How to Look After a Baby Squirrel
When you find a baby squirrel, you’ll likely want to know how to care for it. You should keep it warm, avoid feeding it, and monitor its whereabouts, and remember that a squirrel is not a pet. But you can help keep it alive and healthy by taking a few basic steps. Here are a few of the most important things to do. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy spending time with your new friend!
Avoid treating a baby squirrel like a pet
Before you start to feed your new squirrel, you should know a few important things about the animal. First of all, squirrels need to chew on sticks to prevent their teeth from growing into their skulls. Try to find a stick that’s a little firmer than the usual pet food. You can also give them a few grape halves or a piece of avocado. Do not give them seeds or pecan branches, as these are not nutritious for them.
If you find a baby squirrel in the wild, you should take it to a Wildlife Rehabilitator as soon as possible. Incorrect care could lead to death. You should always wear gloves when handling a wild animal, and do not leave an injured animal unattended on the ground. If the squirrel is injured, bring it to a licensed rehabber as soon as possible. Some squirrels can be saved by proper care, but others may be euthanized to prevent suffering.
Keep a baby squirrel warm
If you want to keep a baby squirrel warm, you should be sure that it is at a comfortable temperature. A baby squirrel needs a temperature around 99 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. The baby needs warmth to digest its fluids. A heating pad may help. A hot water bottle can be placed inside a sock or between two layers of soft cloth. The heat source should be checked regularly. The temperature of the squirrel should not exceed 99 degrees, and the baby should not be overheated.
After the temperature of the baby squirrel reaches a reasonable range, you can put a tee shirt or a soft cloth over it. This will warm the squirrel’s body temperature. Unlike human babies, mother squirrels do not recognize abnormal body temperatures. The colder the outside of the nest, the faster the baby will cool down. So, be sure to keep the baby squirrel warm at all times.
Avoid feeding it
It is important to follow the correct procedure when feeding a baby squirrel. The nipple of the syringe must be pressed against the squirrel’s mouth while the baby is tilted forward. Care must be taken to avoid aspirating the liquid as it will bubble up and out of the nose. Using an eyedropper or a baby bottle will help in the process. Be sure not to place the nipple directly on the squirrel’s lips or tongue. This will make it easier for the baby to swallow the liquid.
If you find a baby squirrel in a tree, you can record its cry on your phone and play it back to attract the mother. The baby squirrel will likely move to the tree when the mom hears it. However, you must remain out of sight. You should also turn off the ringer of your phone. Mom will likely come back soon after a while, so it may take some time for her to move the babies.
Avoid keeping track of a baby squirrel
If you’ve ever seen a baby squirrel, it’s a great opportunity to observe how the squirrel cares for its young. While you can try to hold the baby squirrel and avoid touching it, don’t get too close! Mother squirrels often reclaim their young as soon as they’re mobile enough to leave their nest. Avoid touching the baby until it’s old enough to leave by itself, and be sure to stay out of the mother’s sight when handling the baby.
In addition to preventing human contact, keep the squirrel’s cage as quiet and warm as possible. It needs more room to move around and play. Consider using a large dog-sized pet carrier with a small window, which has a hanging water bottle and soft bedding. Be sure to cover the wire door with window screening if you’re able. Once the baby squirrel grows into a full-grown squirrel, it can be placed outdoors gradually.
What is the best way to feed a baby squirrel?
The best way to feed a baby squirrel is by using a syringe or a small spoon to feed them a milk and kitten food mixture.
What is the average lifespan of a squirrel?
The average lifespan of a squirrel is around 10 years.
What is the best way to provide water to a baby squirrel?
The best way to provide water to a baby squirrel is to use a small syringe or a small spoon to dribble water onto their tongue.
What type of milk is best for a baby squirrel?
The best type of milk for a baby squirrel is goat’s milk.
When can a baby squirrel start to eat solid food?
A baby squirrel can start to eat solid food when they are around 8 weeks old.
What type of solid food is best for a baby squirrel?
The best type of solid food for a baby squirrel is a mixture of kitten food nuts and fruits.
How often should a baby squirrel be fed?
A baby squirrel should be fed every 3-4 hours.
How can you tell if a baby squirrel is dehydrated?
You can tell if a baby squirrel is dehydrated if they have a dry nose and mouth and if their skin is loose and wrinkled.
What is the best way to rehydrate a dehydrated baby squirrel?
The best way to rehydrate a baby squirrel is to use a syringe or a small spoon to dribble water onto their tongue.
What is the best way to keep a baby squirrel warm?
The best way to keep a baby squirrel warm is to place them in a small box lined with a soft towel and to place a heating pad on low underneath the box.
What is the best way to keep a baby squirrel cool?
The best way to keep a baby squirrel cool is to place them in a box lined with a soft towel and to place the box in a cool shaded area.
What are some signs that a baby squirrel is too cold?
Some signs that a baby squirrel is too cold are if they are shivering or if their ears and nose are cold to the touch.
What are some signs that a baby squirrel is too hot?
Some signs that a baby squirrel is too hot are if they are panting or if their skin is hot to the touch.
How often should a baby squirrel be given a bath?
A baby squirrel should be given a bath every 5-7 days.
What is the best way to give a baby squirrel a bath?
The best way to give a baby squirrel a bath is to place them in a sink or tub filled with warm (not hot) water and to use a gentle unscented soap.
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.