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better place one squirrel at a time

The Basic Needs of Squirrels

Most species of squirrels, as a general rule, do not make good pets; nonetheless, some states allow for ownership of certain types of squirrels.  It is important to know the laws in  your state.  As with any pet, you need to ensure the animal has been gently handled, purchased from a reputable dealer, bred in a legal captive breeding program (not taken from its mom in the wild to be your pet), and has been inspected by a veterinarian.     


The food choices will depend on the genus of squirrel you are caring for as there are differences in needs for ground squirrels, flying squirrels, and tree squirrels.   This site is primarily focused on the needs of tree squirrels; however, much of the information is appropriate for all species of squirrel.  For additional information specific to ground squirrels and flying squirrels, please review the links to the right.


The basic needs of captive squirrels boil down to these:






Adult Care  

New Aggression Problems?
Metabolic Bone Disease

When a normally sweet squirrel starts showing new aggression (and its not normal breeding season ‘grumpies’),it may be the first signs of a very serious nutritional disorder called: Metabolic Bone Disease Or MBD

Food & Diet
Squirrel Nutrition

Making appropriate food choices for weaned juveniles and adults can make the difference between a healthy releasable squirrel and a sickly, disabled or dead one.  


This section discusses how to ensure the squirrel gets complete and palatable nutrition.

Food & Diet

Food & Diet

Housing
Building the Habitat

The housing needs of squirrels change as they grow and reach adulthood. This section discusses the needs at each stage and provides instructions for building a release house; as well as, adapting the environment to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of captive squirrels.



Squirrel Housing

Squirrel Housing

Squirrel Diseases & Illnesses
Is my squirrel sick?

Illness in squirrels can result from multiple causes.  Some diseases require immediate care from a veterinarian while others can be readily treated at home by correcting the diet or with commonly available over-the counter medications.


This section discusses what to look for when you suspect illness and covers the most frequent internal and external parasites found with squirrels, common bone & teeth problems; as well as, bacterial, viral and fungal infections and the current thoughts on the most effective treatment protocols.


Also provided are links to reliable sources for more detailed information on specific illnesses and discussions on diseases that are considered zoonotic  (transferable from animals to people) and ways to protect the squirrel- as well as you, your family, and pets from cross transmission.

Squirrel Diseases & Illness

Squirrel Diseases

Squirrel Laws & Regulations
Wildlife Laws & Regulations

Legal  status, wildlife holding, trapping restrictions; as well as, other information related to the treatment of native and non-native squirrels in the Pacific Northwest. Links to other state information.

Northern Flying Squirrel

5 week old Eastern Gray Squirrel

Information on the natural history and care of flying squirrels

Squirrel Identification
Squirrel Species Identification Tips

Species is important!


Most states have laws that apply based on the species of squirrel.