Taking Care of a Baby Squirrel
You will have to keep in mind a few important tips when taking care of a baby squirrel. For example, you should always pick it up with a soft cloth and not a paper towel, which can catch its nails and dehydrate it. A nest box may also be made of a small plastic container with the lid off, and soft clothing can be used as a temporary source of heat. You can also keep a heating source handy in case the squirrel gets cold. But remember to check the temperature of the baby squirrel periodically to ensure that it remains normal.
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If you have a baby squirrel, rehydration can be difficult. Several signs of dehydration can be obvious, including pale gums, dry skin, lack of appetite, and lethargy. If you see any of these signs, you should immediately give it a dose of Pedialyte. Your baby squirrel may also show signs of aspiration, which occurs when a squirrel drinks too quickly and aspirates fluid into its lungs or nose. This could lead to pneumonia.
After syringing the fluid into the baby squirrel’s mouth, you should gently press the tip of the syringe onto the squirrel’s lips and squeeze. If the baby is too young to drink, squeeze the syringe for one second. If the baby is old enough, he or she will be able to take one syringeful at a time.
The next step in rehydrating a baby squirrel is raising its blood sugar levels. A high-fructose solution, such as Pedialyte, should be given in small doses. Pedialyte should be mixed with water before feeding the squirrel. Avoid using Pedialyte for more than 24 hours. The animal should be kept warm in the care of a veterinarian.
If you’ve discovered a baby squirrel, you probably want to make him as comfortable as possible. You can do this by keeping the baby squirrel warm by placing a heating pad underneath the box and a water bottle underneath the other half. You can also provide an electrolyte replacer, such as Pedialyte (c), to help the baby squirrel recover from dehydration. If you’ve discovered a squirrel in your yard that’s injured, seek professional help.
To warm up your baby squirrel, you should place the nesting pouch near a tree or other place where the mother may visit. The box should be large enough to allow mother squirrel to enter and exit. Place a heating source nearby the box if the babies’ eyes are closed. For this, you can place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or soft cloth. Before using the heating pad, test its temperature first.
Once the baby squirrel is warm, you should clean its body and ensure that there are no injuries. Then, wash the body with blue Dawn soap or Instant Shampoo, a no-rinse formula that dissolves dirt and oils and deodorizes the squirrel’s fur. Make sure to check for parasites. A Q-tip can also stimulate the genital area. Several helpful videos can be found on the internet.
Releasing a baby squirrel after it has acclimatized
Releasing a baby squirrel after it acclimates to its new home is a delicate process. After a few weeks of acclimatization, it will be ready for release. Make sure the baby squirrel is at least 4 months old and that the release site has plenty of fruit trees and no apparent threats. Fill the pet carrier with small pieces of material such as bird netting, chicken wire, or old window screens. Place a mineral stone near the pet carrier. The squirrel will lick the stone for essential minerals.
First, warm the baby squirrel. If the temperature is too cold for the baby to survive, it will succumb to hypothermia, a potentially deadly condition. Luckily, babies are not usually mobile at this age. A small, dark box will work perfectly. Place the box over a heating pad or near a heater, as these sources of heat will help the baby squirrel to stay warm. Make sure the box has ventilation holes on both sides. Make sure the baby squirrel is recovered early in the morning before release day.
Once the baby squirrel is acclimatized to its new home, it is time to release it. Make sure to carefully assess the condition of the baby and whether the mother is capable of taking care of it. The wildlife authority is a great resource for orphaned animals and can help you find a place for the baby squirrel. It can be difficult to care for a baby squirrel in a cage if it is already injured or is unfamiliar with human contact.
What are some basic needs of a baby squirrel?
A baby squirrel needs a warm and safe place to nest access to fresh water and a diet of mostly insects and nuts.
How often should you feed a baby squirrel?
A baby squirrel should be fed every two to three hours.
What kind of milk is best for a baby squirrel?
Goat’s milk is the best milk for a baby squirrel.
How do you know if a baby squirrel is sick?
If a baby squirrel is lethargic has diarrhea or is rejecting food it may be sick.
How do you care for a baby squirrel with diarrhea?
Diarrhea in a baby squirrel can quickly lead to dehydration so it is important to give the squirrel access to fresh water and see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How do you care for a baby squirrel with wooly fur?
If a baby squirrel has wooly fur it needs to be kept warm and dry.
The best way to do this is to put the squirrel in a container with a warm wet towel.
What kind of container is best for a baby squirrel?
A container with high sides and a wire mesh lid is best for a baby squirrel.
How do you make a nest for a baby squirrel?
To make a nest for a baby squirrel line a container with a soft material like a towel or cloth.
How do you know when a baby squirrel is ready to be released?
A baby squirrel is ready to be released when it is eating on its own is able to climb and has fur that is not wet or matted.
How do you release a baby squirrel?
The best way to release a baby squirrel is to let it go in an area where there are trees.
How do you care for a baby squirrel with mange?
If a baby squirrel has mange it needs to be treated by a veterinarian.
What should you do if you find a baby squirrel?
If you find a baby squirrel the best thing to do is to call a wildlife rehabilitator.
What should you not do if you find a baby squirrel?
If you find a baby squirrel you should not try to care for it yourself.
Why is it important to call a wildlife rehabilitator if you find a baby squirrel?
Wildlife rehabilitators are trained to care for baby squirrels and give them the best chance of survival.
What is the best way to prevent baby squirrels from getting into your yard?
The best way to prevent baby squirrels from getting into your yard is to keep trees trimmed and to seal any holes in your home.
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.