Are Racoon Dogs Dangerous

Raccoon dogs: What are they, where are they from?

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They were «terrorising», «vicious» and left a village «under siege» — according to some headlines, but what are raccoon dogs really about?

After a neighbour said one attacked her goat, media organisations around the world portrayed raccoon dogs as something to be feared.

But are they dangerous? How common? Are they raccoons or dogs?

Safe to say, it was a night Clarborough resident Mandy Marsh will not forget in a hurry.

«It was 04:00 and I could hear a wild noise, a noise I’d never heard before,» she said.

«My husband went out and was gone for about 10 minutes and he came back and said, ‘You’ve got to see this’.

«He said, ‘I don’t know what it is, it’s like a wild animal attacking the goat’.»

The couple fended off the «hissing» creature but not before taking a photo, posting it online and asking if anyone knew what it was.

So, what is a raccoon dog?

«A raccoon dog is not a raccoon,» said Stephanie Jayson, senior exotics and wildlife trade officer from the RSPCA.

«It’s not really a dog either, although it is classified as part of the same canid family.

«The closest comparison is with foxes and badgers — nocturnal mammals who like woods and undergrowth.»

Originally from the Far East, raccoon dogs were introduced into eastern Europe as part the fur trade.

Their cuddly appearance meant until recently they were openly traded as exotic pets, which the RSPCA emphasises is a bad idea.

«These are wild animals,» said Ms Jayson. «They need large home ranges. We have seen people keep them in houses, with dogs and in small cages, which is not suitable.

«In these cases they often become aggressive and unmanageable.

«And while they are too small to be dangerous, they can bite and scratch.»

The number in the UK is not known, but the RSPCA rehomed five raccoon dogs in 2018 and eight in 2017 and has had «a number» of calls this year.

«While the numbers are not great, if they get out, they pose a high risk establishing in the wild,» said Ms Jayson.

Earlier this year the European Union added raccoon dogs to a list of invasive alien species of concern, which seeks to control populations deemed to be harmful to native wildlife.

Existing owners can keep the animals, but further breeding or sale is banned.

Kevin Smith, invasive species programme officer for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said: «Any populations of raccoon dogs in the wild would compete with native animals, such as foxes, for food and shelter.

«This would also impact on amphibians, birds and small mammals, which the raccoon dogs eat.

«In extreme cases, invasive species are one of the biggest causes of biodiversity loss.

«In some ecosystems, especially islands, invasive species can have a huge impact and even cause extinctions.

«It is much more cost effective for this issue to be tackled early on because if a population becomes established it can be nigh on impossible to remove.»

The animals’ owner, who did not want to be named, said he was concerned for their safety before they were found.

Are Raccoons Dangerous to Cats, Dogs, or Other Pets?

NEED LOCAL HELP? We have wildlife removal professionals servicing 95% of the USA. Click here to hire a local raccoon removal expert in your home town. Updated 2018. But read the below advice first!

Yes, raccoons can be dangerous to our pets. Raccoons can pose a danger to all sorts of animals, from man’s best friend to man’s equine friend, any animal that has contact with it being at risk of exposure to diseases. Even if our pets have been inoculated, by being in contact with raccoons, they’re creating stronger viruses and different strains of the same virus.

Raccoons come in contact with our pets much more frequently than they normally should. Common food sources bring them together, even though they would have never met in natural circumstances. These encounters allow for viruses to be transmitted back and forth, increasing our pets’ exposure to contagious diseases, allowing for viruses to become more infections and harder to stop.

Raccoons have also been known to attack dogs and cats if they feel the need to defend themselves, having the necessary strength and skills to even kill small dogs and cats.

You should always be careful where you keep your pet food. Keep it inside, especially during nighttime, but also during the day. If you feed your pets or other animals outside, be sure to not leave leftovers out. Once they’re done eating, take what’s left back inside. Raccoons will also be attracted to bird feeders, so if you have a bird feeder, try and secure it so that a raccoon can’t reach it.

