Most animals won’t turn down french fries, especially squirrels. But before feeding your pet or wild squirrel fries, it’s important to understand why they are not good for them, just like fries are not good for us.
Can Squirrels Eat French Fries?
Squirrels have sharp teeth that make it easy for them to eat french fries. That said, french fries are fatty foods that are mostly empty calories, therefore they do not have any nutritional value for squirrels.
Like us, a squirrels diet must consist of essential vitamins, and minerals in order to be healthy. Before sharing your McDonald’s french fries with them, you need to understand why it’s not the best food for them.
Do Squirrels Like French Fries?
Squirrels are attracted to the salty and fatty taste of french fries. Like us, they enjoy the taste of fried foods. But, just because they like the taste, doesn’t mean it’s good for them.
They are not picky eaters, and will eat just about anything you give them. However, these opportunistic rodents don’t always eat food that is good for them. They will eat what is easily available to them, which is why you’ll see them eating bird food, dog food, cat food or anything else they like.
It’s also why you’ll see them in dumpsters or trash cans, looking for food.
While they may like the taste of french fries, it’s not a good idea to give them this unhealthy food. It’s better to give them foods that are specifically made for squirrels, which you can find at your local pet store. These foods will have the right mix of vitamins and minerals that they need to stay healthy.
Are French Fries Safe or Poisonous for Squirrels?
French fries are not poisonous for squirrels. However, they do have a lot of calories, which can cause them to gain weight. Excess weight in the wild can be detrimental to their health, and make them more susceptible to predators.
In the wild, a squirrels diet consists of mostly nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. They occasionally eat insects or small animals. Their diet is high in protein and low in fat, which is why french fries are not good for them.
Are French Fries Good For Squirrels? What Are The Health Benefits?
Just like there are no health benefits for us eating french fries everyday, there are no health benefits for squirrels either. In fact, feeding them french fries can actually be harmful to their health.
A diet of only french fries will cause a squirrel to become malnourished and obese. Over time, this can lead to organ damage and even death.
The high fat content in french fries can also lead to weight gain and other health problems in squirrels.
Why Are French Fries Bad for Squirrels?
There are several reasons french fries are bad for both squirrels and humans. Below are a few of the reasons:
- Saturated Fats: French fries are high in saturated fats, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
- Trans Fats: French fries are also high in trans fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Empty Calories: French fries contain a lot of empty calories, which means they have little nutritional value.
- High in Salt: One medium sized potato has about 17 milligrams of sodium. However, more salt is added to french fries when they are fried.
While squirrels can tolerate a little bit of salt, their tiny kidneys can’t handle too much of it. Too much salt can lead to dehydration, which can be fatal.
This is also why you should never feed wildlife any type of salted foods or nuts.
Can Squirrels Eat Raw Potatoes?
If you must give your squirrel a fry, make sure it is fully cooked and cooled first as raw potatoes are not good for them. Raw potatoes contain protease inhibitors, which are known to affect the digestive system in animals.
No studies done for squirrels, that I could find. However, according to Avian Animal Hospital, when feeding squirrels raw potatoes, it should be in the form of a sweet potato.
How Many French Fries Should You Feed A Squirrel?
It can be hard to turn down a hungry squirrel, especially, if they come up to you when you’re eating. Feeding a squirrel one or two french fries won’t kill them, it’s not something that should be done on a regular basis.
If you have a pet squirrel, give them one fry once a month as an occasional treat. That said, it’s best to feed your pet squirrel sweet potato fries, instead of starchy white fries.
What Happens If A Squirrel Eats Too Many French Fries?
It’s best to not get into the habit of feeding squirrels junk food, not only is it bad for them, but it’s not helpful. Once a squirrel understands they can get food from humans, they become dependent on it and lose their natural fear of us.
This can lead to aggressive behavior, and even biting. If a squirrel becomes too comfortable around humans, they may also start raiding garbage cans or getting into homes in search of food.
Squirrels need to know how to forage food for themselves.
Can Baby Squirrels Eat French Fries?
If the squirrel is less than six weeks old, it should be fed formula such as Esbilac, Pedialite or homemade goat milk. This will help hydrate them and give them the nutrients they need to grow.
At six weeks of age, solid foods can be introduced. The best solid food to introduce to a squirrel that can eat solids are squirrel blocks.
While a baby squirrel may be able to eat a french fry without any problems, it’s best to not give them any as they are high in salt and fat and offer no nutritional value.
French fries are not toxic to squirrels, but fries do not have any nutritional value and can cause health problems if fed to them on a regular basis. If you must feed a squirrel, do so in moderation and offer them a variety of other healthy foods as well.
Squirrels are wild animals and should be treated as such. Feeding them human food is not only unhealthy for them, but it can also be dangerous for us. So, the next time you see a squirrel begging for food, think twice before giving in.
If you have any questions about squirrels or other wildlife, please contact your local wildlife experts. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to handle the situation.