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When it comes to taking care of a baby squirrel, knowledge is power. You want to make sure you’re doing everything possible for the little one’s health and wellbeing, and that includes providing them with proper nutrition.
Knowing what to feed baby squirrels is key if you find yourself caring for an orphaned or injured animal – but before we get into that, let’s look at some basic facts about these furry friends.
Baby squirrels are usually born in late spring or early summer depending on the species. Eastern grey squirrels tend towards April-May, whereas American red ones are closer to June-July.
Baby squirrels need special care which should include food appropriate for their age as well as formula – more about this later – so when it comes time to ask “what do I feed my baby squirrel?” there’s plenty you need to know!
Table Of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- Why Nutrition is Important for Baby Squirrels
- What Should You Feed a Baby Squirrel?
- When to Introduce Solid Foods to Baby Squirrels
- The Best Natural Options for Baby Squirrels
- What Foods to Avoid Feeding Baby Squirrels
- How Much and How Often to Feed a Baby Squirrel
- Judging Digestive Health in Baby Squirrels
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A balanced diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as nutrient-rich puppy milk, is recommended as the primary source of nutrition for baby squirrels. Hard-shelled nuts, such as pecans and hazelnuts, offer natural fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for baby squirrels’ growth and development.
Solid foods should be introduced gradually, with feeding amounts kept small at first, and formula should still be provided until the baby squirrels are 10 weeks old. It is important to monitor stool for digestive health and provide hydration with Pedialyte or salt-and-sugar water using a feeding syringe.
Seek advice from a wildlife rehabilitator for suitable feeding amounts and to care for injured baby squirrels.
Why Nutrition is Important for Baby Squirrels
Providing a balanced diet is essential for the health and development of baby squirrels, so it’s important to be aware of their dietary needs. Foraging benefits the animals by allowing them to find food sources in nature, but an appropriate balance of nutrients must also be incorporated into their diets.
Variety should also be part of a healthy diet for baby squirrels. They do best when given several types of foods with different textures, tastes, and smells. Quality matters too; fresh fruits and vegetables are optimal over processed snacks or sugary treats that can damage their digestive system or cause weight gain issues.
Nutrient-rich puppy milk is recommended as the primary source during infancy until solid foods can safely enter the diet around six weeks old. Vitamins A & B6 found in sweet potatoes help support strong bones, while kale contains calcium along with other minerals such as magnesium and potassium which contribute to overall wellbeing.
Apples provide natural sugars plus carbohydrates, while grapes supply thiamine & riboflavin plus fiber & Vitamin K. Hard-shelled nuts like pecans offer great sources of proteins, fats, carbs, fiber, and many vitamins/minerals, making it an ideal snack option.
With proper nutrition, young squirrels will thrive better than those who don’t get enough key macro/micro elements needed for growth and development.
What Should You Feed a Baby Squirrel?
Caring for a baby squirrel can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to know what to feed them. For squirrels six weeks old or younger, formula should always be the primary source of nutrition.
Once they reach around 6-7 weeks old, vegetables like broccoli and kale are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, in addition to fruits such as apples and grapes, which provide natural sugars and fiber.
Formula: 6 Weeks Old or Younger Squirrels
For squirrels 6 weeks old or younger, you should nourish them with a nutrient-rich puppy milk formula. This will ensure their bodies get the essential vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth and development.
The formula ingredients include sweet potatoes, apples, grapes, and hard-shelled nuts like pecans, which provide a variety of nutrients to fuel the body’s cells while protecting against free radicals.
Feed baby squirrels every 4 hours. If they show signs of dehydration, such as brown urine, quickly rehydrate them with Pedialyte or salt/sugar water using a feeding syringe. Then, massage their genitals afterward. Solid foods can be introduced around 6 to 7 weeks old, but they still need formula as well.
You can give your baby squirrel a delicious meal of vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes, to provide them with essential vitamins and minerals! Nutritional needs vary by age. Tiny newborns require formula, while older babies need solid foods. Vegetable benefits include Vitamin K from kale, which helps build strong bones.
Feeding habits should be adjusted based on the age of the squirrel. Special requirements may apply for those in need of assistance. Eastern greys have unique nutritional needs that must be considered when feeding younger ones.
Fruit is an essential part of a baby squirrel’s diet. Apples provide over 80% water, while grapes pack in vitamins B6, C, and K. For nutritional purposes, it is important to feed the right amount at the correct frequency for each age group.
