Squirrels As Pets – Is It Good Or Bad For Humans

If you wondering about making squirrels as pets then let me tell you they are cute as animals when you see them from far away they may seem happy and we really want to keep them, let’s talk about them in the below article.

Squirrels as pets are good when you saw them playing in the yard or jumping on trees or eating nuts. Seeing their sweet, and gross actions, you will have many types of thoughts in your mind. And the thought of making them your pet must have come because whenever I see them, it comes to my mind every time. But have you ever contemplated that keeping squirrels as pets could be a bad idea? This article will tell you whether you should keep a squirrel or not. And if yes, what is necessary for his care. 

Squirrels are rodents and belong to the family Sciuridae. Except for some polar regions, this species is widely spread all over the world. They are indigenous to Asia, Africa, and America, and thereafter they were introduced to other parts of earth like Australia by humans. Squirrels are very intelligent, and good entertainers. There are many good as well as bad reasons to not have squirrels as pets. 

Squirrels As Pets

Squirrels As Pets:  Really a Bad Idea

Squirrels are wild animals that make them lousy pets. In many countries, and their states it is illegal to domesticate squirrels. Especially in the United States, some state requires to have a wildlife rehabilitation exercitation while some require to have a license. Here are the top causes to not have squirrels as pets.

Squirrels Are Wild Animals.

I think it is one of the most important reasons that squirrels are bad pets. They are wild animals and want to live in a free area. Where they can collect food for themselves, grow, and reproduce a new generation. They never love to live in a small cage. 

If you are a squirrel lover and want to see them happy, then let them be free. It will be greater than having a squirrel in your house. Although you can feed them or you can enjoy their amazing feats. 

Very sharp squirrel nails

Sharp nails are a gift to squirrels that helps them to get a better grip on tree barks, and allows climbing on them. These nails can destroy your skin, they can go beyond the skin, and leave deep wounds on it. If these nails are dirty, then they can be home to various kinds of germs, which can invite different types of diseases. But this problem can be dealt with by cutting big nails from time to time and taking proper care of them.

Squirrel’s Sharp Teeth

Squirrel’s front teeth, called incisors, grow throughout their entire lifetime. It requires an adequate amount of chewing material to stop their abysmal growth. If you fail to provide an admissible quantity of mumping material, it can be a serious disease to the squirrels. For squirrels, it is difficult to do this by staying inside the household setting. Otherwise, they will start tearing your household products like drywall, furniture, sofa, bedsheet, papers, and other wooden crafts. 

They are not forbidden to bite any other domestic animal or even you. If they get angry or will be provoked, then the first thing that passes through their mind is to bite. Their teeth can raze the skin and can make deep wounds.

Less adaptable

It is hard for a squirrel to easily adapt to a new environment. The consequences will be very bad, they can harm you or can have seizures, or even they can die.

Squirrel Diet

Squirrels mostly feed on calcium and protein-rich food items. They required a natural and balanced diet which is very costly, time-consuming, and impalpable to provide. In the wild, they spent hours accumulating their food. You have to defray your lots of time in purchasing or collecting food from outside, and then cooking or preparing it. 

There will be a huge cost of rupees to meet all the requirements so that they will be able to get the necessary nutrients, and supplements. as compared to their, other pet animals like dogs required a less expensive, and less time-consuming diet. 

Squirrel messes

Squirrels create messes around your house. They liked to keep only his place of living clean, if everything else is bad, then it does not matter to him. They throw dirt on the floor including disliked food, partly eaten crumbs of food, pieces of mashed fruits, and vegetables, nutshells, uneaten or incompletely eaten insects, Crushed household goods, and other wastes. Sometimes they try to poop or pee on the floor by hanging in the side of their cage.

Squirrel Required Bigger Space

If you want to have a squirrel as a pet then you have a very large area to entertain them. Also, they required lots of time outside their cage. squirrels are very energetic and need a huge cage or outside space, so they can lose their energy. It is very obvious, because they are wild animals, and there they are free to move anywhere. They also want you to play with them or entertain them. You have to clean up all the messes they spread when you failed to stimulate or entertain them. 

