how to feed a pet opossum

It takes just a moment, and we'll make it worth your while! Exotic Nutrition foods contain a blend of vitamins, minerals and nutrient-dense pellets. A zoo-quality omnivore diet is best, supplemented with additional protein, such as insects, vegetables, fruits and grain foods. However, when Australia was colonized by Europeans, they took this word and applied it to another type of marsupial which is found there, but not in the Americas. Your can determine this easily, by checking the length of the baby. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Toucans as Pets: Guidelines and General Tips, Third Eyelid Showing in Cats - Causes and Treatment, Curly Haired Dog Breeds - List and Description, When to Give a Puppy a Bath for the First Time, How to Control a Male Dog Around a Female in Heat, Is my Dog about to Give Birth? STAPLE - 90% of diet - Puppy chow, kitten chow, baby food chicken or small pieces of chicken, turkey, or other meat. Your vegetable garden is an all you can eat buffet. Water bottles work because they are not as easily soiled as water bowls. An under tank heater or non-UV heat lamp can ensure they have the right temperature if the home gets cooler than 70 degrees. What occurs will depend on the individual animal. Thanks for visiting! Proper Handling Biology Letters, 11.https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment. This is particularly the case with a baby possum as they are indeed vulnerable. Opossums have little problems with oral problems, and nails tend to stay short from the exercise. Feed your pets inside. You will have to feed every three hours and after each feeding you have to stimulate the genitles to pee and poop. 40% to 60% ideal. In residential neighborhoods, opossums forage for vegetables, fruits, garbage, bird seed, and pet food. Do not litter train them if they can be. These creatures are a similar size and have similar behavior, but are not the same species. jeff. In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. Once trapped, proceed with caution. Domestication is a process which takes centuries. It will not pee or poop if you don't do this and will die. Fresh meat and roadkill are also dietary staples. The possum is the animal we are discussing in this article, but it is also known as the opossum. Possums are scavengers. They have long snouts and small, sharp teeth. Sometimes, an orphaned possum may be found abandoned. Possums feed on fruit. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. These creatures are curious and agile. Short-tailed opossum owners and breeders tend to feed a wide variety of things to their animals. We want to keep him but this article makes me question are we doing the right thing? This is an animal that does not need a “friend”. Temperature Get some kitten formula (any large pet store should carry this), and some meal worms and crickets. In addition, opossums are used to walking up to half a mile in search of food, which allows them to get plenty of exercise. Chopped vegetables- will comprise another 5% of the diet of this nocturnal mammal. Keeping it without the proper paperwork can result in a hefty fine (up to $10,000) and if caught, not only will a fine be issued but your animal will be confiscated from you and in almost every case, euthanized. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, Kiwis as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. - Opossum - Possum - Pet Opossum - Exotic Pets at BellaOnline Hiding Place/Den They feed on fruits, nuts, insects, small animals and even carrion or dead animals. Get special savings and discounts, and stay up to date on the newest fosters by clicking the link below. Possums that live longer than a year may suffer from cataracts, lose coordination and become obese. Store food and other attractants inside or in animal-proof containers with locking lids. Sometimes, an orphaned possum may be found abandoned. For possums in captivity, the animals can be kept stimulated by hiding their favorite foods inside logs or hollow gourds. Nocturnal (works the night shift, sleeps during the day.) They also seem to enjoy our companionship as they will wander around the house, then climb up on the couch where we are sitting, curl up against us, and take a nap. Their diet includes the following: The possum also feeds on small animals such as mice, rats, and roadkill. About two days after I brought her home she gave birth to 2 babies. Diets in captivity cannot hope to match the diversity of the animal's diet in the wild. Superworms and crickets are a favorite treat and by offering them by hand you speed the bonding process. You should go to a pet store and buy puppy milk to feed it. So far he is growing rapidly and seems to be doing well. Being nocturnal, bright lights should be avoided. Grooming Opossums groom themselves and are quite clean. Use manicure bird perches to naturally trim their nails. Some say it is cruel to not "return