What to Feed a Stray Baby Squirrel
How do you know whether a stray baby squirrel needs food or a veterinary visit? This article provides helpful information, including how to use an oral syringe or Esbilac formula. We also cover how to keep a stray baby squirrel warm in a makeshift nest. Finally, we provide information on how to determine whether a baby squirrel is starving or dehydrated.
If you have a stray baby squirrel, you may be wondering how to feed it. A reputable pet store should sell the puppymilk replacement formula called Esbilac. Regardless of where you buy it, make sure that it contains the same ingredients as Esbilac. The best way to give your baby squirrel the right amount of formula is to use powdered form. Once you’ve opened the bottle, store it in the refrigerator.
When feeding a baby squirrel, be sure to measure the amount of formula that the animal needs. Depending on how much weight your baby squirrel weighs, it may need three to four cc of formula per feeding. When deciding how much formula to feed your squirrel, use a kitchen scale or a postal scale to determine the right amount. Overfeeding can lead to diarrhea and bloat, and may even cause death.
2-4 cc (ml) oral syringe
You can use an oral syringe that is designed for humans with a small tip to feed a stray baby squirrel. The syringe’s tip should be placed on the squirrel’s lips, and you should feed it slowly, one drop at a time. Younger squirrels may need to be fed by squeezing for a second and holding them upright.
If you find a solitary baby squirrel, be aware that it will quickly overcome its fear of humans and approach you. While some squirrels will follow you home, others will climb on your legs. If you do see a baby squirrel, it likely was left alone and is not used to human interaction. So be careful! You don’t want to inadvertently cause the squirrel any more harm than it already has.
Besides providing a clean, fresh place for the stray squirrel to stay, it will also help you to assess the health of the baby squirrel. If the baby squirrel is dehydrated, it may dribble fluid from its nose and mouth. If it doesn’t dribble, try another spot to feed it. It may be too small to swallow the liquid, so you need to try several drops to be sure.
Keeping a stray baby squirrel warm by creating a make-shift nest
A simple way to keep a stray baby squirrel warm is to place it in a soft box. The box should be near a tree or a location where the mother might take her young. It should be secure enough for the mother to enter if necessary. It will be especially crucial to provide the baby squirrel with a heat source. A soft blanket or a hot water bottle placed near the box is a good option. It should be noted that a baby squirrel may be in danger of strangulation if it is kept with a loosely-woven towel or blanket.
Once the baby squirrel is six weeks old, it will need some teething material. Use an old sheet to simulate a tree nest. You can also place hard shell nuts or yoghurt containers nearby. The main goal is to make the baby squirrel as comfortable as possible. You may even want to keep an old blanket close by so it can stay warm. Regardless of which method you choose, the key is to be persistent.
Telling if a stray baby squirrel is dehydrated or starving
There are several ways to determine whether a stray baby squirrel is dehydrated or starving. First, it is important to keep the animal in a quiet area. Then, use a washcloth to wipe it clean with, imitating the way a mother would lick her baby. You should also wear thick gloves when handling the animal. If it is dehydrated, it needs immediate fluids, which can be obtained from Pedialyte or a solution of salt, sugar, and water. Never feed a dehydrated squirrel.
You can also use a damp cotton swab to clean the genitals and stimulate the baby squirrel’s bowel movement. Don’t put sugar in the rehydration formula because this may cause diarrhea. Alternatively, you can use warm Pedialyte and alternate with starch/water mixtures like rice cereal to treat dehydration.
What is the best food to feed a baby squirrel?
Answer: The best food to feed a baby squirrel is a special diet that can be found at most pet stores.
What do baby squirrels need to eat?
Answer: Baby squirrels need to eat a lot of protein and fat to grow properly.
What should you not feed a baby squirrel?
Answer: You should not feed a baby squirrel cow’s milk human food or chocolate.
How often should a baby squirrel eat?
Answer: A baby squirrel should eat every 3-4 hours.
What happens if a baby squirrel does not eat enough?
Answer: If a baby squirrel does not eat enough it will not grow properly and may die.
How can you tell if a baby squirrel is healthy?
Answer: A healthy baby squirrel will have bright eyes a smooth coat and will be active.
What should you do if you find a baby squirrel?
Answer: If you find a baby squirrel you should contact a wildlife rehabilitation center.
What should you not do if you find a baby squirrel?
Answer: If you find a baby squirrel you should not try to raise it yourself as this is illegal in many states.
What is the best way to keep a baby squirrel warm?
Answer: The best way to keep a baby squirrel warm is to put it in a box with a heating pad on low covered with a towel.
How can you tell if a baby squirrel is cold?
Answer: A baby squirrel that is cold will be lethargic and have cold pink skin.
What is the best way to keep a baby squirrel cool?
Answer: The best way to keep a baby squirrel cool is to put it in a box with a cold pack covered with a towel.
How can you tell if a baby squirrel is dehydrated?
Answer: A baby squirrel that is dehydrated will have dry tacky fur and sunken eyes.
How can you keep a baby squirrel hydrated?
Answer: The best way to keep a baby squirrel hydrated is to give it pedialyte or water through a dropper or syringe.
What is the best way to handle a baby squirrel?
Answer: The best way to handle a baby squirrel is to wear gloves and gently pick it up by the scruff of the neck.
What should you do if a baby squirrel bites you?
Answer: If a baby squirrel bites you you should wash the wound with soap and water and contact a doctor.
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.