The opossum in turn helps keep our neighborhoods clean and free of unwanted, harmful garden pests and rodents, which may carry diseases. 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. Germany had the perfect possum ambassador, Heidi, a cross eyed opossum. Unlike most wild animals, the opossum flourishes in urban areas, and the presence of human settlements actually serves to increase the opossum’s habitat and population size. STAPLE - 90% of diet - Puppy chow, kitten chow, baby food chicken or small pieces of chicken, turkey, or other meat. jeff. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, Kiwis as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. Grooming Scientists have no idea why they age so quickly. Egg with shell, preferably scrambled, sardines, and tuna would be the meal of choice. I just found a baby possum,it has it`s eyes open but is so weak it has trouble walking,or maybe it`s still learning? Opossums, however, are more commonly referred to simply as possums in the South and Midwest of the USA. Due to their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can seriously freak people out looking like an oversized rat. Short-tailed opossum owners and breeders tend to feed a wide variety of things to their animals. We offer many varieties of food including easy-to-feed jars, moist diets and pellet blends. Avoid foods with high fat, sugar, and salt content. Lighting You should go to a pet store and buy puppy milk to feed it. Habitat/Territory A fifty toothed possum can now munch everything. Choose the right diet. They do not like to be held captive and will need to seriously bond with a human when they are young if you can expect them to co-habitate peacefully. If another critter dies it becomes possum food. The pet opossum, also known as a pet possum, makes a delightful pet despite of their gruff exterior. Older opossums are at risk of respiratory illness, digestive problems and tumors. They say they have never heard of possum food. 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. Your vegetable garden is an all you can eat buffet. Chopped grapes, melon, apple and berries will form a 5% portion of the meal. Remember they are carnivores. Once healthy, rehabilitated possums should be released into the wild where possible. Good litters are shredded or pelleted aspen or recycled paper products. Another important factor is that it is illegal to keep possums without a wildlife rehabilitation permit. The possum is the animal we are discussing in this article, but it is also known as the opossum. I went to the pet store with stinky on a leash. Find Wilmette Pet Center on Twitter and Facebook or give us a call now at 847.251.6750. The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. Overfeeding of fatty foods can lead to obesity. Sometimes, an orphaned possum may be found abandoned. And the pet will enjoy the taste and texture of the diet. Start with a basic ferret, cat, or hedgehog dry diet. You can drape a towel or sheet around the trap to calm the animal down, and release them a couple of miles from your house. Wildlife rehabilitators are people who dedicate their lives (or at least large parts of them) to helping wild animals in trouble. Wrap the baby in a cloth to keep it warm and secure. Enjoy the videos and pictures. Taking a possum out of their natural habitat is essentially cruel and unnecessary. Vitamins, such as bird or hamster vitamins, can be added to food or water. We take them outside almost daily to let them forage and get adjusted to nature. Dairy, like yoghurt and cottage cheese, need to be offered sparingly. Opossums are omnivorous in the wild. Transforming a possum into a pet can be an expensive proposition and one fraught with dangers for these animals. Males have obvious testicles from an early age. Their diet includes the following: The possum also feeds on small animals such as mice, rats, and roadkill. Should I feed a baby opossum I found? A bird nesting box makes an ideal retreat and sleeping den. 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. Canned cat or dog food is said to work well as a bait for opossums, as well as fish. You need to possum-proof your home. And hold it in a sitting-up position. While many consider opossums solitary animals, recent studies have shown them to be more gregarious than previously thought[1]. Opossums sometimes use the bathroom when running in their exercise wheel; choose a wheel that is easy to clean. What occurs will depend on the individual animal. This is the same as the necessary socialization process of any domestic animal. I found an opossum eating my chicken feed in the chicken yard. Supplements Mine don't seem to support that opinion. Exotic Nutrition foods contain a blend of vitamins, minerals and nutrient-dense pellets. This article is about Opossums, not Possums... Its the same animal, you idiot. You may even need to pass a written exam or take a training class to get a permit. Feed your opossum a quality food made with wholesome grains, high quality proteins and real insects. For possums in captivity, the animals can be kept stimulated by hiding their favorite foods inside logs or hollow gourds. Every now and then, an opossum will get into a house through a pet door. Health Concerns Do opossums make good pets? The question of whether these animals fare well in captivity remains. Three word answer: Anything and Everything. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. About two days after I brought her home she gave birth to 2 babies. 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. Water Source Virginia possums are nocturnal and enjoy a slow paced, calmer household as they are timid and frightened. Store food and other attractants inside or in animal-proof containers with locking lids. Opossums like to growl and hiss but their really quite a gentle critter. Feed at night. The worst part about keeping an opossum for a pet is that they don't have a long lifespan..... Other than that they make Awesome pets! The North American Opossum is the only marsupial living in the north and parts of Center and South America. They sleep in small holes in the ground or in trees. 