The Squirrel Owns You

It is quite surprising but doesn’t take it in the wrong sense. I mean to say that a squirrel needs focused care. You can not leave them. If you want to go somewhere outside, you have to hire a house sitter. You cannot leave them alone at home, as you do with your pet dog or cat.

The squirrel does not like strangers
After the age of nine weeks, squirrels don’t accept any visitors. Even they do not allow any pet sitter to come to them, and neither other pets nor out-of-town visitors. Squirrels that have learned to live, and tolerate a human can also do so. However, in some cases, she will not do it as well, it depends on her mood.

Difficult To Train At Home

Although squirrels are very smart mammals but not enough so they can be trained at home. They will poop anywhere they want. it is so vulgar. They can poop or pee even in your bed. But there is an advantage that it is very easy to clean. His poop is just like a hamster’s mouse’s poop: small little pallets. It doesn’t smell bad, and it doesn’t leave any blemish behind it. You can simply pick it up with a broom, tissue, or vacuum cleaner.

Squirrels As Pets: Benefits

It is a little difficult to have adult squirrels as pets. But we can take a sick or small baby to the home. Everyone in my friend circle is an animal lover, and they spend lots of time seeing animal actions. My friend told me that he wants a squirrel at home.

It was a very dazing moment for me because everybody else asks to keep the dog or cat with them. But when I asked him to know the reason for this, he told me that a squirrel comes to his backyard every day. He gives her peanuts or walnuts. Now they both had a good friendship, and he even named her ‘Lilli’. The next morning when I went to his house, he was sitting on his balcony waiting for someone.

I too was watching everything silently without disturbing him. After some time he showed peanuts to someone, and a small squirrel slowly moved towards him, and took peanuts from his hand, and sat on his shoulder. It was a shocking, and thrilling scene for me. Squirrels don’t even wander around me, they just keep going away from me. 

After a few months, he adopted a squirrel, who was admitted to a nearby pet hospital a few days ago. She was injured.  I think she had fallen from a height. He has also named her Lilli. Now he has not one, but two friends whom he can feed nuts. He has given me some reasons why we should keep a squirrel as a pet.

Squirrels Are Smart and Intelligent 

Squirrels are very intelligent mammals. My friend told me that they can solve puzzles. He had bought a lot of puzzles to interact with his dog, his squirrel had solved almost all of them. They can be trained, however, it is hard at home. He has taught her many things like not to cut her fingers while taking food or how to work by the gesture. She also recognizes me and slowly starts playing with me.

Entertaining

Squirrels are really entertaining. They can enhance your mood, and fill your moment with joy. I especially like watching him running around and eating with the sound of kut-kut. If I am at his house, I will always hear a noise that is about to run with small steps. 

She is also very fond of playing with his toys. She throws them to the floor and beats them while playing a wrestling game with them. He says that whenever he sees her doing this, all his tiredness goes away.

Their Pee or Poop is Not so Gross.

Like dogs, cats, and or other domestic animals, squirrel’s poop/pee is not so much or dirty. It doesn’t smell bad. it smells, but it’s like peanut butter: nutty smell. Also, their pee is not so acidic, so it can not damage your wood or anything else. 

Shattered body waste sounds bad for everyone. But the poop of squirrels does not look as dirty as a dog or a cat. They poop as little small pallets, which is easy to clean.

Squirrels Are Delicate Climbers

Along with being pretty, squirrels are very delicate runners or climbers. They do not knock goods down with their tails, just like a cat does. My friend told me that Lilli runs very fast, even without touching anything. That’s why we allow her to roam at home freely.

They are very good friends

People like to keep dogs as pets because they become loyal friends of their owners. The same characteristics are found in squirrels too. They expect you to play with them and entertain them as your friends do. They can take shower with you, Lilli loves to do so. He has also brought a tiny bathtub for her, so they both can enjoy their wash.

