How to Stimulate a Baby Squirrel
If you find an orphaned squirrel in your yard, you might be wondering how to stimulate it. This article covers three different methods: feeding the squirrel, encouraging urination, and checking for dehydration. Read on to learn more. And as always, be sure to leave plenty of space between feedings. You might want to consider providing your pet with toys to keep it entertained. It’s also a great way to teach your pet valuable skills like patience and empathy.
Observe an orphaned squirrel
Observe an orphaned squirrel. If it’s an isolated individual, the baby will tend to bond to its caregiver. The first few weeks will be filled with play and stimulation, such as scratching on a soft surface or crawling up your leg to find food. While the baby will not necessarily be dangerous, you should never feed it – the squirrel will bite you if it thinks you’re trying to take advantage of its need for food.
It is essential for an infant squirrel to be stimulated to urinate when fed. In nature, mothers lick their babies to stimulate them to urinate and to keep them clean. Otherwise, they can develop diaper rash and urine burns on their sensitive belly. Feeding a baby squirrel will stimulate urination until it is six weeks old. If you don’t have a bottle, try tickling its genitals.
Encourage it to poo and pee
One of the most important ways to encourage a baby squirrel to poop and pee is to give it an electrolyte rehydration formula. A baby squirrel that is experiencing diarrhea will likely have nonformed, runny, or watery stools. The cause can be as simple as formula transition or an over extended stomach. If you suspect your baby squirrel is suffering from diarrhea, you should immediately change its food and water to an electrolyte rehydration formula. If the condition persists, see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Check for dehydration
First, make sure the baby squirrel is warm. The colder the air, the greater the risk of dehydration. Feed the squirrel a warm drink or a Pedialyte solution to replace lost fluids. Don’t use the same water you’d give a human infant. Incorrect fluids can cause diarrhea and even death. It’s best to assume that every orphan squirrel will suffer some degree of dehydration.
If you have a baby squirrel, you may want to know how to stimulate it so that it will eliminate naturally. Mother squirrels are responsible for keeping their babies clean and healthy. But sometimes baby squirrels may not be as eager to perform their mother’s tasks. If you’d like to help, here are some tips:
Check for aspiration
The first thing to keep in mind when feeding a baby squirrel is to check for aspiration. Aspiration occurs when liquid enters the squirrel’s nose and lungs, and it can cause pneumonia. To prevent aspiration, simply tip the baby squirrel forward while feeding. Also, be sure to feed in a warm, well-lit area. If the baby squirrel does not seem to have a strong enough reflex to swallow, try dripping some liquid onto a Q-tip or cotton ball and check for aspiration.
Find a rehabilitator
If you have a newborn squirrel, you should try to stimulate it to urinate every time it feeds. Mother mammals lick their babies to help them initiate urination and keep clean. If your baby squirrel is not clean, it can suffer from diaper rash or urine burns on its tender belly. One way to stimulate urination in your baby squirrel is by tickling its genitals. You should try this method until the baby squirrel is around 6 weeks old.
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.