American Red Squirrels need specially-made milk until they are 10 weeks old, but can then transition to solid foods like kale. Safe treats include hard-shelled nuts like pecans or vegetables such as broccoli.
However, artificial or sugar-loaded snacks should be avoided! Feeding schedules should be adjusted depending on species and size.
Nuts, like pecans, are an excellent source of natural fats and proteins that can help support a baby squirrel’s development. To ensure the best nutrition for your little one, select nut types high in Vitamin K, such as hazelnuts or walnuts.
When storing nuts for feeding amounts, always make sure to provide out-of-shell nut pieces so the baby squirrels don’t choke on them! If you are unable to provide enough food from your own store of nuts, then try placing some old clothing near a makeshift nest.
The key is providing safe and accessible sources of nutrients that can be easily digested by newborn baby squirrels.
When to Introduce Solid Foods to Baby Squirrels
Once your furry friend reaches around 6-7 weeks old, you can start introducing them to solid foods like nutrient-packed vegetables and tantalizing fruits. When feeding baby squirrels, it’s important that they receive a balanced diet that provides the necessary vitamins and minerals their bodies need for optimal health.
Broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, and apples provide vitamin A as well as complex carbohydrates, while grapes offer fat-soluble vitamin K.
Feeding amounts should be kept small at first but gradually increased according to the size of the squirrel. Bear in mind that formula is still required along with any solid food given for proper nutrition up until 10 weeks old.
The Best Natural Options for Baby Squirrels
Feeding baby squirrels can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to provide them with the right nutrition. Broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes are all excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals for baby squirrels.
Not only do these natural options offer vital nutrients for growth and development, but they also taste great! Feed your little buddy small amounts at first, then gradually increase according to their size.
This will ensure that your beloved pet gets all the energy they need, as well as the key vitamins needed for optimal health.
You can give your squirrel some delicious, nutrient-packed broccoli to help them grow strong and healthy! Broccoli is packed with essential vitamins like A, B6, C, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, copper, and manganese.
To ensure their overall health and wellbeing, you should still provide formula alongside solid foods like kale or an apple slice for added variety. Providing other natural options, such as hard-shelled nuts from a squirrel feeder, will also encourage proper foraging habits in the wild when they are eventually released back into nature along with their mother, if possible.
With the right nutrition tailored specifically to baby squirrels’ needs, your furry friend can thrive in good health!
Kale is a great natural option for your baby squirrel’s diet, providing essential vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B6, C, and K, as well as calcium, copper, and magnesium that are important for their body’s cells.
Feeding the right amount of kale can help keep them healthy and give them the nutrition they need to grow strong.
Here are 3 key points about feeding baby squirrels kale:
- Ensure proper quantity when feeding – too much or too little could be detrimental to their health.
- Its nutritional value helps support digestive health.
- Introduce in small amounts along with other solid foods such as apples or sweet potatoes.
Kale is an excellent source of nutrients that will benefit your baby squirrel’s development; just make sure it forms part of a balanced diet!
Sweet potatoes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as A, C, B6, and niacin, as well as copper, pantothenic acid, and potassium – perfect for your baby squirrel’s development! Feeding your small rodent a diet rich in these nutrients is key to its growth.
When introducing solid food into the baby squirrel’s diet, it is important to remember that adult squirrels have different feeding frequencies than babies. Therefore, you should not expect them to eat the same amount of food at once, like a pet dog would do.
As with all food selection, when it comes to nutrition importance, cannot be overstated. Choose high-quality nutrient sources from nature rather than artificial or sugar-loaded treats, which can cause harm if ingested by rodents of any age.
What Foods to Avoid Feeding Baby Squirrels
It’s important to remember that artificial, fattening, or sugar-loaded treats for your squirrel are like poison and should be avoided like the plague. Baby squirrels need a balanced diet of natural foods to ensure their health and growth.
Avoid human formula, cow’s milk, or any other milk substitutes as these can lead to severe illnesses in baby squirrels. Cat catching is also not recommended as it could cause infections if your pet gets caught by one! Also, avoid feeding them red suet blocks used for wild bird food which may contain high levels of salt and preservatives that are harmful for baby mammals such as Eastern grey squirrels and American red Squirrels.
When selecting what to feed your baby squirrel, provide a variety including:
- Vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes)
- Fruits (such as apples and grapes)
- Hard-shelled nuts (pecans work great!)