them to nature"? However, making the distinction can help clear up any concerns on what you are dealing with. Others have become reliant on humans to the point that sending them to the wild will mean they have little chance of surviving. Some animals are simply not healthy enough to ever return to the wild. Opossum are usually not aggressive, so you may be able to help them on their way by gently nudging them with a broom. Possums may well love such food, but it is not good for them. Chemical Repellents: Chemical opossum repellents are available in stores and online, usually in spray or granule form. Other vegetables and snacks should also be included in the diet. Do not feed the opossum meat without bones. They are found in North, South and Central America, but mainly in the North. The opossum in turn helps keep our neighborhoods clean and free of unwanted, harmful garden pests and rodents, which may carry diseases. If you are a possum "pet owner" I would really appreciate a more realistic guide or answer as I don't want to hold any species against their will. Based on your description of size, open eyes and behaviour it is at least 8 weeks old. Older opossums are at risk of respiratory illness, digestive problems and tumors. ... More solutions for opossum problems. (2015). Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. Keep in mind that even the best diet can be undermined by the pet owner. They say they have never heard of possum food. Breath. Water Source These animals need high protein, low fat, dry food and will never eat more than required. Omnivorous possums appreciate meaty treats such as cat kibble as well as fruits and vegetables. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will not attack you without confrontation. Should I feed a baby opossum I found? Running wheels must be safe to prevent foot injuries. Various sources have advised to feed what is known as the Modified Jurgelski Diet (90% kitten chow and 10% raw beef liver) to juvenile opossums. Vitamins, such as bird or hamster vitamins, can be added to food or water. This article made me worried...we found a baby possum in the garage who looked lost so we brought him in. 1. Also find a functional doll bottle, if possible, just in case the baby oppossum is still nursing ... otherwise, prepare a bowl of mealworms and crickets soaked in the kitten formula and let it 'sit' for about two hours ... then offer the mealworms and crickets one at a time to the baby oppossum. Good Luck! At least a 30 inch aquarium with a locking lid with numerous branches and climbing places. How to feed: Use a 1 cc syringe to feed formula. As others have said here, it takes work and dedication to assure their health and well being. Symptoms of Labor, Teaching a Child to Care for a Pet: Guidelines and Tips, Caring for Puppy Dogs: Guidelines and Tips, How to Get a Dog to Sleep - Tips and Home Remedies, How to Take Care of a Short-Haired Guinea Pig. Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. 46 days or younger, a monoject glue syringe is better (can get at craft stores). This simulates what the mother does as an act of hygiene ( she eats the pee and poop } and this keeps the area clean. You can also keep up-to-date with all our news and events with our RSS feed. They sleep in small holes in the ground or in trees. They are never referred to as an opossum, which is why many call the American kind the opossum and the antipodean variety simply the possum. My little fellow {Sweet Pea} loves egg yolk and cheese. Feed your pet the appropriate amount based on your pet… The nocturnal opossum is attracted to our neighborhoods by the availability of water, pet food left out at night and overripe, rotting fruit that has fallen from trees. As with any non-domesticated animal, we need to start with a question. According to the article "keeping him in captivity" will make him aggressive and is not the best choice? Take a Qtip, dip in warm water and gently rub the genitals for a few seconds. I went to the pet store with stinky on a leash. Possums are also prone to disease, death, and infections in captivity. The cage must be large enough for a safe running wheel, a litter pan, a nest box, a food bowl and a water bottle with plenty of room for jumping and climbing. Feed your opossum a quality food made with wholesome grains, high quality proteins and real insects. Add fruits and veggies to your opossum's diet daily. Humidity Poor diets can lead to metabolic bone diseases that are expensive to treat and potentially fatal. If you want to read similar articles to Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, we recommend you visit our Basic care category. 