6 Essential Tips For Keeping Squirrels As Pets


6 Essential Tips For Keeping Squirrels As Pets

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Can squirrels be kept as pets? This is a common query posed to veterinarians. The simplest response is that you shouldn’t try to catch and keep an adult squirrel. They are born in the wild and are incredibly challenging to domesticate.

However, after being abandoned by their mothers or suffering injuries, infant squirrels are occasionally found in the wild and saved. A veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator can take care of these and nurture the baby to healthful adulthood before releasing it into the woods in a safe manner.

Squirrel breeders often offer their young for sale as pets to people who are game for the endeavor. It is a good idea to learn what is required to raise healthy, well-adapted baby squirrels as pets before making this choice. They will need more attention because they are neither as independent or as placid as cats or dogs.

Set Up A Cage

If you want to keep squirrels as pets, you will need to create or build a substantial cage for their habitation. In mild weather, the cage may be maintained indoors or outside. Squirrels want a tidy living environment and will throw trash like toys or leftover food out of the cage. To keep it out of the cage’s interior, they would even urinate and defecate on the sides of the enclosure. To capture any spillover, you might wish to place newspaper or a tarp under the cage.

Outdoor cages need to be shielded from the elements and covered during inclement weather, such as hail, snow, and strong winds. It is usually better to partially cover the cage with a heavy cloth if it is situated in a drafty area, such as a shed or barn, to keep the heat in when the temperature drops.

Baby survival depends on body heat. Under a soft blanket used as bedding, put a warming blanket or heating pad set to about 100 degrees. If the infant tries to move away and cool off, the other section of the bedding should stay cool because the heating cushion should only be placed under part of the bedding. A small animal pouch, such as those used for possums, will also aid in keeping the infant warm. Baby squirrels cannot digest food when they are cold, so if one does get chilled, wait to feed it until its body temperature returns to normal.

As you would for other domestic pets like hamsters or gerbils, keep the cage tidy.

Provide Play Time

Provide Play Time

Allow the squirrel to spend a few hours each day outside of its cage. It is beneficial for their physical development and feeling of adventure to scamp around the house or other designated area. Because squirrels are swift, prepare the area with locked entryways so the rodents cannot quickly flee.

Allowing pets in shared areas should be done with caution. Even if a wild animal is born in confinement, you can never predict how it would behave. Additionally, you can’t predict how your typically affectionate cat or dog would respond to a new, utterly foreign, and likely unwanted, pet in your home. Keep small children away from the cage since managing squirrels properly requires special training.

Feed Squirrels Appropriately

Squirrels should be fed a good and balanced diet, despite the fact that it may seem natural to give them snacks like those found in parks or campers. They enjoy unhealthy meals much like young children do, so you’ll need to carefully arrange their menus. The neighborhood vet can give you advice on the best squirrel pet food options now on the market. As an alternative, certain types of greens and natural foods like nuts and berries are advantageous. You should take the time to learn what and how much to feed your squirrel.

Babies need frequent tiny feedings of a special milk-like formula administered via syringe. They typically need six feedings a day beginning at three weeks of age, and by eight weeks they are beginning to eat solid food. They can acquire diarrhea and perhaps pass away if they don’t receive the proper nutrition.

Through a plastic tube and syringe linked to the cage, fresh water may be given. Some pet parents place a tiny bowl of water in the cage’s base, but the squirrel will probably make a mess of it. Put something underneath the water dish to catch any spills or drips.

Take Safety Precautions

Take Safety Precautions

However, when necessary, these abilities employed for food preparation can also be used as weapons. Nothing in the house is truly safe because squirrels gnaw on objects both to explore and to eat, including drywall and electrical cords.

In the same way, energetic squirrels that jump onto your lap could unintentionally cause scratches or even cuts that require cleaning and disinfection. Again, exercise caution while around other animals or young children, since squirrels do not hold back on their use of teeth and claws. Some pet owners protect themselves from scratches by donning mitt-like gloves when handling their animals, while others dress in protective clothing.

Can you pet a squirrel? Decide for yourself! Just bear in mind that maintaining a squirrel as a home pet takes a lot of work. Consult a rehabilitator for assistance in releasing your squirrel into the woods if you decide it’s not for you.

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Can a squirrel trust you?

As a dependable source of food, the squirrels will come to rely on you. Make a secure outdoor area, such a porch nook or a garden. Try to feed them at the same time each day to prevent them from wandering off in search of treats.

Do squirrels trust humans?

They’re Nice Little Guys.” Only a small percentage of wild animals are comfortable approaching people. However, squirrels are mostly amiable animals. Many are used to being close to people; some will even eat right off of their hands! Jul 6, 2017

Do squirrels recognize their family members?

A squirrel’s nose is very acute. According to studies by psychologist Jill M., they are so perceptive that they can identify their relatives only by sniffing them.

Do squirrels recognize individual people?

Not only do squirrels identify people, but they can also be trained to approach food when it is constantly presented. However, that does not imply that you should always provide food.

Can squirrels bond with humans?

Orphaned squirrels have been reared by people in a number of reported instances, and in most cases they were then released back into the wild. Although they may not be particularly sociable, squirrels born in the wild do appear to remember their human hosts. In rare instances, they even come back to get in touch with their human rescuers.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author