How to Take Care of a Baby Squirrel
In order to avoid putting your baby squirrel in harm’s way, you can play a video of it crying in your phone. This can attract the mother to come and take care of her babies. When recording the video, you must remain out of sight and turn off the phone’s ringer. It may take some time for the mother to come and move the babies, so be patient. After recording the video, make sure to move away from the squirrel’s den.
Avoid treating a baby squirrel like a pet
To avoid treating a baby squirrel like a pet, the first thing you must do is to clean it thoroughly. You should use a warm, soapy washcloth to gently clean the baby squirrel’s face and nose. Next, use a Q-tip to stimulate the genital area. Remember, baby squirrels are not able to produce heat on their own, so you must stimulate their body temperature as often as possible.
Keeping a squirrel is not an easy task. They can be destructive and aggressive if not handled properly. In addition, you need to be prepared to keep them for the long term. Once they reach their adult size, they will likely become aggressive and begin to tear up the house. Cage-training a baby squirrel can lead to violence and pain. Despite its cute appearance, squirrels are not meant to be house pets.
Careful feeding is vital for a squirrel’s health. It’s tempting to feed your squirrels too much nuts, but this could cause health problems. Squirrels need a balance of nutrients, especially calcium and magnesium, to survive. Giving them too much food can lead to sudden seizures, paralysis, and even death. Providing a nutritious diet will prevent many of these dangers. Also, don’t feed your squirrels junk food, such as cookies, cereal, and other types of processed foods. Moreover, do not leave their food in their habitat for more than a few hours, as this may lead to diseases.
Avoid feeding a baby squirrel Esbilac formula
If you find a baby squirrel that needs a feeding, the first step is to get the right formula. Esbilac Powder is highly digestible, so you can be sure that your new pet squirrel will receive high-quality nutrition. In addition, Esbilac is a highly palatable liquid, which makes it an ideal choice for pre-weaned pups. Female squirrels nurse their newborns for about two weeks, and at that time, the baby will triple in size and have hair on its naked body.
You can get Esbilac in powder or premixed form. It is better to use powder form since it is easier on the baby’s digestive system. When mixing the formula, use one part powder and four parts water. This way, you will get the right consistency of the formula. You can also use a strainer to remove lumps from the liquid. If you want to make Esbilac yourself, mix one part powder with two parts water.
After the baby squirrel is washed with a soft washcloth and warm water, you can stimulate it to pee and urinate. Wiping the abdomen with a wet cloth simulates the mother’s tongue petting the baby. Once the baby has completed the process, you can stimulate it for several minutes. You can repeat this until the baby squirrel is completely devoid of urine. If this does not work, try removing the baby squirrel from the bottle and then using the washcloth or Q-tip to gently stimulate its genitals.
Help a baby squirrel eliminate waste after every feeding
The first time you see a baby squirrel, it will be black and have a well-formed body. The baby squirrel will need some help eliminating waste. Rub his or her genitals with a damp cloth for about 60 seconds. The urine should be light yellow. If the urine is dark, the baby squirrel has held his or her waste too long and needs more stimulation. If the urine is thick and dark, the baby squirrel may be dehydrated and needs rehydrating formula. A normal bowel movement is soft and deep yellow.
After each feeding, you can help the baby squirrel eliminate waste by stimulating urination. A two-week-old squirrel requires three or four hours of care after every feeding. A three to four-week-old squirrel needs feeding every three to four hours. A five or six-week-old baby squirrel may not require a feeding at night. In the early days of life, the baby needs help eliminating waste so that the eyes do not close and it will be able to go on its own.
If the baby squirrel is still young, it might have developed a fear of humans and come to you for a snack. During this period, the squirrel will approach you and may climb up your legs to explore you. You must not breathe back in the formula because it could lead to pneumonia. In such situations, you must immediately stop feeding the squirrel and wipe off the formula with a clean tissue. If this happens frequently, you should seek medical attention. The baby squirrel may need to be treated with antibiotics.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.