As cute as it may be, the raccoon poses a threat on many levels, the safety and well-being of your pet(s) being just one of them. You could also easily get sick by direct or indirect contact with a raccoon. Raccoon roundworm is the most frequently raccoon to human transmitted disease, and you can contract the virus simply by cleaning up raccoon feces without proper protection gear. In addition, if a raccoon sets shop on your property – in your attic, for example – it will cause structure deteriorations, and it will infect the area with its toxic excrements.

If you hear or see a raccoon on your property, call animal control as soon as possible. A wildlife pro will be able to efficiently remove the raccoon and any young it might have, decontaminate the area inhabited by the animal, and seal shut all the raccoon entry points so that a different raccoon or other critters can’t invade again in the future. If you don’t want to hire a pro, educate yourself on how to successfully get rid of raccoons in a humane manner. It’s not an easy job, and it’s probably not even legal in your state for you to do this by yourself, but the truth is nobody can really stop you if that’s the choice you want to make. However you want to go about it, just don’t think that the problem is going to resolve itself. Raccoons are invasive and opportunistic – they’re nothing but trouble to have around your house and around your pets.

Go back to the Raccoons in the attic home page.

Are raccoons dangerous to cats, dogs or other pets?

You got yourself a pet, whether it is cat, dog, rabbit, parrot etc, you are enthusiastic and you will do anything that is necessary to keep it safe and sound. But danger is all around us and you have to be aware of most frequent jeopardy of your neighborhood. Most of you live in suburbia and one of most common representative of wildlife is raccoon. You probably know that raccoons are alike their ancestors, dogs and bears, and they can be long from 30 to 70 centimeters. When it comes to weight they can get up to 12 kilogram.

See also:  How Do I Get Rid Of Raccoons In My Attic

Raccoon’s hair is mostly gray of brown to red with recognizable horizontal lines on their tails. Raccoons are active mainly at dusk but nosed raccoons can be active during the day as well. The main reason for day activity is search for food. Most common opinion is that raccoons prey mostly on small animals which lay on front or back porch of your houses. Urban lifestyle is convenient for raccoons as much as for humans because of simple access to food. There are so many accesses to food such as open trash can, food that people leave on their porches and yard when feeding their pets. As you can see, raccoons visit us only for one reason and one reason only, which is food.

So far we can tell that they are our first neighbor and just like our neighbors do they can come unannounced, especially if we left our window opened or our door cat flap is big enough for them to sneak in and use our food. Since we always leave food in our cupboards they are pretty skilful when it comes to opening stuff with their claws. Bad news is when your gold fish comes on their way. It becomes raccoon’s food in instance. Same is with birds and other rodents. When it comes to cats and dogs it all depend on both of their sizes and which animal is more aggressive. Dogs mostly attack coons while cats will ignore their presence. But it all depends on situation. Aggressive raccoons might be once infected with rabies. So in this way they can be dangerous to your pets as well. If they get into a fight, and infected raccoon scratches your pet, the bacteria will infect your pet too. They can be carriers of lot of other parasites which can harm your precious once. Finding our how to protect from them must be your next step. Go back to the How to get rid of raccoons home page.

If you need raccoon help, click Nationwide list of raccoons removal experts for a pro near you.

Hello David- Thank you for your excellent website. We have a family of raccoons in our neighborhood and I would like to relocate them if at all possible before someone in my neighborhood harms them. There is a wildlife center that will unofficially take them into their100 acre preserve. Could you give me an idea of how to go about this? I’m planning to buy some larger traps and we were going to try to trap them when they come into our yard at night. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance-Barbara

My response: Sure, I have some important input — your neighborhood is their home — why do you suspect someone will harm them — trapping and relocating them will be worse for their welfare then just leaving them alone.

David: I have several neighbors that have seen them walking around during the day. They said that this was abnormal behavior and that they needed to either trap or shoot them. I’ve tried telling them that it’s normal for them to be seen during the day and that shes just trying to find food for her young. We already have one neighbor who actually shoots squirrels because they go into his birdfeeder! I’ve been trying to work on this issue-the problem is that these people are very ignorant and don’t care about animals. I’ve read your website and would just like to do what’s best for these animals. Thanks-Barbara

‘Dangerous’ raccoon dogs’ owner ‘wants them back safe’

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The owner of two «potentially dangerous» escaped raccoon dogs «just wants them back safe».

