoons can experience life-threatening seizures, hyperactivity, and vomiting.
The Cocoa Plant
It is known that some animals like to nibble on the plant that gives us chocolate; the cocoa plant. Monkeys, for example, love to feast on it. But does this mean that raccoons can savor some of it too?
Raccoons are known for their versatility when it comes to adapting to different food substances and habitats. They tend to be really adaptive towards what their current habitat offers but even then, the cocoa plant is really dangerous for them.
Unlike monkeys, they do not have the right digestive system to digest the plant, and even an ounce of the nut can put them into serious trouble.
Other “Snacks” to Avoid
After reading about the harmful effects that chocolates can have on raccoons, it is only fair to list more substances that can be dangerous for these masked wonders.
Avoid giving them food with any spices. By nature, they have a bland diet. Thus, it might be very difficult for them to control the acid reflux that might result from a spicy meal.
- Onions and Garlic
Onions and Garlic do not sit well with a raccoon’s metabolism. They can cause serious disorders like Hemolytic Anemia.
- Raisins and Macadamia Nuts
Although some fruit and nuts are good for raccoons, raisins and macadamia nuts should be avoided. They contain elements that are considered toxic for raccoons.
Milk is essential for the human body because of its protein-rich quality. It forms a very major part of the balanced diet. However, this is not the same in the case of Raccoons.
The composition of elements – especially the concentration of vitamin D – can disrupt their digestive system and result in various serious health threats.
- Bread and Yeast
Raccoons are not known to be fans of yeast. They only resort to eating something they usually avoid when starving. Yeast is widely used as a component in almost all types of bread and it can cause fungal infections in the bodies of raccoons.
What Do They Usually Eat?
Raccoons are omnivores. They adapt to what is available in their surroundings.
In a nutshell, raccoons tend to eat fruits that are rich in vitamin C like apples, berries, and even apricots. They also seem to have a liking for watery fruits such as watermelons. As far as nuts go, they love walnuts. When it comes to meat, they actively search for fish, frogs, rodents, and different species of insects.
When a raccoon faces extremely tough times and their normal food isn’t available, they will resort to raiding trash cans to stay alive.
Raccoons are adorable and if you love them, whether the wild population around your house or your own pet raccoon, it’s only natural to want to spoil them with snacks. But such treats should never include chocolate. It contains compounds that are toxic to these animals.
Rather feed them healthy and natural snacks like fruit, and safe nuts, and make fresh water available too. This way you know that you are treating your favorite furries without the risk of making them ill!