Raccoons feed on anything, ranging from vegetables to fruits to animals, and will eat almost anything. These very adaptive creatures can live wherever and eat whatever is available. Raccoons are nocturnal omnivores who eat plants and animals, meaning they will eat anything. How about a chocolate bar? Can raccoons eat chocolate, and if so, do they enjoy it? Should you feed chocolate to raccoons? Let us find out.
Raccoons, sometimes known as Trash Pandas, are the most easily identified animals due to their striped tails and masked eyes. They’re cute and famous on the web for their antics, such as swiping dog food and soaking the kibble in water before eating it. However, despite their charming appearance, raccoons are known for their destructive behavior. A single-family of raccoons may wreak havoc on an attic or room, which can be pricey.
These cunning animals may be found everywhere, always looking for good food. Many people love raccoons and keep them as pets despite their tendency to tear up rooms and their never-ending search for snacks. They eat almost anything to survive and have the diet of a natural scavenger. Because they are not forced to hunt for food while in captivity, their diets can be healthier. Let’s look at what raccoons eat in the wild and as pets.
What kind of animals are raccoons?
While raccoons are well-known, it is not always clear what they are and what animal family they belong to. Raccoons are nocturnal animals endemic to the Americas that are members of the Procyonidae family, including kinkajous, ringtails, and coatis. Raccoons are classified into 22 subspecies based on size and appearance.
Raccoons have a fluffy coat that ranges from dark charcoal gray to whitish gray, an underlayer for cold weather protection, a long striped tail, and a black stripe across their eyes. Raccoons have strong claws and fangs, so a bite from one can be excruciatingly painful. They have a short lifespan of about 1-4 years in the wild, but they can survive for up to 15 years in captivity.
They use their delicate front paws to open and search for food by using their sense of touch. Raccoons will work indefinitely to get anything they want. Trash cans or dumpsters do not deter them, as they often scavenge, looking for discarded food to survive.
What do raccoons usually eat?
They can grind anything they get their hands on with their razor-sharp teeth. Regardless, they still wet or water the food to soften and moisten it to make it easier to eat. Raccoons are great climbers and swimmers but poor hunters. Although raccoons enjoy meat, they prefer meals they don’t have up the hunt.
However, their dexterous paws are exclusively used for hunting small and weak animals such as fish, rodents, birds, frogs, insects, worms, mollusks, chickens, and even rabbits. In reality, raccoons prefer to eat chickens but not rabbits. But that isn’t the only thing they eat. Raccoons will eat nuts, berries, pet food, grapes, birds, and even trash food, but what about candies, sweets, and chocolate? Can raccoons eat chocolate? They do.
Do you enjoy sweets? Raccoons feel the same way. Raccoons love sweets, especially chocolate, which is also sweet. However, milky or dark chocolates are extremely poisonous and even deadly to raccoons.
Raccoons are intelligent animals, but they are not picky eaters. However, if you have one or want to feed one of those backyard bandits, you can probably feed them anything except chocolates, not even dark chocolates, remember!
Can raccoons eat chocolate?
Raccoons are adaptable creatures who eat anything, but that doesn’t mean you should feed them anything. There is no doubt that raccoons can eat chocolate. They love it. While we all know that chocolate is terrible for people, it is also bad for raccoons and your pets. Chocolate contains hazardous chemicals such as theobromine, which digests slowly and affects blood flow, the neurological system, and the kidneys.
And depending on the sensitivity that smaller animals and raccoons have to certain chemicals, and depending on the amount, it can most likely induce toxic reactions. A toxic reaction, for example, requires 150 mg of theobromine per kilogram of raccoon body weight. Cats, dogs, and other pets are subject to the same rules. While milk chocolate has more sugar than dark chocolate, both have a high theobromine content, affecting both easier and harder.
However, if you have fed chocolate to raccoons without knowing it, one bar of chocolate will not kill or cause those severe effects. However, it is most likely detrimental. Your desire to help feed it with a beautiful bar of chocolate daily will trigger those adverse effects and eventually kill it. A nice bar of chocolate in a day, on the other hand, could cause such infections or cause you to die sooner. This is equally true for pets and smaller animals.
Why is chocolate bad for raccoons?
