You’re sitting on your patio eating cheese and crackers and a lonely squirrel comes up to you wanting a cracker. It’s so cute, so you casually throw a small cracker on the grass and it happily grabs it and starts eating it. Then you start thinking “can you feed squirrels crackers safely?”
Can You Feed Squirrels Crackers?
No, junk food such as french fries, pretzels, crackers, or anything salted should not be fed to animals of any kind. Their bodies can’t digest food the same way that we can.
If you love feeding your backyard squirrels, avoid feeding them salted or sugary snacks. Too much salt can be very harmful to them.
Can Squirrels Eat Crackers?
There isn’t much that a squirrel can’t or won’t eat. Their sharp incisors make it possible for them to crack walnuts with ease. So eating a small cracker or a piece of bread is a small feat for them.
However, just because they can eat anything, doesn’t mean they should eat everything.
Are There Any Benefits To Feeding Squirrels Crackers?
No, there are absolutely no benefits to feeding squirrels crackers. If you think about it, they are not the healthiest snack choice for us. Most crackers are low in fiber and high in sodium, and do not provide enough nutritional value for our diet.
A gray squirrel can weigh between 0.88 to 1.5 lbs, depending on the age of the squirrel. Their small kidneys can’t digest food the same way we can.
While they do need some salt in their diet, they are able to get their daily allowance in the foods they consume in their habitat.
A squirrels diet consists of fruit, seeds, nuts, plants, insects, bird eggs, and even an animal carcass. They don’t need to be fed any type of human food to surive.
If you enjoy feeding squirrels and have put out a feeder for them, you should consider buying wild squirrel food that contains the nutrients and vitamins their small bodies need.
If you are going to feed squirrels crackers, you should at least know which ones have the least amount of salt. You can use this list to make sure you’re not feeding the squirrels too much salt.
You can also use this to make make sure you’re eating the healthiest crackers possible.
Crackers With The Least Amount of Salt
It can be hard to find store-bought crackers that don’t have a lot of sodium. The following list of crackers are some of the healthiest crackers you can find in your local grocery store.
Just remember, you should still only feed squirrels a very small amount of crackers.
|Scandinavian Fiber Crispbread, Oat Bran||0 mg|
|Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt||140 mg|
|Wheat Thins||55 mg|
|Melba Whole Grain Toasts||0 mg|
|Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins||80 mg|
|Vista Unsalted Top Crackers Supreme||60 mg|
|Simple Mills Almond Flour Sea Salt Crackers||180 mg|
|Ryvita Sesame Rye Crispbread||55 mg|
Are Crackers Safe For Squirrels?
As long as you don’t overfeed the squirrels in your backyard, most squirrels will be fine if you share a small piece of the cracker you’re eating. I’ve shared some of the best crackers with the least amount of salt above.
Most people don’t think about what’s in the food they feed wildlife. Just like us, they require certain nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Will Squirrels Eat Crackers?
I don’t believe there isn’t anything that a squirrel won’t eat. We’ve all seen those videos where a squirrel steals bread, candy, bird seed, and etc.
These critters will eat anything they can get their paws on. This is why so many people hate them because they will sneak into their garden and eat their fruits, vegetables, plants and etc.
Unlike you and me, squirrels can’t read the ingredient labels and know what’s good for them and what isn’t. If you’re going to feed them, make sure you understand what food they can eat and what they shouldn’t.
Alternatives To Crackers For Squirrels
If you’re like me, you love feeding the birds and squirrels that visit your backyard. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, after all, you’re not feeding the squirrels in public.
Most public places don’t like people to feed the wild animals because they become dependent on people. So make sure you know the laws about feeding the wildlife in your area.
For those of you with a squirrel feeder, you may want to consider feeding your squirrels some fruits, veggies, and nuts they love. It’s especially important to feed squirrels in the winter when food is in short supply.
Final Word On Feeding Squirrels Crackers
If you look forward to sitting on your back porch to watch the squirrels run around at the feeder eating and playing, you’re not alone. Thousands of people feed these cute critters.
The most important thing to remember is to feed them food that will keep them healthy and happy. Even though they love eating human food, it shouldn’t be a big part of their diet.
In fact, they would be find if they never ate a cracker in their life!
References And Further Reading
Animals How Stuff Works – Meg Sparwath – The Great Squirrel Debate: To Feed or Not to Feed?