Baby Squirrel

Orphaned Baby Squirrel Caring Guide

Squirrels are a part of our everyday life. They are seen as pests when they enter our homes, they are our friends when they are portrayed in movies and they are cute when they are featured in story books. But, do you really know anything about them? Some people fear them, some people want to be like them and some people just like having them around.


Squirrels are found in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. They were introduced to Australia and now live there as well. Squirrels in different regions of the world have other appearances and personalities. Despite their wild nature, some people have tried to domesticate them. Squirrels were popular pets in the 1800s in the US. They are agile and have endearing personalities, which won over the hearts of their keepers.


Newborn baby squirrels get chilled very quickly. So even if you have more than one, they need a heat source. A heating pad on low heat works well, or a hot water bottle that you refresh before it cools off. Place the heat source under a smooth cloth or old shirt in one half of a box, so the squirrel or squirrels can choose an optimal heat level. Check often to be sure the babies feel warm to the touch but not hot.

Baby squirrel habitat

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Can I Have a Pet Squirrel?

There are many benefits of having a pet squirrel, but they require care and attention that can be difficult to provide in the wild. Some people might be hesitant to buy a pet squirrel because they think it would be too hard to take care of them. However, they should not worry because there are many options available for them, such as adopting a squirrel from an animal shelter or even buying one from a breeder.

A lot of people love having animals in their homes, but some people might not have the time or space for them. That is why there are different options for people who want an animal as a pet without all the hassle of taking care of it themselves.

Can I Have a Pet Squirrel?

You Found A Baby Squirrel, Now What?

1 –  Get the Squirrel Contained

So you might be wondering how to take care of a baby squirrel. I know that I did when I first found one in my yard. I quickly learned, however, that to care for this little animal, I needed to get it to a professional wildlife rehabilitator. So I did an Internet search and found the Wildlife Center of Virginia. It’s the official wildlife rehabilitation center for the state of Virginia. There are many organizations across the country, and they all have instructions on their sites on how to care for a baby squirrel. 

2- Is The Squirrel Injured?

Before intervening, we want to make sure the squirrel needs our help. Keep in mind that young squirrels on the ground may be completely healthy. They are not orphans and may need help reuniting with their mothers.

3 – Some Health Problems – Take The Squirrel To The Vet

Some health problems can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Here are some of the most common squirrels’ health problems.

  • Pneumonia (rapid breathing, a clicking sound in the chest).
  • The bloat that is painful or not helped by toileting more and feeding less.
  • Any external injury that you can see.
  • Paralysis, or partial paralysis.
  • Fitting – do not ignore it. It can kill.
  • Hair loss.
Baby squirrel health problems

Identify The Baby Squirrel’s Age

When a baby squirrel is born, it can’t do anything independently. It is the mother who provides food and warmth for the baby. Baby squirrels usually have their teeth out when they are 6 weeks old.

Identify The Baby Squirrel's Age

How To Ensure That The Baby Squirrel Is An Orphan?

There are two main signs to identify an orphaned baby squirrel – a retreating nipple and vocalizations. You cannot manage an infant squirrel yourself, so it is important to leave it outside in a safe place so that the mother regains its senses do not come back and hurt her joey.

Orphan baby squirrel

Weaning Diet

A squirrel’s diet is usually composed of a variety of nuts, fruits, seeds, and fungi. They prefer eating fruits, nuts, and seeds that grow on trees, but they also consume the bark of certain trees, especially the white pine. Each squirrel depends on a daily diet of about a quarter of a pound of food. In addition, to satisfy their need for water, squirrels often eat snow or ice.

Squirrels are considered omnivores, so, they eat both plants and meat. Squirrels have been known to eat insects, nuts, acorns, beech nuts, walnuts, fruits, seeds, grubs, fresh herbs, vegetable resins, various roots, fungi, and mushrooms. They will happily devour tinned cat or dog food if it’s accidentally left outside and is of the size it can carry. In autumn, before the leaves have fallen, squirrels will eat dozens of blackberries daily. Squirrels are known to eat the eggs of birds in their vicinity. They will also kill and eat smaller squirrels.

