The other day, a friend called me telling me that she found a nest of just born baby squirrels. Apparently, it fell out of the tree and she asked me “I found a baby squirrel, what do I do?” Well, I spent the whole day searching for tips on how to save a baby squirrel and wanted to share them with you.
I found a baby squirrel What Should I Do?
The first thing you need to do is determine the actual age of the squirrel and see if it has any wounds or broken bones. If it’s cold and crying nonstop, you will want to take it to the nearest wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitation center. (I’ll share more tips on determining the age of a squirrel below)
It’s not unusual to find a nest that fell out of a tree, in fact, this is how most people end up with one as a pet. They found baby squirrels that have been injured or abandoned and rescue them back to health.
Rescuing Baby Squirrels
More and more people who find an injured baby squirrel or abandoned squirrel babies are nursing them back to health. I really can’t blame them, after all, they are so cute. Who doesn’t want to domesticate a squirrel and raise it as a pet?
However, you need to keep in mind in mind that it’s not legal to keep a squirrel as a pet, you need to check the regulations where you live.
Several people have had success keeping it as a pet once they have rescued an orphan squirrel. While I personally don’t agree that one should be kept as a pet, I wanted to share some tips to help you if you are trying to figure out how to care for a wild baby squirrel you found.
5 Tips for Helping Baby Squirrels You Find
Grey squirrels nest twice per year and can have litters of 3-4 pups. Finding a baby is not as common as you might think, but unfortunately, it can happen. People have found baby squirrels in their backyard that have fallen out of trees or the cat or dog got a hold of.
That’s why I wanted to share some tips on steps you can take for helping baby squirrels. I am NOT a veterinarian, but these tips are available online and I’ve put them together in one place just for YOU.
#1 Check for Injuries
First things first, you need to examine them and see if they have any:
- Open wounds or broken bones
- If your cat or dog has injured it.
- Is their body covered in fly eggs? (the eggs look like small grains of rice)
- Is the baby crying, cold, or wet? (if yes, there’s a good chance they were injured)
If they weren’t injured, you want to figure out the age of the squirrel. It’s NOT as hard as you might think, there are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to.
#2 Determine How Old Is The Squirrel?
Just like humans, squirrels are born without any hair or teeth. At birth, their eyes and ears are closed. Finding a squirrel with eyes open, means they are NOT a newborn. You can use these developmental features to help you determine the age of the squirrel.
This squirrel age guide with pictures on this website will help you determine the age of the Fox, Red, and Eastern Gray Squirrels. Sometimes it’s easier to determine the age of a squirrel if you can see pictures.
Make sure that they are really a baby or if they are old enough to survive on their own. Just because a squirrel is tiny, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a baby.
If they have a fluffed out tail that looks like a bottle cleaner or a body that is longer than 6 inches, means they are probably old enough to survive on their own.
#3 Leave Them By The Tree
If they are indeed infant squirrels and don’t have any injuries, you will want to return them to the nesting tree, where you found them. There’s a good chance that the mother will go back looking for them.
Keep an eye on them as there are a lot of predators that eat squirrels.
Newborn squirrels have a much better chance of surviving with their mother. Caring for a baby squirrel is a lot of work. They require a special diet and depending on the age, you may even have to feed them formula, check out some of the best Esbilac Powder for squirrels.
You can even make a little nest box or buy one to put them inside where the mother can find them and be reunited again.
#4 Keep Your Pets Away and Watch Them
Make sure that your cats, dogs or any other type of animal do not harm the baby. This means that you’ll need to check the nest box on a daily basis to see if the mother has returned or taken the baby back up to their nest.
If the mother doesn’t return, you will need to come up with a contingency plan. I suggest finding a wildlife rescue center near you that can properly care for the baby and release them to the wild.
However, I know that a lot of people will take matters into their own hands and look for baby squirrel help tips on YouTube. So, here’s a great video that will help you raise a baby squirrel.
This video is amazing and it will give you an insight into how much care baby squirrels actually require.
#5 Let Them Be Squirrels In The Wild
Everyone loves babies, whether it’s puppies, humans and even baby squirrels. However, they do not make great pets and should be allowed to live in the wild. Yes, I know that many people are looking for ways to find a pet squirrel.
However, these critters are meant to be wild and have sharp claws that can really hurt. True, they bite and but they don’t carry rabies. But mother nature intended them to be wild and they know how to survive in different elements.
I love all wild creatures and I personally don’t see anything wrong with providing them food, shelter and even rescuing one if you find one that is injured.
There are a lot of things to consider before you keep one as a pet. Keeping one as a pet is a big commitment, so make sure that you’re up for the job if you choose to train them to be domesticated pets.
Related Articles for Squirrel Rescue as Pets
References and Further Reading
Wildlife Center – Baby Squirrels
The Dodo In The Wild – What To Do If You Find A Baby Squirrel On The Ground