The fox-like mammals — also known as tanukis — dug out of a pen in Clarborough, Nottinghamshire, in the early hours of Tuesday.

After reported incidents with nearby pets, the owner, who does not want to be named, said he was focusing on finding the pair.

He suggested a «thermal imaging drone» could be used in the search.

Warnings have been issued after one of the raccoon dogs confronted a horse and goat in a nearby paddock.

After shooing the raccoon dog away with pieces of wood, Mandy Marsh — who owns the pony and goat — also saw it confront a dog walker.

But the owner, who did not want to be named, said the raccoon dogs did not represent a serious threat.

«They have escaped and that is my mistake but it’s important people don’t think these animals are especially dangerous,» he said.

Raccoon dogs

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He said the «light-boned» animals ate insects, small animals and berries.

«To be honest I am worried as the female has not been seen and if something has happened to her, this may have made the male more scared and nervous,» he said.

«I have been up through the night, I’ve been really grateful for the help given and offered, and it’s been hard work.»

He added that cages and cameras used so far had not worked and a drone using thermal imaging would be the fastest way to find them.

Nottinghamshire Police has urged anyone who spots the mammals to get in touch and not to approach them as they are «potentially dangerous».

Earlier this year the European Union added raccoon dogs to a List of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern, which seeks to control populations deemed to be harmful to native wildlife.

Are Raccoons Dangerous? 11 Questions To Get The Facts About Raccoons

Are Raccoons Dangerous? 11 Questions To Get The Facts About Raccoons

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“Able to cause harm or death, likely to cause problems or have adverse consequences.” This is the definition of “dangerous” as found in the dictionary. Do raccoons fit this definition? Are raccoons dangerous?

The first part of the above definition is pretty drastic. To say that raccoons can cause death is probably not fair to the animal. When you have raccoons around your property, you don’t feel like they are about to kill you at any time, right? In some very rare cases, the presence of a raccoon can be fatal to humans, but we will explain that later. Generally, however, this is not the kind of “dangerous” we commonly have in mind when it comes to raccoons.

Raccoons are widespread in the U.S. and more and more people every year are likely to have a raccoon encounter. While some people welcome such a meeting, others may panic if the animal is spotted around their house. Which is the correct approach to raccoons?

As we often say, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Keep in mind this statement that encompasses an essential truth about raccoons: In most cases, are raccoons dangerous? As dangerous as you allow them to be.

Let’s look at some facts about raccoons and the reasoning behind this statement by answering the most popular questions that people ask when raccoons come too close.

1. Do Raccoons Kill Cats?

Raccoons are wild animals, and they behave as such. Incidents with cats are not frequent, but your pet and a raccoon could get into a conflict. This usually happens for one of two reasons. One, cats may chase raccoons. If the raccoon feels trapped, he will defend himself by attacking your cat. Two, raccoons love cat food. If they get used to feeding from your cat’s bowl, a fight could easily ignite.

Cats are by nature reserved and usually don’t pay much attention to raccoons. That’s why it’s not common for raccoons to attack cats. But if you aren’t careful about putting your cat’s food inside at night, you may be inviting raccoons to visit your property, a bad habit that could easily answer the question of are raccoons dangerous by putting your cat in harms way. If a fight breaks out between your cat and a raccoon, there will not be a happy ending for your pet. A raccoon can easily kill a cat, or at least inflict severe wounds.

See also:  What Smell Do Raccoons Hate

As a preventive measure, make your house raccoon-proof and always keep your cat and its food inside at night.

2.Do Raccoons Attack Dogs?

There are reports of raccoons attacking dogs for no apparent reason. This is not the norm; raccoons do not usually attack dogs without cause.

If there are raccoons in your neighborhood, you should still be cautious. Dogs are curious but territorial creatures. If they see a raccoon in the yard, they may chase after him either out of curiosity or to defend their territory. The raccoon’s first reaction is to flee, but if he is cornered and feels trapped, he will attack your dog.