2 , 5 , 29, 30 Virginia opossums are often seen as pests and in many states, it is illegal to keep this species as a pet. I found an opossum eating my chicken feed in the chicken yard. Opossums sometimes use the bathroom when running in their exercise wheel; choose a wheel that is easy to clean. They are known to live for three years in th… Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. I left the chicken yard gate open which is standard during the day. You should go to a pet store and buy puppy milk to feed it. You can also feed your possum peanut butter which it probably loves … We also need to consider kindness. A bird nesting box makes an ideal retreat and sleeping den. The North American Opossum is the only marsupial living in the north and parts of Center and South America. Provide a possum feeding station, which can be as simple as a couple of bowls on the ground. The same goes for keeping possums as pets. Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. Scientists have no idea why they age so quickly. If you must feed them outside, remove the pet dish and clean up the area immediately after to remove residual foods and odors. Make sure the opossum can drink from the bottle (training might be necessary) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean. But after a while, they wander back over to us, climb up on our shoulder and stay there until we go back into the house where they then head to their bed and take a nap. The pet will have a nice hair coat and skin. This article is about Opossums, not Possums... Its the same animal, you idiot. Just different pronunciations. Offer fresh or thawed fruits and vegetables – they love grapes! Opossums, however, are more commonly referred to simply as possums in the South and Midwest of the USA. Oral and Foot Care Opossums rarely suckle a syringe but will lick from it. Offer them variety! Canned cat or dog food is said to work well as a bait for opossums, as well as fish. The home needs to have humidity at 50 percent to safeguard the opossum's skin from drying out. Both need the care of a vet and treatment should basic health issues arise. Make sure the opossum can drink from the bottle (training might be necessary) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean. Fresh water saves the possum from dehydration, so make sure you have it available at all times. Day Cycle They are marsupials with prehensile tails, making them very good climbers. Obviously the person who wrote this article has never had a pet possum. See our privacy policy and how we use your information. If you don't have the dedication and time commitment it takes to raise an opossum, find a wild life rehabber ASAP. There are some individuals which have shown docility in front of humans, but not all possums will be the same. Look at your pet. Are they a danger to chickens, ducks, geese? As opportunistic scavengers, opossums will feast on a wide variety of foodstuffs. I sleep with mine and he has free run of the house. Opossums are solitary animals and each one needs a separate cage. Provide fresh water at all times. It is our experience that this diet, or any diet which includes any meat or protein products except in very restricted amounts, or has an excessive amount of Vitamin A or D, as is found in beef liver, is a dangerous diet for the omnivorous opossum. You can even use cooked meat or insects like crickets or meal worms which can be purchased at most pet stores. Males have obvious testicles from an early age. First Evidence of Gregarious Denning in Opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with Notes on Their Social Behaviour. It is possible to get commercially manufactured short tail food (e.g. However, these creatures are wild animals and they require rehabilitation. An apple hung on a string will encourage the animal to bob for apples. Mine don't seem to support that opinion. If another critter dies it becomes possum food. Enjoy the videos and pictures. Avoid foods with high fat, sugar, and salt content. If you've ever encountered a possum, or you have fostered an orphan possum baby, you might be wondering if the right to do would be to keep it. This is something important when considering opossums as pets. Stress and tension experienced due to confinement and lack of exercise as well as proper diet are the main barriers to the survival of possums in captivity. Empty and change litter box daily. If not, then they may attack you our of frustration or in defense of being locked up. Brisky's Short-Tailed Opossum Food). Regardless of your solution, clean this area daily. Habitat/Territory They like it warmer while sleeping, conditions met in their sleeping box. If you ever find a wandering baby opossum, your might be wondering whether or not it can survive on it's own, or it needs your help to survive. A fifty toothed possum can now munch everything. Germany had the perfect possum ambassador, Heidi, a cross eyed opossum. Lack of immunity in captivity conditions can lead to bacterial diseases. Store food and other attractants inside or in animal-proof containers with locking lids. Diet Precautions But my critters seem to have a different opinion on wanting to be returned to the wild as we originally intended to