What to Give Baby Squirrel
While your baby squirrel is still on formula, you can introduce some solid foods. Try feeding Squirrel Complete, a blend of high protein pellets and healthy nuts. For your baby squirrel’s first solid food, use a glass water bottle, a stainless steel cup, or a ceramic feeding dish. The latter is chew-proof and lead-free. The bottles are also more hygienic than plastic. It’s also best to use ceramic feeding dishes, which are lead-free and dishwasher safe.
If you’re concerned about the health of your baby squirrel, consider using the powdered Esbilac formula. The powder should be mixed with equal parts water and fed to the squirrel every two hours, and it should be given to baby squirrels between two weeks and six weeks of age. Unlike a human baby, squirrels do not suffer from digestive problems, but they do need some care and feeding. For this reason, you should be sure to follow these feeding instructions.
When using Esbilac, make sure you read the label. The product contains 0.5% lactose, which is significantly less than the amount of lactose in nonfat bovine milk. While this amount is low, the milk is similar to the amount found in a dog’s breast milk, which contains between 3.0% and 3.7% lactose at mid-lactation. In other words, the formula isn’t as high in lactose as a dog’s breast milk or the squirrel’s mother’s milk.
The company changed the manufacturing process of Esbilac and is no longer providing refunds for unsold bags. Animal Advocates sent a sterile sample of Esbilac to a California lab to test for contaminants, and the lab’s findings were alarming. The product contained large amounts of fiber and heavy metal copper. These results were forwarded to the FDA for review. However, despite the warnings from Animal Advocates, Petag refused to recall the product.
Dried figs are rich in nutrients for baby squirrels. Compared to fresh figs, these dried ones contain twice as much calcium, three times as much magnesium, and seven times more potassium. Dried figs are also a valuable source of protein for squirrels, providing five percent of their daily requirement. Whether your baby squirrel has an allergic reaction to dried figs, you can rest assured that he or she will be able to tolerate these healthy treats.
Squirrels are opportunistic feeders, so don’t be surprised if your pet visits your yard at night to raid the figs on your bird feeders. This healthy snack is a favorite amongst humans, and your baby squirrel will soon discover its nutritional value! Dry figs are ideal for keeping baby squirrels healthy, but make sure to avoid overfeeding!
Dried figs are not the best choice for a baby squirrel, however. They often contain salt and preservatives that may be harmful to your pet. It is best to use fresh figs for your baby squirrel. Look for organic syconium fruits online. If you’re not able to find any, you can also check out frozen figs at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.
Before using hot water for baby squirrel care, it’s important to remember a few key tips. For example, squirrels need at least three weeks to adjust to their new environment. If the baby squirrel is ill, place it in a quiet room. Place a clean washcloth on top of the squirrel’s body to mimic the way a mother would clean her baby. Don’t use towels that have a strong smell; they can be very dangerous to the baby.
Aside from the usual signs of dehydration, the squirrel may also exhibit other symptoms of malnutrition. Loss of appetite, excessive sleeping, and reluctance to climb are just a few of the most common. It may also experience seizures or paralysis. Then the next step would be to stimulate urination. A warm bath can help. To stimulate the squirrel’s digestive system, sucking on a dropper is not a good idea.
If the mother doesn’t come within half an hour, you should wrap the baby squirrel in a soft cloth and hold it to warm its body temperature. Remember that the mother doesn’t notice unusual body temperature, but the baby squirrel cools down very quickly when the temperature outside the nest is too cold. Hot water for baby squirrel is a good idea during the first couple of days and if possible, try to bring the baby inside before night falls.
What is the best formula to give a baby squirrel?
A high-quality nutritionally complete kitten or cat food.
What is the best way to feed a baby squirrel?
With an eyedropper or syringe slowly dripping the food into the side of the squirrel’s mouth.
How often should I feed a baby squirrel?
Every 2-3 hours around the clock.
What if I cannot feed the baby squirrel every 2-3 hours?
If you cannot feed the baby every 2-3 hours then it is best to find someone who can or take the squirrel to a wildlife rehabilitator.
What kind of food should I NOT give a baby squirrel?
NEVER give a baby squirrel cow’s milk it will make them very sick!
What should I do if the baby squirrel seems cold?
Place a heating pad on low underneath half of the squirrel’s enclosure or place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel underneath one side of the enclosure.
What should I do if the baby squirrel seems hot?
Take the heating pad or hot water bottle out of the enclosure.
Where can I get an eyedropper or syringe?
You can purchase an eyedropper or syringe at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
How much formula should I give a baby squirrel per feeding?
5-1 mL per feeding.
How can I tell if the baby squirrel is getting enough to eat?
The baby’s tummy should look round and full and they should have wet soft and bulky stools.
How can I tell if the baby squirrel is not getting enough to eat?
The baby’s tummy should look sunken in and their stools will be dry hard and small.
What should I do if the baby squirrel is not urinating or defecating?
Contact a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian immediately.
What should I do if the baby squirrel is urinating or defecating too much?
This could be a sign of diabetes so contact a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian immediately.
What should I do if the baby squirrel seems sick or injured?
Contact a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian immediately.
Where can I find a wildlife rehabilitator?
Wildlife rehabilitators can be found through your local humane society animal shelter or animal control agency.
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.