Another potentially dangerous scenario is when the raccoon visits your house to eat your dog’s food. You know how jealous your dog is at mealtimes. If he spots the raccoon stealing his food, a fight will start in no time. When raccoons and dogs have a confrontation, pets are the ones who typically pay the consequences. A raccoon’s claws and teeth are sharp weapons, and they can kill small dogs. If your dog is big or medium-sized, he may survive the encounter, but he will come away severely injured.

You play a significant role in preventing raccoon run-ins. Always keep both your pet and its food inside at night and do all you can to keep raccoons away from your house altogether.

3. Do Raccoons Eat Chickens?

Raccoons are omnivorous and will eat anything, including chickens. The eggs in particular are a succulent meal for raccoons, who will venture inside your property looking for a treat. Once the raccoon is in your chicken coop, he may decide to kill the birds as a source of food.

It is vital to raccoon-proof the area where you keep your chickens. During the night, keep the coop closed. Raccoons are brilliant and have nimble fingers; for them, opening a lock is a walk in the park. For this reason, you need to use latches or locks that raccoons cannot easily open.

The area where the chickens are during the day needs to be protected by a fence. Raccoons are nocturnal animals, but it is not unusual for them to hang around your property during the day. Therefore, your chickens are a potential target all day long. Since raccoons are excellent climbers, an electric fence is the best solution to discourage the critters from nabbing your chickens.

4. What Other Dangers Do Raccoons Pose To My Pets?

In the first two questions, we considered why raccoons might attack cats or dogs. Here are some more facts about raccoons and your pets.

Besides the risk of violent encounters, raccoons are a threat to your pet’s health. The presence of raccoons often goes hand in hand with a flea, ticks or mites infestation, so your pet is at higher risk of contracting diseases if raccoons are around.

Another significant danger is raccoon droppings. Raccoon feces and urine are carriers of diseases like Leptospirosis and raccoon roundworm, some of which can be fatal to your pet or cause serious health issues. It is quite easy for your pet to come into contact with or ingest raccoon droppings.

Additionally, if your dog gets infected, his droppings will become dangerous as well, exposing you and your family to the same health risks.

5. Do Raccoons Have Rabies?

Raccoons, along with other wild animals like foxes, skunks and bats, are the primary rabies carriers in the United States. Even though contagion rarely happens, raccoons are potentially dangerous to the health of you and your pets. The disease is transmitted by a bite or a scratch. If you ever have such an encounter with a raccoon, you need proper medical treatment immediately. Even though post-exposure treatments are available and efficient, they are known to be very painful and highly expensive.

Not all raccoons have rabies. A 2013 survey revealed that about 32 percent of raccoons are rabies carriers. The percentage is still high enough to demand extreme caution. Close contact with raccoons, such as feeding them by hand, must be avoided so as not to expose yourself to potential bites.

6. Is A Raccoon Rabid If He Is Out During The Day?

This is a common belief. Raccoons are well known to be nocturnal, and it is not common to see them around during the day. But when a raccoon is rabid, his behavior changes. For instance, raccoons are usually shy, but a rabid raccoon may become unusually aggressive. And yes, he may wander around in the daytime.

However, sometimes non-rabid raccoons decide to deviate from their customary habits. If a mother raccoon is taking care of newborns, for example, she may be around in the daytime looking for extra food for her litter. In other cases, raccoons living in metropolitan areas have developed different habits from the ones living in the wild. These different habits may include looking for food during the day.

If you see a raccoon out in the daytime, do not jump to the conclusion that he is rabid. Observe his behavior instead. Besides becoming more aggressive, a rabid raccoon has difficulty walking straight, and his movements are somewhat impaired or unnatural. It is quite easy to recognize that something is wrong with the animal. On the other hand, if the raccoon is alert, quick and moving naturally, and if he can climb without any apparent problems, it means that everything is OK. He is probably just hungry and scrounging for food.