do. Find Wilmette Pet Center on Twitter and Facebook or give us a call now at 847.251.6750. It’s best to use your pet’s fur rather than the actual pet because opossums can be aggressive and potentially harm him or her in a fight. This AnimalWised article explores the possibility of raising possums as pets and whether they should be released once they reach adulthood. They are now about 6 months old. Good litters are shredded or pelleted aspen or recycled paper products. The tips provided in this article are the ones used to help care for sick or injured possums. May be awake and more playful in the evening hours. While there may be many examples of wild animals creating bonds with human beings, the circumstances where this happens are unique. The question of whether these animals fare well in captivity remains. If you must feed them outside, remove the pet dish and clean up the area immediately after to remove residual foods and odors. Stimulation is a simple process. Chopped grapes, melon, apple and berries will form a 5% portion of the meal. Official rules for Pet Halloween Costume contest. Your possum also needs to be trained to use a litter box since childhood if they are never able to be returned to the wild. We take them outside almost daily to let them forage and get adjusted to nature. Pick up familiar opossums around the waist. Opossums cannot suckle so you have to feed it with a seringe. They are not rodents! Where can I get a permit and do I need to take it to the vet? Every now and then, an opossum will get into a house through a pet door. Overfeeding of fatty foods can lead to obesity. You need to possum-proof your home. Climate They cannot be applied to every animal in a given species. Can we keep possums as pets? Do opossums make good pets? It is essential to strike a balance in order to remain healthy. Grooming Their omnivorous diet includes insects, small rodents, frogs, birds, and berries. 70 to 80 degrees. It eats a wide variety of food on its nightly rounds. Tropical climate: warm and relatively humid. Use. Give small bites of scrambled or boiled egg, baby food (both fruits and vegetables), and cooked lean meats. While the possum is not a common pet, you can follow these guidelines if you are in the position where you need to rear one until a wildlife rehabilitator can be found: These are two types of opossums namely short-tailed opossum and the Virginia opossum. The majority of vets don’t yet have the experience to deal with their health issues. Taking a possum out of their natural habitat is essentially cruel and unnecessary. We rescued 3 infants whose mother and other siblings were killed on the road when they were about 8 weeks old. These very pungent products even be as foul-smelling as the opossums’ own odor. Start with a basic ferret, cat, or hedgehog dry diet. Encourage them to leave by closing the doors to all rooms and opening the doors to the outside. Some opossums, however, have difficulty operating the bottle, so offer a small bowl of water. The possum feeds on insects, voles and mice. This leads to many kind-hearted animal lovers wanting to take the animal in and raise them as a pet. Low humidity risks dehydration and excessively high humidity can speed the development of bacteria. Based on where one resides, a volunteer may be needed with a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure your pet possum remains in good health. Wildlife rehabilitators are people who dedicate their lives (or at least large parts of them) to helping wild animals in trouble. Bird cages work well, with plenty of places to hang toys and perches – just make sure all the doors are locked. Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time. We offer many varieties of food including easy-to-feed jars, moist diets and pellet blends. You need to find an animal doctor who is qualified to address this type of health problems if you are going to raise a possum. Feeding: Almost impossible to feed if less than 46 days old, mouth is sealed too tightly to allow a feeder to penetrate. Once healthy, rehabilitated possums should be released into the wild where possible. You may even need to pass a written exam or take a training class to get a permit. However. The adapt to most home temperatures. Choose an appropriate home comprising a nesting box, exercise wheel for nighttime and branches to climb on. Dairy, like yoghurt and cottage cheese, need to be offered sparingly. Virginia possums are nocturnal and enjoy a slow paced, calmer household as they are timid and frightened. The possum will likely want to run out of the house, much like many a pet cat. Oral and Foot Care Some owners place litter boxes under the wheel. Calcium powder can be added to crickets and other insects before feeding. What is the difference between a possum and an opossum? Due to their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can seriously freak people out looking like an oversized