Squirrels are remarkable creatures, especially when you can observe them up close. They are cute, furry, and good looking mammals, which is why many pet owners ask, can you have a squirrel as a pet? A lot of people have tried to have squirrels as pets, but the majority of them fail to keep them for a long time. Because unlike dogs and cats, squirrels are harder to domesticate and are used to a free energetic life.
Squirrels are so energetic that you often see them hop on trees all day, going up and down its trunk numerous times. They run just as fast as they can climb too. Squirrels also have razor-sharp teeth and claws, which can be dangerous if provoked. Its claws can quickly slash through gloves, clothing, and skin.
There are a lot of factors in answering the question of how can you have a squirrel as a pet? We will talk about legalities, basic needs, tips, and the cons of having a pet squirrel. Let’s get started.
History Of Squirrel As Pets
History tells us that squirrels were once considered household pets. Early American colonists use to keep wild animals as pets, from badgers to raccoons, and of course, squirrels. There are even family portraits that include pet squirrels in them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the squirrels were in cages rather than having to walk freely inside the house, especially during these times.
How Can You Have A Squirrel As A Pet?
Check the Laws in your State
There are laws in some states that do not allow you to have squirrels as pets. Squirrels are protected by the wildlife conservation and exotic pet act. The regulations, however, do not prevent you from feeding a squirrel or getting close to them.
States that allow exotic pets like fish, reptiles, birds, and squirrels require you to obtain a permit. Squirrels are uncommon, unlike fish and reptiles, but they are on the list. Grey squirrels, red squirrels, and flying squirrels are the usual breed of squirrels that we see as pets.
Life or Death Situations
Most people who own a squirrel, with or without permits, usually have no intention of taking in squirrels as pets. These owners have a big heart and unintentionally took in the squirrel to save its life. Most stories from squirrel owners go like seeing a squirrel injured on the ground and bringing them in. Baby squirrels that fell from the tree and neglected by the mother. These owners would take in those squirrels until the creature can get on its feet.
But in some cases where a baby squirrel was cared for from birth to adulthood, releasing it into the wild is suicide. So it would be best to have that squirrel as a pet for its entire life. This is a noble excuse for answering the question of can you have a squirrel as a pet.
Flying squirrels are among the most sought after when having squirrels as pets. This is because they are unique rodents that can soar through the air, which is very entertaining to watch. Most squirrel enthusiasts go above and beyond to secure a permit for these squirrels. Usually, you will see videos circulating on the internet of flying squirrels soaring from one part of the house onto the owner’s hands.
Why Squirrels Are Not So Suitable As Pets
- How can you have a squirrel as a pet when they have sharp claws? Squirrels have nails designed to grip on the bark that allow them to climb trees. It is also impossible to cut a squirrel’s nails off because chances are they will bite you. Squirrel bites also contain rabbis and can prove to be fatal if left untreated.
- Squirrels also have sharp teeth. Although they don’t bite if unprovoked, these teeth were mean to chip away on nutshells and wood. Your wooden furniture in the house will be a target for these furballs to chip away and nibble. Also, squirrels need to chew things continually. If ever this is prevented, chances are they are bound to go through a severe illness.
- The diet of a squirrel is balanced and sometimes challenging to provide. The diet of a squirrel contains high calcium, insects for protein. They also need some greens in their diet. They are also known to be picky eaters, so having a squirrel to feed will be time-consuming and expensive.
- Squirrels have tremendous amounts of energy and cannot stay in one place. Because they are so small, they can fit in every crack the room has to offer, making a mess along the way. Although squirrels tend to keep their living areas clean and neat, they tend to leave everything else cluttered.
- A squirrel is a wild animal and is not to be tamed or caged. The best place for a squirrel is in a tree where it can live in its terms. You shouldn’t keep the squirrel as a pet, although, no one will stop you from seeing your friend in its tree, and providing it with food.
Can you have a squirrel as a pet? The answer will depend on different factors. Some would argue that squirrels are not suitable pets, but some would go above and beyond to secure a permit. If you do decide to get a squirrel as a pet, remember to show some love to our furry friend. Provide it with a suitable environment where it can run free and nibble on wood to keep its teeth healthy. It is not advisable to domesticate a squirrel since they are wild animals, unlike cats and dogs. I hope the information that I provided in this article has shed some light on your pet caring knowledge. Pets are an enjoyable companion in this nutty world, and you can even consider them family. Know more about pets.