Chocolate is harmful to humans (but can be fatal in large amounts), but it is lethal to raccoons and pets, even in small amounts. A small piece of chocolate may not be lethal, but it is much more dangerous to raccoons than to humans. A nice piece of chocolate, on the other hand, could cause those side effects or even kill. The same is true for humans. However, it takes so much more chocolate to kill a person than it does to kill a raccoon. A human requires 1,000mg/kg to cause toxic reactions or even death.
However, that figure is much lower for pets and raccoons. Raccoons, in particular, are killed at 400mg/kg body weight. The smaller the animal or pet, the greater the likelihood of death, but this is not true for some pets and animals, such as rats and mice. Because of their tolerance, rats and mice require more chocolates to be killed than humans, and the digestive system is less sensitive and defensive to chocolates than humans.
Chocolates high in theobromine
While you can’t keep raccoons from scavenging food, you should know which foods are hazardous to them. For example, theobromine levels are highest in the chocolate products listed below.
- Dark Chocolate – 228mg per square ounce
- Baking Chocolate – 376mg per square ounce
- Sweet Chocolate Candies – 175mg per 1.5 ounces bar
- Hot Cocoa – 170mg per cup
- Cocoa Powder – 142mg per 100 grams
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – 138mg per 1oz handful
- Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans – 147mg per ounce (28 beans)
Do raccoons like chocolate?
Raccoons, like humans, have sweet tastebuds or receptors, implying they can experience sweetness. Raccoons, like humans, are mammals. Raccoons enjoy meat, sweets, and fast food, yet these foods are poisonous to them. These omnipresent animals never say no to food and are not afraid to steal it; they will almost certainly eat it if they acquire it.
Because they enjoy eating chocolate, you may be tempted to feed it to make them happy. It may make them happy for a few moments, but considering the consequences, it will eventually kill them, which isn’t good unless you want to kill them, which is illegal.
Can raccoons eat cocoa beans and plants?
Chocolate is manufactured from cocoa beans and the cacao tree’s seeds. Cacao plants and beans are bitter, and no one wants to eat them save bats, monkeys, and squirrels, which prefer sweet pulps. Although raccoons are omnivorous, they will eat beans and plants when available, but they are toxic, like chocolate, and cannot digest them well. As a result, raccoons eat cocoa beans and plants, which is not good.
However, because cocoa beans are mixed with large quantities of sugar, it entices animals and children. Unfortunately, not all animals like chocolate or sweets since many animals lack taste or sweet buds. Thus they don’t know and can’t taste the sweetness, which is why they don’t care about it. Raccoons, on the other hand, enjoy sweets and can taste like dogs. On the other hand, Cats lack taste buds and hence cannot detect sugar and do not enjoy sweets.
Is there anything else that tastes like chocolate?
After reading about the adverse effects of chocolate on Raccoons, it is only fair to wonder if any other substances are similarly toxic. Raccoons, despite their adaptability, have some weak points too.
If you’re eating a mildly spiced snack, it’s best not to share it with a raccoon. They have survived on nature’s bland offerings, and it may be difficult for them to regulate the acid reflux in the case of spices.
2. Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions do not go well with a raccoon’s metabolism. They can induce severe conditions such as hemolytic anemia. This is due to the chemical compositions and nutrients found in these veggies.
3. Raisins and macadamia nuts
Although some nuts are beneficial to raccoons, Raisins and Macadamia Nuts are not on the list. They contain minerals that are hazardous to raccoons. These minerals directly threaten a raccoon’s intestine and can cause a lifetime impairment.
They also act as agents to speed up the growth of some specific parasites known as Raccoon Roundworms.
4. Other Animal’s Milk
Milk is necessary for the human body due to its high protein content. Therefore, it is an essential component of a well-balanced diet. But on the other hand, this is not the same for raccoons.
The composition of elements, particularly Vitamin D, can disturb their digestive system, resulting in serious stomach problems. Therefore, a baby raccoon that needs milk should only be fed its mother’s milk.
5. Bread and Yeast
Raccoons aren’t big fans of yeast. They will only resort to what they don’t like in dire circumstances. Unfortunately, yeast is a common ingredient in practically all types of bread and can induce fungal diseases in raccoons’ bodies.
Which animals can eat chocolate?