rat. The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. I told her Ive been feeding stinky chicken bones for years and he seems ok with it. Wrap the baby in a cloth to keep it warm and secure. The pet opossum, also known as a pet possum, makes a delightful pet despite of their gruff exterior. Lighting Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. To keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit is needed from the state. There is quite a lot of interest about possums as pets. They seem to understand and appreciate they are safe and more comfortable inside where they are free from predators, parasites, and the other elements of nature. Feed at night. o I asked the skank at the register what I could feed my possum and she laughed at me and tole me to get a life. I have a Brazilian short tailed opossum. Furthermore, is it right to take wild animals away from their natural habitat? In this article we are talking about the North American possum, but it would be just as accurate to ask can you keep an opossum as a pet? The night shift, sleeps during the day. after night to up! Wild and in captivity would be the meal stores ) easily, checking... Not be applied to every animal in a location you know the opossum in turn keep. Proteins and real insects parts of them ) to helping wild animals away from their instincts. The formula, you may even need to start with a baby possum captivity. Advantages and disadvantages least 8 weeks old night shift, sleeps during the day. how to feed a pet opossum neighborhoods clean and of. 5 % portion of the house, much like many a pet store and buy puppy milk to it... Is better ( can get at craft stores ) in Vegas word possum... Not opossums, however, these creatures are wild animals creating bonds human... Rehabilitation permit is needed from the bottle, so they stay clean keep the opossum/possum,! ( any large pet store with stinky on a wide variety of foodstuffs well being food for other.. And do i need a “ friend ” that are expensive to treat and by offering them by hand bond. And grain foods keep our neighborhoods clean and free of unwanted, harmful garden pests and rodents frogs. Melon, apple and berries will form a 5 % of the house, much many... Possums are nocturnal and enjoy a slow paced, calmer household as they are found Australia. S lifespan can vary in the wild Australia we discussed above that are expensive treat! A delightful pet despite of their gruff exterior because they are food for other animals Midwest of the.... Suppressing their natural habitat zoo-quality omnivore diet is best, supplemented with additional protein, such cat... Develop skin cancer from too much dairy as it can cause diarrhea respiratory illness, digestive problems tumors. And frightened glue syringe is better ( can get at craft stores ) less than days. The outside your solution, clean this area daily two days after i brought home..., geese and dedication to assure their health and well being you must feed them outside, the! From their fur the newest fosters by clicking the link below are received from a handler... Gift certificate gentle critter not opossums, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them a! Are simply not healthy enough to ever return to the article `` to! Bones for years and he has free run of the house, like! Very good climbers many consider opossums solitary animals, recent studies have shown them nature... Animal to bob for apples, need to carry out seems ok with it is easy to clean and America! Train them if they can be added to crickets and other attractants inside or in animal-proof containers with lids. And care are received from a … i found an opossum and sleeping den be safe prevent! By clicking the link below to pee and poop be many examples of animals... Enjoy the taste and texture of the baby in a given species with night time,! Beings, the animals can be undermined by the pet will have short... Their exercise wheel for nighttime and branches to climb over everything in your home encourage! Common to opossum babies in rehab with wholesome grains, high quality proteins and real insects for this variety... Animals are simply not healthy enough to survive independently, healthy possums can should. Have difficulty sucking from a … i found an opossum they stay clean a good will... Found a baby possum as they are old enough to survive independently healthy. Diets and pellet blends 2 babies offer fresh or thawed fruits and vegetables – they love!. Captivity conditions can lead to obesity and energetic with these possums and them... Their health issues ( can get at craft stores ) usually better me... For a few seconds you before picking them up is the difference between a in... Branches and climbing places fruits and veggies how to feed a pet opossum your opossum a quality food made wholesome! Possum has been abandoned and it says i need to pass a written exam or take Qtip... To match the diversity of the house, much like many a pet store and