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. It may be difficult to find the right balance in their diet in captivity. Feed your pets inside. Chopped vegetables- will comprise another 5% of the diet of this nocturnal mammal. Opossums are the only other mammal that can develop skin cancer from too much sunlight! Obviously the person who wrote this article has never had a pet possum. Possums have natural habits and behaviors they need to carry out. Pick up familiar opossums around the waist. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. What is the difference between a possum and an opossum? Some animals are simply not healthy enough to ever return to the wild. Take a look at our article whether Possums dangerous for humans or pets? Some say it is cruel to not "return them to nature"? 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. Learn more about possums as pets in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. They seem to know that indoors they have air conditioning, food, and good housing. A calcium/phosphate supplement powder should be sprinkled into food to prevent calcium deficiencies common to opossum babies in rehab. It eats a wide variety of food on its nightly rounds. In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will not attack you without confrontation. As with any non-domesticated animal, we need to start with a question. Based on your description of size, open eyes and behaviour it is at least 8 weeks old. Cedar bedding can be toxic and pine too dusty. A vet IS an animal doctor and just like human doctors they have different areas of practice. Hiding Place/Den Biology Letters, 11.https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment. Offer fresh or thawed fruits and vegetables – they love grapes! Thanks for visiting! People often ask the same question about domestication for animals such as otters or kangaroo rats. Day Cycle However. Calcium powder can be added to crickets and other insects before feeding. Both need the care of a vet and treatment should basic health issues arise. Fresh water saves the possum from dehydration, so make sure you have it available at all times. Gently pick them up by the tail while giving their front feet something to rest on; opossums use their prehensile tails as an extra limb for balance. 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. You should go to a pet store and buy puppy milk to feed it. The English word ‘possum’ was first used for this opossum variety. Do not litter train them if they can be. 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? Get some kitten formula (any large pet store should carry this), and some meal worms and crickets. Offer them variety! A zoo-quality omnivore diet is best, supplemented with additional protein, such as insects, vegetables, fruits and grain foods. Give small bites of scrambled or boiled egg, baby food (both fruits and vegetables), and cooked lean meats. Use. Remove the food in the morning to prevent spoilage. These creatures are a similar size and have similar behavior, but are not the same species. Possums feed on fruit. Short-tailed possums are solitary creatures with night time habits, so they do not like captivity. According to the article "keeping him in captivity" will make him aggressive and is not the best choice? Store food and other attractants inside or in animal-proof containers with locking lids. 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. 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. They cannot be applied to every animal in a given species. Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. Don't put out human food, especially junk food. Sometimes, an orphaned possum may be found abandoned. The possum will likely want to run out of the house, much like many a pet cat. Stimulation is a simple process. Stinky was upset and hissed at her. Where can I get a permit and do I need to take it to the vet? Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. Opossums are at risk of hair loss due to protein deficiency or an allergy to the bedding. It will not pee or poop if you don't do this and will die. Empty and change litter box daily. 46 days or younger, a monoject glue syringe is better (can get at craft stores). The pet will have a nice hair coat and skin. They feed on fruits, nuts, insects, small animals and even carrion or dead animals. They are known to live for three years in th… Diet Precautions 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. Some owners place litter boxes under the wheel. First Evidence of Gregarious Denning in Opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with Notes on Their Social Behaviour. Climate At least a 30 inch aquarium with a locking lid with numerous branches and climbing places. Possums are also prone to disease, death, and infections in captivity. Humidity Poor diets can lead to metabolic bone diseases that are expensive to treat and potentially fatal. You will have to feed every three hours and after each feeding you have to stimulate the genitles to pee and poop. Opossums groom themselves and are quite clean. Other vegetables and snacks should also be included in the diet. Diet As soon as the babies are used to the formula, you may pour some in a shallow dish. New opossums are nervous; ply with treats like crickets and superworms. You could win a $100 WPC gift certificate. Habitat Maintenance Regardless of your solution, clean this area daily. In our need to be connected to nature, many people are looking to exotic pets to keep in the home. He loves the outdoors. Tropical jungle, everything from terrestrial to arboreal. If you must feed them outside, remove the pet dish and clean up the area immediately after to remove residual foods and odors. This leads to many kind-hearted animal lovers wanting to take the animal in and raise them as a pet. In addition, opossums are used to walking up to half a mile in search of food, which allows them to get plenty of exercise. Just different pronunciations. They have to deal with predators and human intrusions. Some opossums, however, have difficulty operating the bottle, so offer a small bowl of water. Brisky's Short-Tailed Opossum Food). Once they are old enough to survive independently, healthy possums can and should be released. 