- Puppy milk formula
- Whipping cream/plain yogurt
Provide small amounts at first, then gradually increase according to the size of the animal so they get all essential vitamins needed for optimal health while avoiding anything unnatural such as sugary snacks or processed treats found in stores.
Monitoring stool will help judge digestive health while keeping an eye out on swollen penis if male does not urinate correctly after drinking session along with providing warm bedding during cold nights will greatly benefit overall well-being of this adorable creature who depends solely on you!
How Much and How Often to Feed a Baby Squirrel
Now that you know what to avoid feeding a baby squirrel, let’s look at how much and how often they should be fed.
- Feeding frequency – Baby squirrels need formula every 4 hours for up to 10 weeks old which can then transition into solid foods like vegetables, fruits, and nuts in addition to puppy milk formula when they are 6-7 weeks old.
- Diet variety – Create a new nest with a warm corner by adding thick bedding or a towel, ensuring safety from predators.
- Formula types/milk concentration – Puppy milk is recommended during the first ten weeks while gradually increasing its concentration in the solution according to age and species type so younger mammals receive enough energy without being overloaded on calories resulting in obesity later down the line!
Once your baby squirrel starts eating solids, remember not to forget about their liquid consumption. Keep things interesting by including different food items, making sure there’s nutrient balance all around, keeping them happy yet healthy until they’re ready for release back into the wild nature where these adorable creatures belong.
This completes the circle of life we all strive towards preserving, no matter our differences or background stories might tell us otherwise.
Judging Digestive Health in Baby Squirrels
By monitoring the stool of your squirrels, you can effectively gauge their digestive health. Assessing the consistency and color of their stools is an important step in providing proper nutrition.
Provide hydration with Pedialyte or salt-and-sugar water using a feeding syringe to ensure liquid nourishment without overloading baby squirrel’s body cells with too much sugar or fat. Create a warm environment for them by filling nesting boxes lined with thick bedding and heating pads if necessary.
The key to good digestion lies in maintaining balance within baby squirrel’s diet – keep it varied but healthy! When introducing solid foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and hard-shelled items like pecans, provide complex carbohydrates that will support both muscle performance and strong bones development.
If unsure about how best to care for your new wild companion, seek advice from a wildlife rehabilitator who can help assess any risks associated with improper nutrition intake as well as advise on suitable feeding amounts according to appropriate age group and species type requirements.
With adequate guidance, providing proper nutrition will increase the chances of successful release back into nature where these adorable creatures belong once they reach 12 weeks old.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know if a baby squirrel needs help?
If you come across a baby squirrel, check for any injuries or signs of distress. If it is not with its mother and appears weak or malnourished, it likely requires assistance. Look for broken bones and attempt to clear its nostrils if necessary before seeking advice from a veterinarian on the best way to care for the animal.
What do I do if I find an injured baby squirrel?
If you find an injured baby squirrel, it is important to act quickly and carefully. Call a nearby wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian for help. If possible, ensure that the area is safe and quiet before handling the animal gently with thick gloves on.
How do I make a temporary leaf nest for a baby squirrel?
Gather a few leaves and arrange them into a nest-like shape, ensuring that it is large enough for the baby squirrel to fit comfortably. Then, place the squirrel in its new temporary home. Give it some space, but keep an eye out from afar for any signs of distress or danger.
How do I know if a baby squirrel is dehydrated?
If a baby squirrel is dehydrated, you may notice its urine to be brown or darker in color. Check for a swollen penis if male and stimulate the genitals after every drinking period to help release waste.
If unable to urinate, soak the body in warm water and wipe off scabbed areas with a cloth. Rehydrate using Pedialyte or a salt/sugar solution from a feeding syringe held upright while slowly administering the liquid.
How can I tell if a baby squirrel is getting the right nutrition?
To determine if a baby squirrel is receiving adequate nutrition, observe its physical appearance. Look for signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes and brown urine. Monitor its food intake to ensure it is consuming enough and offer a variety of natural foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, and hard-shelled seeds.
Additionally, provide formula to ensure the squirrel receives all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy growth.
As a caretaker of a baby squirrel, it’s important to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet. Proper nutrition will help them grow and thrive, as well as adjust to life in the wild. It can be hard to part with them after investing so much time and energy in caring for them, but take solace in the fact that you’ve provided them with the best possible chance of success.
So, while it may be a bittersweet goodbye, you can take pride in knowing you’ve done your part.