What to Do if Your Dog Gets Bit by a Raccoon? (Quick Facts)

People get panicked so easily if their dogs get bitten by raccoons. Most of the fear is coming from the fact that raccoons contain rabies. As a dog owner, you should know what to do in these situations where a raccoon bites your dog.

So what do you have to do if your dog gets bitten by a raccoon? You have to monitor your dog closely and give a ten-day quarantine or observation. Observe whether your dog will be normal for the next ten days and if all else fails, consult your vet as soon as possible.

If you have a dog and it was bitten by a raccoon, there is a lot of confusion and panic on precisely what to do in this situation. 

Some dog owners do not even know if they should quarantine their dog or just observe them. Some people do not even know how long they should do it. So it is vital to approach someone who knows something about the situation.

Rabies is a viral disease. It significantly affects the nervous system of the animals. Your dog can get infected within days, and it may get much worse if you do not know what to do. 

In these times, you have to think fast and act fast. If you want to know more about what happens if your dog gets bitten by a raccoon, do not fret. 

We are here to provide you useful facts and guides to help you in these trying times. Let us get started.

Dog Bit By A Raccoon But He Is Vaccinated – Should I Worry?

To start, let us know more about rabies. Rabies is a viral disease that badly impacts an animal’s nervous system. 

This is a deadly virus. It can kill animals within days. In the last stage of the virus, the virus moves from the brain and into the animals’ salivary gland. 

When this happens, the virus can be transmitted with the animal’s saliva. We should not let this happen and act quickly to save the life of your dog. 

If your dog gets bitten by a raccoon, that is quite dangerous. But if your dog has been vaccinated, then you can ease your panic.

Rabies that your dog acquired from the raccoon that bit him will not have any impact. We know that you must be serious about its vaccination if you own a dog. 

It would be best to complete their vaccination if you made it a goal. This will really help you in the long run. 

Vaccines are highly effective. You can save yourself a lot of worries and problems in the long run if you have your dog vaccinated. 

Vaccines are considered as effective prevention. However, since dogs cannot communicate with us through words, it is still essential to take safety measures. 

So if your dog was vaccinated and was bitten by a raccoon, you can relax a little bit because vaccination can help your dog’s immune system to fight off the virus. 

But since you cannot guarantee that your dog will not have any rabies even if it is vaccinated, it is crucial to have your dog quarantined and observed for at least ten days. This will help you ensure that your dog will remain safe after bitten by a raccoon.

What Happens If A Dog Gets Bit By A Raccoon?

If a raccoon bites your dog, we know that the dog might get rabies immediately. But do we really know what happens if your dog gets bitten by a raccoon? 

If your dog has not been vaccinated, then rabies could spread through to your dog’s system. From the virus in the dog’s brain, it can spread through the salivary gland of your dog. 

As mentioned, when this happens, your dog will be able to spread their virus just through their saliva.  A dog infected by rabies may show behavioral changes. They will become restless and may show aggression. 

Friendly dogs will tend to be irritable and hyper dogs will have low energy. Your dog, if infected by rabies, will be aggressive. They will bite or snap at any stimulus. 

They will also bite and lick their wounds. At this time, your dog can also be having a fever.

As the virus gets worse, a dog infected by rabies will be oversensitive to touch, light, and sound. They will act weird and have odd behavior. 

They will sulk in the corner and eat things that they do not normally eat. Your dogs will also experience paralysis in their throat and mouth.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Raccoons?

The best protection for your dogs to avoid rabies is vaccination against rabies and avoidance for your dog to encounter any animals that can have rabies. 

Vaccination is highly recommended and highly effective. If a raccoon has not bitten your dog, it is still good to not have them associated. These two may have a lot in common, but it is still best to have them separated. 

Raccoons are believed to be hostile and aggressive. However, this may not be for all raccoons. Other raccoons can be tamed and will shy away if they encounter humans and animals that they will consider threats. 