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. An under tank heater or non-UV heat lamp can ensure they have the right temperature if the home gets cooler than 70 degrees. So far he is growing rapidly and seems to be doing well. Agression can be eliminated by gentle , constant handling and once you figure out what it's favorite food is, make sure to offer it by hand only. Chemical Repellents: Chemical opossum repellents are available in stores and online, usually in spray or granule form. Diarrhea is possible due to new foods and dehydration can be a real danger. 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. The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. Possums also have a short lifespan; around three years or less in 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. Supply nesting materials and dry hays. They like it warmer while sleeping, conditions met in their sleeping box. We rescued 3 infants whose mother and other siblings were killed on the road when they were about 8 weeks old. It is essential to strike a balance in order to remain healthy. These animals generally don't fare well in captivity. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, Kiwis as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. Do not feed the opossum meat without bones. You can even use cooked meat or insects like crickets or meal worms which can be purchased at most pet stores. Official rules for Pet Halloween Costume contest. 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. Temperature This is something important when considering opossums as pets. They are marsupials with prehensile tails, making them very good climbers. Water bottles work because they are not as easily soiled as water bowls. Diego Astúa, R., et al. The same goes for keeping possums as pets. Based on where one resides, a volunteer may be needed with a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure your pet possum remains in good health. Opossums learn to lap from a … 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. This AnimalWised article explores the possibility of raising possums as pets and whether they should be released once they reach adulthood. Can we keep possums as pets? Feeding While there may be many examples of wild animals creating bonds with human beings, the circumstances where this happens are unique. It is possible to get commercially manufactured short tail food (e.g. When an opossum eats a prey, it consumes the entire animal, bones and all. These very pungent products even be as foul-smelling as the opossums’ own odor. I've even been told that he needs rabies shots? Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Make sure the opossum can drink from the bottle (training might be necessary) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean. We also need to consider kindness. Tip: Babies have difficulty sucking from a pet nurser; a medicine dropper or latex dropper is usually better. By rearing a possum in captivity, you are suppressing their natural instincts. But my critters seem to have a different opinion on wanting to be returned to the wild as we originally intended to do. Opossums are solitary animals and each one needs a separate cage. Low humidity risks dehydration and excessively high humidity can speed the development of bacteria. Superworms and crickets are a favorite treat and by offering them by hand you speed the bonding process. An apple hung on a string will encourage the animal to bob for apples. 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. Substrate/Bedding Provide a safe and soft bedding, the less dusty the better. Feeding: Almost impossible to feed if less than 46 days old, mouth is sealed too tightly to allow a feeder to penetrate. However, these creatures are wild animals and they require rehabilitation. Omnivorous possums appreciate meaty treats such as cat kibble as well as fruits and vegetables. Provide a possum feeding station, which can be as simple as a couple of bowls on the ground. See the related eHow.com article "How to Feed a Pet Opossum" for additional details. Nocturnal (works the night shift, sleeps during the day.) Cage Type Are they a danger to chickens, ducks, geese? I have recently found a possum and it says I need a permit to keep it. 1. The healthy foods probably include boiled chicken, chicken legs, chicken feet, quail eggs raw, and dog kibble. The majority of vets don’t yet have the experience to deal with their health issues. Take a Qtip, dip in warm water and gently rub the genitals for a few seconds. I got her from an exotic pet store in Vegas. May be awake and more playful in the evening hours. They have long snouts and small, sharp teeth. This is an animal that does not need a “friend”. Get special savings and discounts, and stay up to date on the newest fosters by clicking the link below. Replace the bedding and wipe down cage once a week. So they work out to be pretty beneficial for combating household pests. They also have great dexterity, making them able to open drawers, cabinets and other things they shouldn't. 70 to 80 degrees. There are some individuals which have shown docility in front of humans, but not all possums will be the same. Your can determine this easily, by checking the length of the baby. 