What Can You Feed Your Pet Squirrel?
What can you feed your pet squirrel? Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Nuts are an excellent source of protein and animal-based materials. Avoid giving your pet avocados and other ripe fruits as these are very toxic for squirrels. If you are unsure of what to feed your pet squirrel, seek a professional’s advice. Avocados can provide your pet with a great source of fat and a lot of calories.
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals
Squirrels love the taste of grapes and should be fed them at least twice a week. These fruits are high in vitamins A and C, phosphorus and calcium, and also contain antioxidants that prevent heart disease and cancer. Be aware, however, that grapes can affect your squirrel’s digestive system, so they should only be given in small quantities. However, if your pet squirrel is a particular fan of grapes, you should be aware that it might affect your pet’s digestion.
You should provide your pet squirrel with fresh water all day long. Ideally, they should be offered a shallow dish with fresh water. This is important because squirrels need water for metabolism. In addition, babies need more water during lactation and during hot days. Fresh water in a shallow dish will help keep your pet healthy and happy. If you cannot provide your pet with natural sunlight, you should consider using a full-spectrum light fixture for at least 8 hours a day.
Nuts are high in protein
While most pets are picky eaters, squirrels are not. Nuts are a high-protein, healthy alternative to a squirrel’s diet. Nuts are naturally high in protein and fats and low in carbohydrates. Listed below are some good choices. Acorns, also called oak nuts, are high in protein and contain many vitamins and minerals. Acorns are particularly good sources of magnesium, which supports the immune system and nerve function.
In addition to providing essential vitamins and minerals, your pet squirrel also needs calcium in order to grow strong bones. Calcium is an essential part of squirrel bones, and a diet devoid of calcium can result in weaker, brittle teeth. A good source of calcium for your pet squirrel is animal grade bonemeal powder. Eggshells can be ground into powder using a coffee grinder. A half-teaspoon of eggshell powder provides enough calcium for a squirrel. Additionally, calcium requires vitamin D to synthesize.
Rodent blocks are a good source of animal-based material
While rodent blocks can be the bulk of a squirrel’s diet, they can also be mixed with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. It’s important to remember that your squirrel needs a variety of nutrients, and rodent blocks should be at least 80% of their diet. For extra calcium and vitamins, your squirrel should also have access to fresh fruits and nuts. Fresh fruit and nuts should be provided sparingly, and sugary treats should be avoided.
Squirrels love to chew on things, and rodent blocks are a great source of animal-based materials. Squirrels also prefer to eat blocks of cheese and ham. The cheese and meat are a good source of protein, and you can easily give your pet squirrel a taste of cheese and other foods by giving them a piece of mozzarella.
Fruit seeds are toxic
While some vegetables are poisonous for squirrels, others are not. If you want to keep your squirrels healthy, you must limit the amount of fruit your home contains. Especially fruit seeds, too much of which may cause digestive problems. So, give them fruit treats only after they have eaten healthy snacks. You can also try to offer them acorns, hazelnuts, and almonds. However, these foods may not be suitable for your squirrels.
Although squirrels love fruit, there are certain fruits that are toxic for them. Dried grapes and raisins, for example, have a high sugar content, which can upset their digestive system and lead to weakness. Hence, do not feed your squirrels with dried fruit juice. The same goes for raisin-covered nuts. The seeds are poisonous for squirrels, and you should avoid giving them these items.
Squirrel blocks prevent Metabolic Bone Disease
Squirrel blocks are a great way to supplement the diet of your pet squirrel with essential nutrients. You can make your own squirrel block mix with flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and spices. This mixture will give your squirrel all the nutrients that they need to grow healthy. Compared to straight nuts, squirrel blocks contain more nutrients. You can purchase pre-made squirrel block mixes or mix your own at home.
Squirrels can develop metabolic bone disease if they do not get enough calcium from their diet. Calcium plays an important role in all body functions, and it is necessary for organs to function properly. All cells in the body contain small amounts of dissolved minerals, which allow them to transmit small electrical signals. Without these signals, organs and other structures cannot function properly. When they are deprived of calcium, they develop MBD, a bone-wasting condition that may cause a slow, painful degeneration.
Are pet squirrels allowed in Australia?
Yes but they must be obtained through a wildlife trade permit.
What type of housing do pet squirrels need?
A big cage with vertical and horizontal space for climbing chewing and playing.
What is the best type of food to feed a pet squirrel?
A diet rich in fresh fruits vegetables and nuts.
What should you not feed your pet squirrel?
Raw or green peas beans corn on the cob avocado chocolate and anything with caffeine.
How often should you feed your pet squirrel?
Once or twice a day.
How much water does a pet squirrel need?
About 1 ounce per day.
What type of shelter do pet squirrels need?
A nesting box or squirrel-proof house.
What type of bedding is best for a pet squirrel?
Soft absorbent bedding like fleece towels or blankets.
How often should you clean your pet squirrel’s cage?
At least once a week.
What type of toys do pet squirrels need?
chew toys ladders tunnels and swings.
Do pet squirrels need company?
Yes they are social animals and need available companionship.
How can you tell if your pet squirrel is healthy?
Clear eyes dry nose healthy coat good appetite and active behavior.
What are some signs that your pet squirrel is not feeling well?
lethargy appetite loss diarrhea dehydration and runny eyes or nose.
When should you take your pet squirrel to the vet?
If they are showing signs of illness if they have been injured or if they are due for a check-up.
Can pet squirrels carry diseases?
Yes they can carry bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to humans.
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.