All animals with sweet taste buds or receptors like chocolate are harmful to most animals, particularly domestic animals such as cats, dogs, horses, and even rabbits. Dogs, squirrels, and bunnies enjoy chocolate but have many difficulties and aren’t ideal food. Due to their sensitivity and rapid digestion, dogs may be more affected and may die. Wild animals like bears enjoy chocolate even if they haven’t seen them.
They are unaware at first. However, they will fall in love with it once they taste it. However, neither bears, squirrels, nor other animal chocolate is beneficial or free of adverse effects. It can have substantial adverse effects but is deadly for most people. Chocolate is safe for most animals to eat. However, it can cause adverse side effects, including death.
Feeding raccoons properly
Raccoons are not all that bad. Sure, they can sometimes wreak havoc on your yard, but that doesn’t mean they’re always a nuisance. On the contrary, they can prevent other unwanted animals and keep your yard clean because they can eat almost everything.
Of course, this does not mean you should be nasty to them. If you have a raccoon in your yard, the best thing you can do is feed it.
You’d be shocked how entertaining raccoons are to watch. Many people like watching them eat and play. Their adorable tiny features, combined with their upbeat attitudes, will brighten your day.
Step 1 – Preparing the yard.
Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so you’ll have to wait until it’s dark to spot one. They sleep most of the day and only go out at night to find food and other necessities.
This also implies that you should avoid over-illuminating your yard. These small animals aren’t fans of bright lighting. Noise should also be reduced to a minimum, as it will scare them away.
Step 2 – Leaving tasty treats
Feeding a raccoon is easier than you think because they will eat almost anything. You’ve probably got leftover dog food from Fido that they’d like.
Maybe some table scraps from dinner that night? Whatever it is, the raccoon will devour it without a second thought. Just ensure it doesn’t contain chocolate, which might be hazardous to the animals. Keeping a bowl of water handy doesn’t hurt, as raccoons enjoy the water with their food.
Step 3 – Be patient
It won’t be long before you spot the raccoon and start munching. They’ll typically appear masked at the edge of darkness and attack the meal without hesitation.
It will be easier for them to arrange it on plates and cut it into pieces. Consider what you would do if you were going to feed your dog. They will, however, be far more amusing to watch eat than Fido because they tend to stand on their rear legs while holding the food in their front paws.
Some will even fight while picking through the food, attempting to take morsels from each other. It’s interesting, and you’ll see why so many people love to watch these critters eat.
What diet do raccoons eat in the wild?
Raccoons are omnivores by nature. Thus they eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits and animal proteins. Raccoons scavenge for food in the wild at night, while they are occasionally seen foraging for food during the day. They are true omnivores, eating everything from plant material to invertebrates.
Raccoons near rivers and lakes eat fish, frogs, and bird eggs. Few foods are harmful to raccoons, but they will eat anything they can get their hands on. Raccoons will eat small birds and smaller animals if they can capture them, but they prefer to seek something easier to catch.
One of the reasons Raccoons are so well-known is their dousing habit. They frequently moisten their food near riverbanks and lakes, giving the appearance that they are cleaning it. There are numerous hypotheses as to why they do this, as captive raccoons also douse their food. Whatever the reason, it’s one of the numerous things these bandit-like animals are known to do.
While chocolate is harmful to humans, it is lethal to raccoons, and dark chocolate (good to humans) is considered more lethal to raccoons and other small animals. These intelligent, cute, fluffy sociable critters devour anything they can get their hands on, including food, trash, and roadkill, and they don’t care what they eat. Chocolate may appear very sweet and pleasurable, and it is also what raccoons love, but it is poisonous to both animals and humans. Raccoons can be killed with fewer chocolates than humans.
However, a small amount of chocolate may cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, and death. This poisoning could affect all animals with slower metabolisms than humans. As a result, humans live much longer than raccoons, which live for 2–3 years and evacuate much faster.
If your raccoon or pet eats some chocolate accidentally, it will not be toxic until it eats a significant amount. Other than chocolate, you can feed raccoons with other food items. Raccoon’s favorite foods are fruits, nuts, plants, insects, berries, frogs, rodents, crayfish, eggs, and animals. These extraordinary furry bandits are undoubtedly having a good time keeping an eye on and protecting your yard from rodents, pests, and small animals. And that is whether or not raccoons can eat chocolate.
Think twice the next time you plan to serve chocolate to raccoons!