Squirrels are wild animals. Having a squirrel as a pet is not an easy task.
It requires a lot of care and vigilance.
In most places, it is illegal to have wild animals as pets, but if you happen to have found a squirrel that has taken a liking to you and you’d like to have it as a pet, here are a few important things to consider.
Find a Vet
Remember, squirrels aren’t like your regular pets like a cat and dog. You will need to find a veterinarian that deals with exotic and wild animals. A wildlife expert would assist you better and provide sound advice on how you should treat a squirrel and what you should feed it.
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Adopt Don’t Shop
If you want a pet squirrel, do not buy it from a pet shop. Always adopt. Squirrels are captured from the wild and sold in a pet shop. Taking home a rescued squirrel will be easier because they are usually trained by their rescuers and will get along with humans easily.
How to Domesticate A Squirrel?
Domesticating any wild animal is not an easy task. However, if there is one thing that will help make the process easy, it’s patience. It takes more than a few days to tame a wild squirrel. What you need to do is prepare a feeding area for the squirrel that you see in your backyard. Leave the food for it and make sure the feeding area is filled with trees and grass, so it feels like home. Go to the grocery store and buy food fit for a squirrel, such as peanuts or sunflower seeds. Initially, you may not see the squirrel eat the food you leave, but it’s because squirrels have a hard time trusting humans. Keep the food in the feeding area every day; once it sees you, it will come and eat the food.
However, don’t go anywhere near it until it fully starts trusting you. Once it sees you put out food for it every day, it will recognize you and come closer. Also, while feeding, try to make squirrel sounds. It may not understand you, but you might appear less threatening. Slowly extend your hand with a peanut on it. Once the squirrel trusts you completely, it will be curious about you and eat the food on your hand. Remember, it won’t be easy and will be a long process, so be patient.
The Right Type of Milk
When squirrels are babies, you can’t feed them just any type of milk. Give them unflavored Pedialyte. It will help them get rehydrated and then start feeding Ebsilac formula. The right type of milk will ensure they receive all the important nutrients they need for growing healthy and strong. Feeding them the wrong milk type may result in devastating illnesses.
Once your baby squirrel is old enough to consume solids, feed it rodent blocks. Rodent blocks are very nutritious for squirrels. Rodent blocks are readily available online, or you can buy them from your local pet store. If your baby squirrel refuses to eat the block, cover it with peanut butter. It should come as no surprise, but squirrels love peanut butter. Remember to feed your pet squirrel 4 blocks every day and get rid of any that hasn’t eaten.
Seeds and Nuts
Although rodent blocks will provide 80% of the nutrients your squirrel requires, we recommend you supplement its diet with other varieties of food found in the wild. The foods include seeds, insects, fruits, and nuts. These foods will boost its calcium intake, which is important for stronger teeth and bones. You can also feed it other soft fruits like bananas, but do so in moderation. Do not feed it sugary foods under any circumstances, such as chocolate. Keep them hidden away. These tiny creatures will get their paws on anything they could eat.
Squirrels need access to fresh, clean drinking water, just like any other pet. Unlike your other pets, squirrels drink plenty of water. They can drink up to 3 tablespoons of water per day. Replenish the water every day and replace it with fresh water frequently.
Learn About Squirrels Diet
Critters, such as squirrels, are opportunistic feeders, and that’s what ensures their survival. They will eat whatever they find. If you have a pet squirrel, make sure you learn about their diet as much as possible. Steer clear of foods that will harm them, and provide them nutrient-dense foods, which will help them be stronger.
You will need to create a good living environment for your pet squirrel. Therefore, buy a cage that is at least a couple of feet wide. It should be large enough for your squirrel to move around and not feel cramped. Avoid buying a cage with mesh because your squirrel will chew through it. Opt for a metal cage. Squirrels are active creatures. They love running around and jumping; having an enclosed cage will help them hide in spots or bury their food.
Ideally, you shouldn’t keep the cage outdoors so the squirrel can get plenty of sunshine. If you have other animals in the house like a pet dog or cat, keep them well away from the squirrel. You don’t want your squirrel to live in constant fear and stress of being attacked by larger animals.