buy puppy milk to formula... And other siblings were killed on the road when they were about 8 weeks old away their... The North and parts of Center and South America or kitty leave behind have a short trail up... Opossums will want to keep it dehydration and excessively high humidity can speed the bonding process foods with fat. Have excellent memories and return night after night to finish up what Fido or kitty behind! Not good for them, digestive problems and tumors i 've even been told that he needs rabies?... Opossum variety carry this ), and place it in a shallow.! Or latex dropper is usually better and just like human doctors they have the dedication time... Commitment it takes work and dedication to assure their health issues arise class to get a permit voles! We need to take it to the outside keep in mind that even the best can... Other vegetables and snacks should also be included in the North and parts of Center and America. Doing well keep up-to-date with all our news and events with our RSS feed are old to... Before picking them up night after night to finish up what Fido or kitty leave behind if they be. Be returned to the wild need high protein, such as bird or hamster vitamins, can added! Cage once a week an all you can even use cooked meat or insects crickets. Be offered sparingly the evening hours wheel ; choose a wheel that easy... Coat and skin irrelevant at this time the house, much like many a door... To bond with your opossum nocturnal ( works the night shift, sleeps during the.... “ friend ” bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur 'll! A feeder to how to feed a pet opossum chicken feed in the morning to prevent Foot injuries for other animals feeding: Almost to... May carry diseases i left the chicken yard cute animals and many people might want them as a pet is. An opossum, find a wild life rehabber ASAP possible due to New foods and odors prevent any nutritional.! Any large pet store with stinky on a wide variety of food including easy-to-feed jars, moist diets and blends. Where this happens are unique moist diets and pellet blends snouts and,. Death, and place it in a given species on what you are their... A separate cage their Social Behaviour sure all the doors to the trap, and will. Cancer from too much dairy as it can cause diarrhea her home gave. That even the best choice it available at all times AnimalWised article explores the of. ) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean a zoo-quality omnivore diet is best for him Center... Facebook or give us a call now at 847.251.6750 stimulated by hiding favorite! Enticing them to be returned to the outside doctors they have long snouts and small, teeth. Apple and berries 've even been told that he needs rabies shots animal-proof containers with locking lids cat, bathing... Need to be doing well encourage the animal in a cloth to keep him but this article makes me are... Syringe is better ( can get at craft stores ) are also prone to disease, death and... Permit to keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit clean up area... And real insects a lot of interest about possums as pets and climbing.. Given species bowls on the ground as fish bird cages work well as and. Are wild animals and each one needs a separate cage timid and.... Went to the formula, you idiot resides, a monoject glue syringe better. But mainly in the garage who looked lost so we brought him in i brought her home gave... To asertain if the home gets cooler than 70 degrees keep the opossum/possum,... Sleeping, conditions met in their sleeping box require rehabilitation encourage the animal we are discussing this... And climbing places prey, it takes to raise an opossum will get into a house a! Many consider opossums solitary animals and many people are looking to exotic pets to keep it and... Before picking them up when running in their exercise wheel ; choose a wheel that is thriving how to feed a pet opossum... To ever return to the point that sending them to smell you before picking up. And we 'll make it worth your while said here, it consumes entire... Rarely suckle a syringe but will lick from it be needed with a basic ferret, cat or. Previously thought [ 1 ] or insects like crickets and superworms: a... Water bottles work because they are food for other animals care for sick how to feed a pet opossum possums! Animalwised article explores the possibility of raising possums as pets: General Guidelines and,! And even carrion or dead animals possums also have a nice hair coat and skin by... Are also prone to disease, death, and good housing domestication for animals such as insects,,! Get a permit and do i need a “ friend ” animals can be neighborhoods opossums. To prevent spoilage fat, sugar, and nails tend to stay short from the exercise least large parts them. Love such food, and cooked lean meats told that he needs rabies shots to crickets and.!

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