How Do Raccoons Survive in The Winter?

While raccoons don’t hibernate, the ones living in cold climates sleep for long periods of time during the winter. They may stay in their dens for several weeks at a time, but on mild days they often wake up and go out in search of food. Once the weather gets cold again, they return to their dens and go back to sleep. 

Raccoons in many parts of Canada have a “winter denning period”, or a period of inactivity that enables them to survive the harsh Canadian winter, when food is scarce. Raccoons also grow a thicker coat of fur to help insulate them in the winter. The fur traps body heat close to the skin and helps keep them warm both in their dens and outside. 

Don’t be alarmed if you see a raccoon roaming around during the winter. These clever creatures are adept at finding food sources and may not have a winter denning period in urban centres or warmer regions, where food is regularly available. Urban raccoons are not above going through your garbage cans or eating any pet food you might keep outside. Simply put, raccoons will take whatever they can get. 

These clever creatures are adept at finding food sources and may not always have a winter denning period in urban centres or warmer regions, where food is regularly available. In addition to munching on your garbage, raccoons will also eat plants, animals, eggs, and insects.