7. Are Raccoon Feces Dangerous?

We can’t answer the question, are raccoons dangerous, without talking about the dangers of raccoon droppings. This is one of the most serious and worrisome facts about raccoons. If the animals start using your yard as a latrine, or if they settle inside your house, their droppings need to be handled with extreme caution.

Raccoons feces can spread several serious and sometimes fatal diseases.

For instance, Leptospirosis is a bacteria found in raccoon urine. If the urine touches an open wound or is ingested accidentally, the disease may be contracted. If promptly treated, Leptospirosis can be cured. Otherwise, it can cause kidney failure or meningitis with fatal or devastating consequences to the human body.

Salmonella is another bacteria found in raccoon feces. Infection happens by incidental ingestion. Many people recover without any treatment, but sometimes hospitalization is necessary.

The raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) is the most dangerous threat found in raccoon feces. To become infected, you don’t have to touch or ingest the droppings; it is enough just to inhale airborne eggs. That is what make this disease extremely dangerous. Once contracted, the roundworm will attack the brain, the eyes or the spinal cord causing permanent damage or in some cases death. To make matters worse, areas touched by raccoon droppings remain dangerous for several years.

Obviously raccoon droppings are a serious issue. Unfortunately, too often people underestimate the danger. When you consider that babies and young children are especially at risk, as are your pets, you should feel compelled to properly address the problem.

Click here to read a complete article on the many ways raccoon droppings are dangerous and how to remove them. In any case, the best option for removing the droppings is to call to a wildlife specialist like Get Raccoons Out. We will not only clean the area but sanitize it thoroughly to ensure total safety for your family.

8. Do Raccoons Attack Humans?

Generally speaking, raccoons do not attack humans. Raccoons are wild animals and as such they prefer to avoid any contact with humans, choosing to flee instead if they see you coming.

But there are situations that may push raccoons to attack humans. This is usually caused by taking a wrong approach to the critters. The primary mistake you should avoid, which is unfortunately all too common around the U.S., is making your house appealing to raccoons.

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If a raccoon can easily find food around your property — for example, in an unprotected trash can or a pet’s outdoor food bowl — he may become overly accustomed to your house and your presence. A bold raccoon can get too close to humans, increasing the chances of a confrontation. If you try to chase away the raccoon and end up cornering him, you’ve set up a classic situation where a raccoon may attack you in self-defense.

Following the same line of reasoning, intentionally feeding raccoons is something to avoid altogether. It is not beneficial for any wild animal to be fed by humans, and it is an excellent way to invite raccoons to enter your house. If you feed them by hand, the raccoons will not attack you, but they may bite you.

One of the most dangerous situations that can expose you to an attack is when a raccoon lives in your house, perhaps in your attic, chimney, garage or a crawl space. Oftentimes when raccoons settle in your house, it’s because the mother is about to give birth. A mother raccoon is very protective of her baby raccoons. If, in an attempt to get rid of the raccoons, you get too close to the pups, the mother may attack you.

For this reason, if raccoons are around your yard or inside your house, it is always a good idea to ask for the intervention of a raccoon removal expert like Get Raccoons Out. A professional approach to raccoon removal will prevent accidents and limit the damage the raccoon can cause.

9. Are Raccoons Dangerous To Human Health?

Yes, raccoons are dangerous to human health in several ways.

As aforementioned, raccoons are rabies carriers. Cases of a human contracting rabies from a raccoon are very few; however, the possibility is still there. Rabies is a life-threatening disease in humans, but it can be easily cured if you contact your doctor immediately. The price you pay is enduring a series of painful, costly injections.

A lesser known but more serious threat to human health comes from raccoon droppings. Raccoon feces and urine can spread some dangerous diseases, including Leptospirosis, Salmonella and raccoon roundworm. Of these diseases, raccoon roundworm is especially worrisome since transmission doesn’t happen by contact but by inhalation. An area that has been touched by raccoon droppings can remain infected for years after the droppings are removed if it’s not sanitized properly.

If you have children, you need to be super careful. Kids like to play on the ground and are notorious for putting things in their mouths. For this reason, they are at high risk if there are raccoon droppings in your yard.