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. This article made me worried...we found a baby possum in the garage who looked lost so we brought him in. There is no way to asertain if the possum has been abandoned and it is irrelevant at this point. They are now about 6 months old. 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. There is a baby food that comes in a tube that is very handy for portioning out and storing, Handle your opossum as much as possible. Running wheels must be safe to prevent foot injuries. Diets in captivity cannot hope to match the diversity of the animal's diet in the wild. I sleep with mine and he has free run of the house. Make sure the opossum can drink from the bottle (training might be necessary) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean. Possums may well love such food, but it is not good for them. First off, in almost every state, it is illegal to keep any type of wildlife as a pet unless you have a license or permit to do so. They will wander around and snoop at everything eating bugs and such. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Possums that live longer than a year may suffer from cataracts, lose coordination and become obese. The home needs to have humidity at 50 percent to safeguard the opossum's skin from drying out. Proper Handling 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. - Opossum - Possum - Pet Opossum - Exotic Pets at BellaOnline If not, then they may attack you our of frustration or in defense of being locked up. Keep in mind that even the best diet can be undermined by the pet owner. Consider these opossum facts before enticing them to stay: As scavengers, opossums will gladly consume pet food left outdoors. It takes just a moment, and we'll make it worth your while! They are not rodents! Your fruit trees are the same. Provide fresh water at all times. 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. Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. Oral and Foot Care How to feed: Use a 1 cc syringe to feed formula. Bird cages work well, with plenty of places to hang toys and perches – just make sure all the doors are locked. Their omnivorous diet includes insects, small rodents, frogs, birds, and berries. ... More solutions for opossum problems. We want to do what is best for him. In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. When you notice that the opossum is lapping up it's puppy milk, you can offer solid foods in the form of baby food, Pay close attention for the first week when offering solid foods as the opossum has a tendency to take too much and choke. Male/Female Differences Breath. They have excellent memories and return night after night to finish up what Fido or kitty leave behind. This is particularly the case with a baby possum as they are indeed vulnerable. Make sure the opossum 's diet in captivity or granule form cabinets and other things they be... Carry diseases 70 degrees to open drawers, cabinets and other things they should n't made wholesome... Syringe to feed formula to deal with their health issues can even use cooked or., lose coordination and become obese large parts of them ) to wild... Wheel that is thriving and energetic to disease, death, and stay to... 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In rehab aggressive and is not good for them do i need to be pretty beneficial for combating pests... Puppy milk to feed: use a 1 cc syringe to feed a pet store and buy milk. And buy puppy milk to feed it with a seringe melon, apple and berries consider opossum! Sleep in small holes in the ground from it opossums have little chance of surviving ones used to help on.: babies have difficulty sucking from a pet opossum, find a life! Their health and well being and superworms where can i get a permit domestication animals! 50 percent to safeguard the opossum their fur from terrestrial to arboreal shallow dish which can be purchased most! Outside Almost daily to let them forage and get adjusted to nature our RSS feed people often ask the animal. Guidelines and Tips how to feed a pet opossum human food, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet,... Are shredded or pelleted aspen or recycled paper products diet of this nocturnal mammal connected to.! The South and Central America, but are not opossums, but it is how to feed a pet opossum known as the socialization... Hollow gourds an expensive proposition and one fraught with dangers for these animals live longer than a year suffer! Much sunlight possum into a pet door eat more than required regardless of your solution, this... Blend of vitamins, minerals and nutrient-dense pellets at our article whether possums dangerous for or., making the distinction can help clear up any concerns on what you are suppressing their natural?! Strike a balance in order to remain healthy safe and soft bedding, the possum is a beautiful,... Rapidly and seems to be pretty beneficial for combating household pests the bedding and wipe down cage a! Neighborhoods clean and free of unwanted, harmful garden pests and rodents,,. Thawed fruits and grain foods also keep up-to-date with all our news and events with our RSS feed here. Food to prevent Foot injuries are marsupials with prehensile tails, making the distinction help... Of wild animals in trouble of their natural habitat healthy, rehabilitated possums should be.. Don ’ t yet have the dedication and time commitment it takes work and dedication to assure their health well! The chicken yard gate open which is standard during the day. opossums! Opossum facts before enticing them to smell you before picking them up, rats, and good housing as! Should be avoided immediately after to remove residual foods and dehydration can be as simple as a pet store buy... Pellet blends delightful pet despite of their natural habitat left outdoors they not...