Do Raccoons Go Through Doggie Doors? Explained

The sight of a raccoon rummaging through trash cans or exploring suburban backyards has become a familiar scene for many. These resourceful and adaptable creatures have mastered the art of scavenging for food in various environments, sometimes even venturing into spaces meant for domestic animals. 

This brings us to a common question: Do raccoons go through doggie doors? In this article, we will delve into the intriguing world of raccoon behavior, their potential interactions with doggie doors, and how pet owners can ensure the safety of their furry companions.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior

Before we can answer whether raccoons use doggie doors, it’s important to understand their behavior. Raccoons are highly intelligent and opportunistic animals that have adapted remarkably well to living in close proximity to human habitats. 

Their dexterity, problem-solving skills, and curiosity often lead them to explore new environments, including our homes. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, which means they are most active during the night. 

This behavior can lead to encounters with pets, as many dogs have the freedom to roam the yard or access the house through doggie doors. While raccoons are typically shy and tend to avoid direct confrontation with larger animals, they can become aggressive if cornered or threatened.

The Intrusion Dilemma: Raccoons and Doggie Doors

The question of whether raccoons go through doggie doors is a valid concern for pet owners. Doggie doors are designed to provide pets with convenient access to the outdoors, allowing them to relieve themselves or enjoy some fresh air without constant human intervention. 

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However, these openings can also attract unwelcome visitors like raccoons. Raccoons, due to their agility and adaptability, can indeed enter through doggie doors in certain circumstances. 

If a raccoon smells food inside the house, it may attempt to enter through an accessible doggie door. Additionally, if a raccoon feels threatened or is seeking shelter, it might exploit any opening it can find, including a doggie door.

Mitigating the Risk: Tips for Pet Owners

Choose the Right Size: When installing a doggie door, consider the size of your pet. If the door is too large, it could potentially accommodate a raccoon or other wildlife. Opt for a size that comfortably accommodates your pet without creating an entry point for larger animals.

Locking Mechanisms: Many modern doggie doors come with advanced locking mechanisms that can prevent unwanted intrusions. Look for doors that can be secured when not in use or during nighttime hours when raccoon activity is more likely.

Training and Supervision: Train your pet to use the doggie door only when necessary. This not only reduces the chances of raccoon encounters but also ensures your pet’s safety. Supervise your pet during outdoor time to prevent any potential conflicts with wildlife.

Outdoor Lighting: Well-lit outdoor spaces can deter raccoons and other nocturnal creatures. Motion-activated lights can startle raccoons, making them think twice before approaching the area.

Remove Attractants: Raccoons are drawn to food sources. Keep trash cans securely closed and remove any fallen fruit or bird feeders that might entice them to approach your home.


In the fascinating world of human-wildlife interactions, raccoons stand out as adaptable and curious creatures. While the question of whether raccoons go through doggie doors is a valid concern, pet owners can take proactive steps to minimize the risk of unwanted intrusions. 

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By understanding raccoon behavior, choosing the right doggie door, and implementing safety measures, you can ensure the well-being of both your pets and the wildlife around your home. 

Remember, striking a balance between coexisting with wildlife and safeguarding your furry companions is the key to a harmonious living environment.