Do Raccoons Eat Dog Poop?

do raccoons eat dog poop

Raccoons, known for their scavenging habits, may indeed show interest in dog faeces. These nocturnal creatures, often explore various food sources, and unfortunately, that may include the droppings left behind by dogs.

In this brief exploration, we’ll shed light on the reasons behind this behavior, the potential risks associated with raccoons consuming dog poop, and what pet owners can do to discourage such encounters around their homes.

Do Raccoons Eat Dog Poop?

Raccoons, being opportunistic eaters, may consume dog poop, especially if resources are scarce. Raccoons are not picky eaters. With their scavenger skills, raccoons adapt to urban life, and when times are tough, they won’t hesitate to munch on whatever’s available, including dog waste.

Some experts believe that raccoons may consume dog poop if it contains undigested food particles or if they are attracted to the scent. However, others argue that raccoons are more likely to be drawn to other food sources and are less inclined to eat faeces, whether it be from dogs or other animals. The debate continues, adding a layer of mystery to the dining preferences of these resourceful urban dwellers.

Why Raccoons May Eat Dog Poop

Raccoons may eat dog poop due to: 

  • Scarcity of Resources: Raccoons, being opportunistic eaters, might turn to dog poop when other food sources are scarce or hard to come by.
  • Adaptability to Urban Environments: Raccoons are highly adaptable to city life, where they can encounter various food options, including dog waste, during their scavenging activities.
  • Versatile Foraging Habits: The omnivorous nature of raccoons makes them versatile foragers, capable of consuming a wide range of food items, even if it includes dog faeces.
  • Undigested Food Particles: Some experts believe that raccoons may be attracted to undigested food particles present in dog poop, finding it as a potential source of nutrients.
  • Scent Attraction: The scent of dog poop could also be a factor drawing raccoons to this unconventional food source, especially in environments where various scents are present.

Is Dog Poop a Common Food For Raccoons?

Dog poop is not a common dietary choice for raccoons, whose preferences lean towards a varied menu of fruits, nuts, insects, and small mammals. However, these resourceful creatures, known for their adaptability to urban environments, might resort to consuming dog faeces when faced with extreme scarcity of their preferred food sources.

While dog waste may not be their go-to meal, raccoons showcase their versatility by exploring unconventional food options when their usual menu is limited.

Possible Risks of Raccoons Eating Dog Faeces 

While raccoons consuming dog faeces might seem like a quirky behavior, it poses potential risks that extend beyond mere curiosity. Here’s a list of possible risks associated with raccoons eating dog poop:

  • Parasite Transmission: Raccoons consuming dog faeces may increase the risk of transmitting parasites, posing health threats to both raccoons and other wildlife.
  • Pathogen Exposure: Dog poop can harbor pathogens, and raccoons consuming it may face an elevated risk of exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses.
  • Disease Transmission: The interaction between raccoons and dog waste raises concerns about potential disease transmission, impacting the overall health of the raccoon population.
  • Environmental Contamination: Raccoons spreading or depositing faeces in various areas can contribute to environmental contamination, posing risks to other animals and even humans.

How to Prevent Raccoons From Eating Dog Poop

To minimize the potential risks associated with raccoons consuming dog poop, implementing effective preventive measures is crucial. Here’s a guide on how to prevent raccoons from indulging in this behavior:

  • Secure Garbage Bins: Ensure garbage bins are tightly sealed to discourage raccoons from accessing dog waste and other tempting food scraps.
  • Prompt Pet Waste Cleanup: Regularly clean up dog poop from yards and outdoor spaces to reduce the likelihood of raccoons being attracted to the scent.
  • Store Pet Food Indoors: Bring in pet food bowls and store them indoors, especially during the night, to eliminate a potential food source for raccoons.
  • Use Animal-Proof Containers: Invest in animal-proof containers for garbage and compost, minimizing the accessibility of potential food items for raccoons.

Can Dogs Eat Raccoon Poop Accidentally?

Dogs may accidentally consume raccoon poop during outdoor activities, especially in areas frequented by raccoons. This scenario poses potential health risks as raccoon faeces can harbor parasites and bacteria harmful to dogs.

Accidental ingestion can lead to digestive issues and the transmission of parasites, including roundworms and giardia. Pet owners should be vigilant and discourage dogs from exploring or consuming feces, and prompt cleanup of outdoor spaces where raccoons may have left their waste is essential

 If accidental ingestion occurs or if there are concerns about a dog’s health, seeking prompt veterinary advice is recommended to address any potential risks and ensure the well-being of the pet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoons Eating Dog Poop

Q1: Are raccoons attracted to specific types of dog poop?

A: Raccoons are attracted to a variety of dog faeces, but they may show a preference for certain types based on diet and scent. Ensuring prompt cleanup can help deter raccoons from the area.

Q2: Why are raccoons attracted to dog poop?

A: Raccoons are attracted to the smell and texture of dog poop, considering it as a potential food source. Their scavenging nature drives them to investigate different areas, including places where dogs have defecated.

Q3: Are there any natural deterrents to keep raccoons away from dog poop?

A: Natural deterrents include sprinkling cayenne pepper or using strong-smelling substances like vinegar around the area. However, these methods may not be foolproof, and regular cleanup remains essential.

Q4: What should I do if my dog eats raccoon poop?

A: If your dog accidentally consumes raccoon poop, monitor their behavior closely. If any signs of illness or distress appear, contact your veterinarian immediately. Regular check-ups and vaccinations can also help protect your dog from potential risks associated with raccoon encounters.


Understanding the interactions between raccoons and dog poop is crucial for pet owners. Raccoons’ scavenging nature, coupled with the potential health risks associated with their feces, emphasizes the importance of proactive measures

Regular cleanup, securing trash bins, and creating raccoon-resistant outdoor spaces contribute to a safer environment for both pets and humans. By addressing these concerns, pet owners can coexist harmoniously with raccoons while prioritizing the health and safety of their furry friends.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.