Feeding Rule

Little squirrels have tiny stomachs. So they have to eat a lot of times on the same day. The query is that their food is not enough to fill them up. So they are not able to eat twice a day. They need to do that because they need the energy to move, and they need to think as well. Squirrels are charming little creatures.

Baby squirrel feeding rule

Potty Time

In the wild, an adult squirrel defecates once or twice daily. Toileting can be a pretty big chore for a squirrel. You’ve probably noticed that a squirrel sticks out behind her when she sits on a branch. That’s because she’s got a built-in toilet – her tail! Squirrels use their tails like toilet paper, wiping the fecal material off and away from their bodies. That is why you’ll sometimes see evidence of a squirrel using his tail to clean himself before he leaves a tree.

It depends on what you mean by potty time. If you mean, the time squirrel needs to find a suitable place to use the bathroom. Then it can take anywhere between 20 seconds and five minutes. But, on the other hand, if you mean the time squirrel needs to pull off his pants, well, you know that’s always five minutes!

What would you do if a Squirrel is Being Stimulated But is Not Peeing?

Taking a close look at your squirrel will tell you what is wrong. Are the nipples plugged, engorged, or scabbed over? Do you see any discharge? What is the color of the release? Is the discharge smelly? Is your squirrel listless? There are several reasons why a nursing mother squirrel won’t produce milk for her babies. You will need a diagnostic work-up if the problem is not related to the nipples.

If your squirrel is not secreting any urine, then something is wrong. If the animal is not alert and engaging with its environment, it could be a problem with its nervous system. If there is a problem with the nervous system, the animal’s body will be unable to retain fluid, losing water essential for survival. Therefore, you need to bring the animal to the veterinarian right away.

How Do I Know if my Baby Squirrel is Dehydrated?

If your squirrel is alert and active, it is not likely to be dehydrated. However, if your squirrel is sluggish, sleepy and unresponsive, it is likely dehydrated. Dehydration is losing more than 10% of body weight from fluid loss. Your squirrel needs to be rehydrated with Pedialyte, which you can purchase at the pharmacy without a prescription. You will need to administer the fluid orally with an eye dropper. Offer the squirrel 1ml of Pedialyte every 10 minutes for the first hour and then gradually increase to 1ml every 15 minutes.

It is important to continue to offer small amounts of Pedialyte long after the initial rehydration. Many people have found that Pedialyte will work if given intravenously (IV) or subcutaneously (under the skin), but your vet needs to administer these rehydration methods. You may also consider contacting the local wildlife rehabilitator who can help you rehydrate your squirrel. If you have any further questions, please contact Wildlife Control, Inc. animal experts at 1300 WILDLIFE (1300 945 352), who can help determine if you need to take your squirrel to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Dehydrated baby squirrel


How do you take care of a baby squirrel?

Baby squirrels are curious and active, making them prone to danger. Squirrels have a great sense of smell and hearing, so they can easily sense the presence of predators. Squirrel mothers hide their young in the trees and return to nurse them once or twice a day. If a baby squirrel is on the ground and cannot get back into the trees, it WILL be attacked and killed by a predator. Here are some tips to help them:

What kind of formula do you feed a baby squirrel?

The best formula to use is Esbilac, Milk Matrix Zoologic 33/40, or Fox Valley 32/40. Esbilac is the only formula that can purchase at most pet shops or here at Chris’s Squirrels and More. However, we recommend you buy the Esbilac immediately at a local pet store.

Can I give a baby squirrel water?

Some squirrels are still small enough to be hand-fed. You can try giving them water by heating water to 100F or by dipping their bottle in warm water. Placing a drop of water on their tongues will also help.


It is very rare to find a squirrel willing to be held by a human. Most squirrels are terrified of humans and will not want to be in your arms. However, if you find a squirrel that is comfortable with your presence and wants to hold it, be sure to go to your local animal shelter. There are usually many animals that are not enjoyed and need a home. If you cannot find a squirrel in need of a home, you can always try to find a squirrel that is not afraid of human presence. Follow the squirrel around and try to tame it until it gets used to your company. 

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