How Long Do Domestic Raccoons Live? Calculating Average Lifespan in Captivity

How Long Do Domestic Raccoons Live

Ever wondered about how long domestic raccoons live as part of our families? Domestic raccoons, when living in homes, can enjoy a longer lifespan compared to their wild counterparts. 

Domestic raccoons can live up to 20 years or more in captivity but have an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years in the wild.

In this blog post, we will explore the intriguing lifespan of domestic raccoons.

Domestic raccoon lifespan

Domestic raccoons, when kept in captivity or as pets, have an average lifespan of around 15 to 20 years. The controlled environment, consistent food supply, and access to veterinary care contribute to their extended longevity compared to their wild counterparts.

While the lifespan can vary based on health factors, domestic raccoons generally experience a significantly longer life when living in domesticated settings.

How long can raccoons in the wild?

In the wild, raccoons typically have an average lifespan of 2 to 3 years. Their survival is influenced by various factors, including natural predators, diseases, and environmental challenges. While some individuals may live longer, the harsh realities of the wild environment often limit the overall lifespan of these adaptable creatures.

Why do domestic raccoons live longer?

  • Controlled Environment: In captivity, domestic raccoons benefit from a stable and controlled living environment, contributing to an extended lifespan of around 15 to 20 years.
  • Consistent Food Supply: A reliable and nutritious food source in domestic settings supports the health and well-being of raccoons, promoting a longer life.
  • Veterinary Care: Access to regular veterinary care plays a crucial role in addressing health issues promptly, ensuring domestic raccoons live longer, healthier lives.
  • Reduced Predation Risk: Without natural predators, domestic raccoons face fewer threats, enhancing their chances of a longer and safer existence.
  • Protection from Harsh Weather: In domestic settings, raccoons are sheltered from extreme weather conditions, reducing the stress and health risks associated with exposure to harsh elements.
  • Reduced Competition: Domestic raccoons face less competition for resources, such as food and shelter, compared to their wild counterparts, contributing to a more comfortable and sustained life.
  • Absence of Territory Disputes: Unlike in the wild where raccoons might engage in territorial conflicts, domestic raccoons experience a more peaceful coexistence, minimizing the risks associated with aggressive encounters.
  • Prevention of Accidents: Domestic environments are generally safer, with fewer risks of accidents, injuries, or exposure to hazards like traffic, which can significantly impact the overall lifespan of raccoons.

Do pet raccoons live longer than pet dogs?

Raccoons and dogs have distinct lifespans influenced by various factors. Domestic dogs typically have a longer lifespan than raccoons. On average, dogs live around 10 to 15 years, depending on their breed, size, and overall health.

In contrast, domestic raccoons, when kept in captivity or as pets, may live up to 15 to 20 years. However, it’s essential to note that comparing their lifespans directly can be challenging due to differences in species, care requirements, and the variability among individual animals. 

Can raccoons be domesticated?

Domesticating raccoons is a complex and often challenging endeavor. While they may initially appear cute and playful, raccoons are wild animals with strong instincts and behaviors that make them unsuitable for traditional domestication. Raccoons are known for their intelligence, dexterity, and inquisitive nature, but these traits can lead to unpredictable behavior. Additionally, keeping raccoons as pets may be subject to legal restrictions in many places due to the potential risks they pose to human and animal health. 

Challenges of domesticating raccoons

  • Wild Nature: Raccoons retain their wild instincts, making them challenging to fully domesticate like traditional pets.
  • Unpredictable Behavior: Raccoons’ intelligence and curiosity can result in unpredictable and sometimes destructive behaviors, posing challenges for domestication.
  • Legal Restrictions: Many places have legal restrictions on keeping raccoons as pets due to concerns about public safety and the potential spread of diseases.
  • Health Risks: Raccoons may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, increasing the risk of health issues in domestic settings.
  • Environmental Adaptability: Raccoons are highly adaptable to various environments, making it difficult to provide a completely controlled and suitable domestic environment.
  • Socialization Issues: Raccoons may struggle with socialization, as they are not naturally inclined to form the same bonds with humans as domesticated animals like dogs or cats.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About How Long Do Domestic Raccoons Live?

Q1: How long do pet raccoons live on average?

A: Pet raccoons, when kept in a domestic setting, can have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. The controlled environment, consistent care, and access to veterinary services contribute to their extended longevity.

Q2: How long can a domestic raccoon survive without food?

A: Domestic raccoons, like their wild counterparts, can generally survive for a 2-3 few weeks without food, depending on factors such as age, health, and environmental conditions. However, prolonged periods without sustenance can significantly impact their health and well-being.

Q3: Can a raccoon’s lifespan vary based on its breed or size in domestic settings?

A: Yes, similar to dogs, the lifespan of domestic raccoons can be influenced by their breed and size. Smaller breeds may generally live longer than larger ones, and different breeds may have varying life expectancies.

Q4: Are there specific health concerns that impact the longevity of domestic raccoons?

A: Yes, certain health issues, such as obesity, dental problems, and diseases, can impact the lifespan of domestic raccoons. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are crucial for maintaining their well-being.

A: To enhance the lifespan of domestic raccoons, a well-balanced diet consisting of high-quality commercial raccoon food, supplemented with fruits, vegetables, and occasional lean meats, is recommended. Providing nutrition that mimics their natural dietary needs contributes to their overall health and longevity.


Understanding the lifespan of domestic raccoons reveals the significant impact of their living conditions. While pet raccoons may enjoy an extended life of 15 to 20 years in a controlled environment, their longevity hinges on factors such as proper nutrition, veterinary care, and a secure living space. The challenges of domestication, legal considerations, and the innate wild nature of raccoons underscore the importance of responsible interaction.

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.