So whether or not the raccoon has a deadly virus and will cause harm to your dogs, it is still best to keep both of them apart. It would be smart as an owner to avoid any confrontations between your dog and a raccoon. 

Experts say that healthy, smart raccoons will unlikely cause a fight unless they are provoked to do it. Some raccoons will walk away if they encounter animals or humans. Your dogs can get sick from a raccoon if a raccoon will bite your dog.

angry raccoon

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Bit By A Raccoon?

If you are caught in this bad situation, and your dog gets bitten by a raccoon, do not think that you are hopeless. There are actually a lot of things that you can do. You can do the first thing to find out if the animal is available for testing. 

If you can ensure that the raccoon has no rabies, it will help you a lot better. You can do this by testing the animal. Find out if there are any amount of rabies in the animal’s body. 

If the raccoon does not have rabies, your dog is clear from any danger. In the case that you cannot identify if the raccoon has or has no rabies, you need to take the precautions and the guide on what to do in this situation. 

If your dog is bitten by a raccoon, call or visit your vet immediately. Raccoons are considered one of the major carriers of rabies in the Northern part of America. 

You can do many things, but the most important thing you have to do is visit your vet immediately. You will need professional help with this matter. 

Follow every instruction your vet will give you. Monitor your dog very closely.

Also Read: Can You Use Bactine on Dogs?

What To Do If My Dog Gets In A Fight With A Raccoon?

Dogs can be very territorial. They are born to protect their territory. Raccoons can disturb this sense of security of the dogs. 

So if you will catch your dog fighting with a raccoon, you have to make your presence known to them. Most of the time, raccoons will run off with the sound of humans. 

When interrupting your dog fighting with a raccoon, never grab your dog or the raccoon and separate them literally. This is a very dangerous way to stop them from fighting. Do not pull your dog with your bare hands or, worse, the raccoon. 

You can get bitten or injured if you do that. Your dog will bite you because your dog is in an alert mode. They are hostile at the moment and are dangerous for you. 

This is the same also for the raccoon. Make sure you protect yourself at the same time you protect your dog. Chase the raccoon away and allow your dog to protect you and his territory.

This will help in keeping the raccoon away from your home in the near future. The best thing to do is to use a shovel. Aim it at the raccoon and chase it away. 

Do not stop your dog from attacking the raccoon. Instead, you and your dog should help each other chase the raccoon away. This will give the raccoon an idea not to mess with you again.

 This will keep the raccoons from going inside your home lot. Make sure to wear protective clothing to protect yourself from any bites or scratches.

Can My Dog Get Rabies From A Raccoon Scratch?

Rabies can be transmitted mainly through a bite. This rabies is spread through direct contact. They can be spread through direct contact with eyes, nose, or saliva. 

Again, rabies is mostly spread through a bite. However, it is also possible to get rabies from exposure other than a bite. This includes scratches or abrasions. 

Though the possibility is very minimal, it is still possible to get rabies from a scratch made by raccoons. In the later part of the rabies, the virus will infect the salivary gland of the animals. 

In return, the virus can spread through saliva. Dogs can get rabies from raccoons even without biting. 

This is the latter part of the virus and it can be lethal to your dogs and even to humans. It would help if you did all means not to let your dog reach this status.


In summary, your dog infected by rabies is not unusual. Dogs encounter raccoons most of the time and will get rabies from them. Dogs that are not vaccinated will have a higher chance of complication than those dogs who received their vaccine shot. 

If ever you see your dog fighting with a raccoon, get a shovel and shoo the raccoon away. If ever your dog will get infected by rabies, consult your vet immediately. You will need professional help in this scenario. 

Follow the steps given by your vet. You will need to quarantine and observe your dog for the next ten days. And talk to your vet on a regular basis.


Image credits – Canva

[1] Rabies on NCDA&CA

[2] Rabies in Dogs on Fetch by WebMD

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