People trying to pet a baby squirrel often get puzzled when it comes to determining what to feed this animal. As squirrels are not commonly seen in the houses as pets, it is unusual to know the best food for them.
Here is an attempt to answer a few common doubts of the people who feel obliged to learn about what baby squirrels can or cannot be fed.
Can baby squirrels drink cow milk?
Baby squirrels cannot drink cow milk. In fact, cow milk is dangerous for baby squirrels. This can cause diarrhea and dehydration. In the worst-case scenario, consuming cow milk can cause a baby squirrel deceased. Baby squirrels’ digestive system is reactive to cow milk, so they should not drink it.
Newborn baby squirrels have a fragile digestive system. Their body is not compatible with many types of foods. It is because their digestive system is not capable of consuming those foods.
Even when they are feed with milk, milk being a healthy source of nutrients and vitamins, many prefer giving their pets milk. But unlike many other animals, baby squirrels are reactive to cow milk and milk-based products.
If you give them cow milk or cow milk-based foods, it is more likely they will fall sick. Study shows, cow milk can cause baby squirrels diarrhea, dehydration. And more upsetting to know, continuous feeding can cause a baby squirrel to perish.
So, it is advised that you do not make your newborn squirrel drink cow milk. Although it may be healthy for human health, it is simply not made for baby squirrels.
Moreover, do not give any food to newborn wildlife before knowing if they can cause harm to their body. Lack of knowledge on which food is harmful to that animal can cause many problems, including allergy, stomachache, and more acute illness.
Especially when it comes to baby squirrels, you have to be extra careful prior to feeding them.
Why isn’t cow milk good for baby squirrels?
Unlike adult squirrels, baby squirrels have a weak digestive system. They are not quite capable of consuming any type of food. Many consider cow milk is to be bad for squirrels.
There are multiple reasons why cow milk is considered harmful. Here is why cow milk is not good for baby squirrels –
Cow milk is low on fat:
Baby squirrels living in the wild are used to consuming higher fatty milk. Even squirrel milk has almost 62% fat. And whole cow milk only contains 4% fat.
A baby squirrel’s natural growth will be an obstacle due to the low supply of nutrients in their food. Also, a lack of energy and vitamins will lead to them growing weak.
Cow milk causes illness:
As mentioned in many studies, squirrels cannot digest cow milk well. In many cases, baby squirrels face diarrhea and dehydration due to consuming cow milk at an early stage.
Severe health problems can be noticed after these, and in worst cases, baby squirrels lose their lives as their body cannot tolerate cow milk. Even physicians often notice that consuming cow milk can shock baby squirrels’ bodies.
What kind of milk to feed a newborn baby squirrel?
Baby squirrels have a very sensitive digestive system. You should not feed them human formula, cow milk, or soymilk as they are not suitable for these babies. These formulas can cause them diarrhea, dehydration and in worst cases, these can send their body into shock.
But if you want to feed a newborn squirrel, you can try –
This kind of milk is more suitable for baby squirrel’s health than all kinds of milk types. Also, if you are giving your baby squirrel this milk, you should give them at a lower consistency.
Goat milk can be another option for your baby squirrels. But you should only feed them with fresh goat milk, not the processed ones.
Start with 25% of the consistency that is desired to offer the animal. And raise it 25% every week.
How much milk do you feed a baby squirrel?
Baby squirrels are born with a weak digestive system. They cannot tolerate many types of food at the early stage. As mammals, baby squirrels can consume milk.
But not all milk is compatible with their body. Squirrel milk is the best milk, but you can hardly find this milk in stores. Other kinds of milk are available and can be fed to baby squirrels.
Usually, a baby squirrel can consume milk up to 5% of its body mass. That means you should not give a baby squirrel milk that is not more than 5% of its current body mass at a time.
You should be careful not to make the baby squirrel overfed. A well-fed baby squirrel will have a round belly but not a loaded one.
How to feed a baby squirrel milk?
Feeding a baby squirrel is no easy job. And when it comes to feeding them with milk, you have to be very careful as well. If you want to feed a newborn squirrel, you have to consider a number of things, and then you can make an attempt to feed the animal.
Choose the milk:
At first, you must determine what milk you will feed the baby squirrel. As baby squirrels are not comfortable with all milk and many kinds of milk can have a crucial effect on a baby squirrel, you have to choose carefully.
Make a hurry:
As baby squirrels should be fed repeatedly after a while, if you don’t make a rush, the baby will be starving. So, you should go to the nearest super shop or vet store to buy the milk as early as possible.
Keep the baby warm:
Baby squirrels cannot digest food when they are cold. If you are planning to feed the animal, first wrap it with warm towels or wipe it with Luke warm waters. It will help the squirrel get warm and comfortable.
Only feed the squirrel milk that is 5% of its total body mass. If a baby squirrel is 100gm, you should not feed it more than 5ml. Do not overfeed the squirrel; the stomach should be round, not full.
When do baby squirrels stop drinking milk?
As a mammal, baby squirrels are fond of milk. At the early stage, their primary food should be milk. They can start nibbling on solid foods only when they are about six weeks old.
A baby squirrel aged 9 to 10 weeks will grow an appetite for solid foods and start looking for foods found in the ground and other places. If they start eating independently and their body weight is perfect according to their age, you may slowly reduce giving milk.
Starting from giving one day off to stopping feeding milk by 16-17 weeks entirely is a good way to change their habit for good.
Can a baby squirrel drink:
Human breast milk:
Human breast milk has no identified adverse effect on baby squirrels. But it is sure that human breast milk doesn’t have all the necessary nutrients in the ratio required for a baby squirrel.
Although human breast milk will not necessarily cause harm to baby squirrels’ life, and not at all endanger the animal, it will subsequently hamper its growth and healthy wellbeing.
Baby squirrels cannot drink almond milk. Although almond milk is rich in nutrients and considered a tasty treat, for baby squirrels, it is a No-No. Almond milk has toxins that can cause baby squirrels irritation and digestive problems.
So, it would be better if you did not feed almond milk to a baby squirrel.
Baby squirrels should not drink kitten milk. As kitten and squirrels have different nutrient requirement, their digestive system is also different. It will not necessarily be harmful if you feed, but it is better to feed them with more appropriate milk.
Goat milk can be a great source of nutrients for baby squirrels. But you should only consider freshly sourced goat milk. Commercial and powdered goat milk should be avoided.
Some believe whole milk is good for baby squirrels. And many believe this is untrue. As whole milk has only 4% of fat and squirrel milk has around 62%. So, there would be a huge gap in nutrients if you feed whole milk.
Baby squirrels should not drink coconut milk. It is simply not appropriate to its digestion. Coconut milk can cause diarrhea and dehydration, as the study suggests.
Baby squirrels have a weak digestive system that is reactive to many foods. They are lactose intolerant, and so these babies should not drink cow milk. Drinking cow milk can cause severe sickness, including diarrhea, dehydration and in the long run, it can cause even more acute problems.