Also if Lilli is happy, she can kiss you. She shows her affection towards you. Squirrels have a soft, and long tongue for this. It will be a lovely moment for everyone.

How to Keep a Squirrel As a Pet

How to Keep a Squirrel As a Pet

If you want to domesticate a squirrel, then it will be a big commitment in itself. I will suggest only adopting a squirrel if it is sick, injured, or infant baby. Which means it should have a lack of resources or skill to return to nature. Before adopting, you need to know whether it is legal to adopt squirrels in your area. And even if it is lawful then what is its procedure?

Adhere to the following steps to adopt a squirrel

1. Understand the Relevant Laws

Make sure that it is legal to keep a squirrel in your area. To understand all the rules, you can contact your local district headquarters or municipality office. owning a pet is not legitimate in all municipalities. It is also possible that you should be allowed to stay with them along with the permit. 

According to Animal Welfare Regulations,  in most of the US states, it is illegal to own a pet squirrel. While some state authorities require permits. For example, it is strictly illegal to domesticate any wild animal, that lives naturally in the state.

It is also unlawful to provide shelter to an orphaned, sick, or injured wild animal without having proper licenses, and permits. Even if you find one, you should immediately transport it to the nearest licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Similarly, you should also adopt a squirrel only after taking full knowledge of the rules of your area. Informing rules, and laws to yourselves is the best way to avoid fines. So be careful!

2. Look For Veterinarians

Before investing your money, and time in for searching a squirrel, you should look for a vet. Check all vets in your locality whether they can treat your pet or not. Ask them for their experience in working with exotic or wild animals. 

You can also look for some expertise wildlife rehabilitators near you. Contact them and get advice or guidance about how you can recourse your squirrel in the case of any medical issue.

Remember that if a veterinarian is available near you, then you can consider adopting a squirrel. Do not make any decisions with too much excitement.

3. You Must Have Space

Natively, squirrels are wild animals and they have a very large space there. You also have to make sure that you have enough space so that they can live comfortably. You can buy a big cage for them.

4. Adopt it at the right age.

 Your squirrel’s age is important while you are siphoning them. Because after 9 weeks of age, they do not like to live with any unknown or stranger. If you are adopting them from an organization, then ask them to make sure how old they are. But if the source is unknown, such as you have found it in nature or they were Brought by other pets, then you should consult with a vet to know their exact age.

Squirrel care

Well, you have adopted a squirrel, keeping in mind all local regulations. But one main concern is how you will take care of your pet squirrel. Proper care of squirrels is very much required. Here we are going to give you precise guidance so that you do not have any problem with taking care of them.

1. Identify their age

I had already discussed with you that you should try to adopt a baby squirrel. It will help him to understand you, and get along with you. Their upkeep and food etc. depends according to their age.

A baby squirrel needs intensive care by the age of three months. You can use a squirrel feeder for them, it will ensure that your pet is getting adequate nutrition. Put it in a good location so it can be easy to see, easy to reach, and easy to use.

You can evaluate their age according to their behavior, and appearance as given in the following descriptions.

1 week old: pink body, no hair, no fur, eyes are closed, and about 3 inches long (without including tail)

2 weeks: Eyes are still closed but fur starts growing except underside area

3 weeks: Front teeth are developing, eyes are closed, and grown about four inches long

4 weeks: Eyes are opening, about 5 inches long body, furs are coming to the underside region

5 weeks: Upper front teeth started coming, and nearly 6 inches long

6 weeks: Start holding food in their paws themselves, and can sit up on their own, also back teeth start growing 

7-9 week: 7 to 9 inch long, fully grown furs, getting more active

9-12 weeks: Still shorter than an adult, ready to release outdoor (only if you feel they are healthy), starts learning climbing

Feeding

What to feed your squirrel is a good question because a decent amount of hydration, and nutrients are essential for your pet squirrel to survive. Sufficient hydration is very crucial for a baby squirrel. A saline solution is the best option for them to hydrate competently. Many squirrel rehabilitators recommend feeding squirrel formula or puppy supplemental formula. 

