Do raccoons wash their food?
Many people wrongly believe raccoons “wash” their food. Others have stated that this behavior is only something observed with captive raccoons, related to their instinct to search in crevices between rocks in streams and creeks for crayfish and other goodies. Still others say they are not really “washing” but do this to moisten their food. (Despite what these people may have heard, raccoons DO have salivary glands.) And some people mistakenly think raccoons must be very clean animals because they wash their food. From my personal observations, all are wrong! Raccoons will put their food in water. True. However, they will do this even if the water is the same water they just went to the bathroom in. (Raccoons love going potty in water bowls – that’s why my rehabs have a water bottle and a litter box .) I have observed my rehabs out in the woods. They will “wash” their food in the dirt. This has nothing to do with cleaning or moistening it or captive behavior. I believe it to be instinct