Your pets are also exposed to the danger. Additionally, a pet that has been infected by raccoon droppings becomes a carrier. As a result, his droppings are now dangerous too, further heightening the risk to your family’s health.

A word of caution if you have raccoon droppings in your yard or house: Before removing them, wear disposable clothing, gloves and a professional respirator. All the tools you use need to be disposed of or, even better, burned.

Due to the high and often underestimated risks posed by raccoon droppings, the intervention of a wildlife specialist is always the wisest choice.

For more information about the risks posed by raccoon feces and urine and how to handle them, read this article on the dangers of raccoon droppings.

10. Are Raccoon Dangerous In My Yard?

It is never a good idea to have raccoons roaming around your yard. They may not be dangerous at first, but they may become so in time. That is why it’s important to take every preventive measure to keep raccoons away from your garden.

Among the problems a raccoon can cause in your yard are broken bird feeders, stolen vegetables and fruit, raided trash cans, destroyed flowers and so on. All of these are nuisances that may cost you a little money but are not real dangers.

A greater danger is to your pets. A raccoon visiting your yard may have an encounter with your pet sooner or later. If they start a fight, make no mistake — the raccoon will be the winner. A raccoon can easily kill a small cat or dog, and larger pets may come away severely injured.

Don’t underestimate the danger of raccoon droppings in your yard. Raccoon droppings are highly hazardous to humans and pets. The diseases carried in raccoon feces and urine are sometimes easily treatable but other times incapacitating or even fatal. Children are particularly exposed to the dangers of raccoon droppings, which should make it a matter serious enough to deserve your attention.

A raccoon that grows accustomed to your yard may in time decide to enter your house and make his den inside. This is a scenario to avoid at any cost. Once the raccoon is inside your house, the damage he can cause is unlimited. If you do not get rid of the raccoon promptly, the cost for repairs may amount to several thousand dollars.

If you have raccoons around your yard, do not hesitate to contact a raccoon removal specialist like Get Raccoons Out before it is too late. We will be glad to help you not only in removing the critters but also in wildlife-proofing your property. Most important, if the raccoons have already damaged your property, we will help you file a successful claim with your insurance company.

11. Are Raccoons Dangerous In My House?

When dealing with raccoons, having them inside your house is the most worrisome scenario.

The critters may decide to make a den in the crawl spaces underneath your house or deck. But it is more serious when a raccoon enters your house and makes himself at home in your attic, garage or walls. If you are not alert in detecting signs of a raccoon’s presence inside your house, the animal will use the opportunity to destroy your property.

Typical damage caused by raccoons includes trampled insulation, chewed pipes and cables, torn apart ducts, destroyed wall insulation and so on. Sometimes, to find a way into your house, a raccoon will even damage the roof or the walls, tearing apart shingles and wood planks.

All this destruction may result in increased heating bills due to the damaged insulation or water leaks through raccoon-made holes in the roof. Damaged water pipes and electric cables are also very dangerous as they can cause flooding or fire.

The area where the raccoon decides to make a den will be contaminated by his feces and urine, which are hazardous to human health. Removing the droppings and sanitizing the area is a dangerous task if not done carefully and while wearing the proper protection gear.

If you hear the critters moving inside your house or if you suspect they may be around, immediately call a raccoon removal service like Get Raccoons Out. Time is crucial when dealing with raccoons. You cannot afford to give the raccoon any extra time to wreak havoc on your property. Addressing the problem by yourself can be partially or totally ineffective, whereas a professional service will remove the raccoons quickly and safely. Additionally, a wildlife professional will help you handle your insurance company. Most insurance companies cover the damage caused by raccoons if you know how to correctly file your claim.

Final Thoughts On The Dangers Posed By Raccoons

There is one thing that all the above facts about raccoons have in common: You always have a chance to prevent raccoon problems.

If you take preventive measures and do not allow raccoons to come near your house, you will rarely have issues with these creatures. It is critical for you to make your house uninviting to raccoons before it’s too late.

If you want to know all the steps for keeping raccoons away, contact us and we will assist you in making your house raccoon-proof.

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