Gently place the formula in your pet’s mouth using a syringe. When you start feeding for the first time, give them a little drop so that they have a chance to taste it better, and they can get excited to eat it. The edge of their mouth is the best place to put the syringe because there is a gap between teeth. Ensure that your squirrel is getting about 5 percent of its total weight at each meal.

You can buy rodent blocks for them. These blocks will help you to meet your pet’s nutritional needs. Many times squirrels don’t show any savor in eating its blocks, try to apply a thin layer of peanut butter on it or sweeten it by rubbing grapes or apples. Replace uneaten or partially eaten blocks daily to prevent germs, and ascertain freshness.

Hydration is an essential part of squirrel feeding. Provide a constant, and adequate supply of clean water to your pet squirrel. Make sure they have access to fresh, and clean water. Clean the water bowl every day, and fill it with new freshwater, you can do this two or three times during the summer months.

An adult squirrel’s diet should include nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, which they found in their natural habitats. For their convenience, you can divide large fruits into small pieces. Although squirrels keep their place clean on their own, you should also take special care that their cage is clean. A table is given below which will suggest what you can feed them.

Fruits Vegetables Nuts Seeds
 apples, grapes, oranges, strawberries, figs, apricots, dates, blueberries carrot, broccoli, spinach, radishes, beans, corns, beans, cabbage, sprouts, root vegetables, cauliflower, peas, celery walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pistachios sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds

Remember 1. Do not feed them any human formula, cow milk, or other milk substitutes.

  1. Give them corn, seeds, and nuts in a limit. Too much intake of these can become responsible for nutritional disorders such as metabolic bone disease.
  2. Provide your squirrels with enough chewing material, it will help them to sharpen their teeth, and prevent them from growing.

Living Environment

Buy a big and suitable cage. Its length, width, and height should be 60 cm each minimum. If it is bigger then it will be better. Squirrels are very active animals and required to move around. There should also be some covered points in that cage so that whenever they want, they can hide in it. Squirrels have very sharp, and strong teeth, try to buy a metal cage instead of wood or plastic.

Provide a nest box for your pet squirrel. Squirrels prefer a safe, and comfortable place to sleep than whether they are in open nature or captivity. Put a cardboard box inside the cage, and make sure that the entry hole is wide enough so that they can go in, and out easily. Similarly, you can buy a wooden nesting box from a local pet shop. 

Give them things to climb on. Just like squirrels do in their natural environment, keep giving them something as they do emulation, like you can give them wooden blocks, strong branches, broken household items, or any hanging toys. Install some branches or wooden blocks inside their cage.

Try to place the cage next to a window. The cage placed in front of the window allows them to reach the direct sun. Sunlight is vital for every living being. Whenever it is possible, open that window so that the pet squirrel can experience the environment, winds, and sounds outside.

Provide soft bedding material. A comfortable, and soft material should be placed in the nesting box of your squirrel. Avoid using terry-cloth or old towels, as squirrel nails can get entrapped in the fabric loops of this cloth. Even your homes have some better options, such as an old T-shirt, scattered newspaper, or a fleece blanket.

Remember: Wash the blanket/T-shirt or change the shredded paper once a week.

Keeping Them Safe, and healthy

You are giving sufficient nutrients, and minerals to your pet squirrel, yet regular check-up is also very important. You must take them to the vet every half or a year. Take care of one thing very well that any vet you are going to is experienced, that is, he has worked with any exotic, and wild animals before that.

Strictly follow all the treatments, care, diet, and precautions suggested by the veterinarian. Also, take tour squirrel immediately to a vet If it displays signs of illness.

Wrap up 

I hope you get the answer on “Squirrels As Pets” and if you want to read check more articles below.

Why Do Owls Have Big Eyes

Why Do Dogs Bark At Night


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