Keeping a Pet Squirrel
When you found a squirrel, the next best alternative is to relocate them. You may also seek the help of the wildlife rehabilitator who can keep the baby squirrel safe and gradually reintroduced them to the wildlife. Some people will tell you that the squirrel should never be kept as your pet. No matter how cute it may look, infant squirrels will immediately go into their defensive state when they are feeling threatened. In case you notice their sharp nails, these nails will develop into a potent weapon that can pose a serious injury to the owner. In addition, keeping it as a pet is also illegal in some state.
Why Squirrels Are Not a Good Pet
According to the expert wildlife rehabilitator, you should refrain from keeping a squirrel as a pet no matter how cute and entertaining they are. Here’s why.
They Are Wild Animals
Compared to the common pets, squirrels are considered as wild animals, and they do not have the necessary instinct to rely on a human for their food, companionship or for protection. It will take them at least 6 months before they become dependent to human. By this time, their teeth and claws are much longer that can inflict serious damage or harm to human. If you truly love a wild animal, they deserve to be in the wild. There are some instances when the squirrel cannot be released due to their health condition. However, the healthy squirrel should never be kept inside the cage.
Squirrel Can Create a Mess and Transmit Zoonotic Diseases
The living area of the squirrel may be clean, but they also have a habit to leave their dirt on the floor. Some of their waste may include partially or uneaten insects and foods, nutshells, vegetables and fruits, feces and urine. Their feces may contain ringworm that can be transmitted to human and can cause digestive diseases. Just like the other rodent, their feces can also be contaminated with leptospirosis that can be lethal to human. Cleaning their poop and disinfecting them also requires some commitment. Their feces can pile up on the narrow areas of your house which can be difficult to clean. You can’t train them on how to use a litter box.
Keeping Squirrel as Pet Requires Some Investment
Despite of its small size, the squirrel requires a large space to move. You will have to invest in a huge cage. In addition, they will also need a lot of time outside the cage. You should let them out of the cage for at least 2-3 hours per day. Their diet may also be expensive. They require foods that are high in calcium. Since you won’t be able to provide them with insects and right food, you will have to invest on supplements to address their nutritional needs.
Squirrels may be as adorable as your kitten and puppy, but you should not be fooled by their cute appearance. Keeping the squirrels as a pet can be quite disastrous not only on the part of the human but also on the squirrel.
Read the How to get rid of squirrels page for helpful information and to learn more about Keeping a Pet Squirrel
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