Here's the skinny on the Right Way to Feed your Pet Squirrel
Foods for Flying Squirrels
In the wild, flying squirrels eat much the same foods as
other tree squirrels, albeit in smaller quantities since
they are smaller animals. That is to say that Flying
Squirrels are primarily vegetarians, eating foods such as
berries, seeds, nuts, flowers, sap and buds, fungi and
lichens but they are more carnivorous than other squirrels
and also occasionally eat insects, bird eggs and nestlings
or other small animals if the opportunity arises.
Feed your Southern Flying Squirrel a pelleted food
containing a variety of dried fruits and grain pellets that
is sold specifically for squirrels as its basic diet. Add
supplemental foods to provide a variety of nutrients and
vitamins, and also for environmental enrichment for your
One food that is necessary to a squirrel for life and health
is hard-shelled nuts. The meats of nuts from trees such as
oaks (acorns), hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, hickories and the
like provide needed protein, fats and other nutrients, and
gnawing through the shells helps them keep their ever-
growing teeth, (about six inches or fifteen cm per year),
worn down to a healthy length.
Flying squirrels love these nuts, but if you gather acorns
for your squirrel, try to get white oak acorns rather than
red. Apparently red oak acorns are bitterer and some
squirrels won't eat them. Squirrels also enjoy peanuts, but
give them only as a treat, not as part of their basic food.
Peanuts grow underground and are not true nuts, and so are
not a natural food for squirrels.
It is also important to feed your squirrel a limited
quantity of fruits (maybe once piece per evening as a treat
when you are interacting with it) and a plentiful quantity
and variety of vegetables. Flying squirrels often have a
problem with calcium deficiencies, so avoid the vegetables
that are calcium blockers, such as broccoli, spinach, green
beans and grains. Good choices would be a variety from the
following: summer squashes, winter squashes such as
spaghetti, acorn and butternut, sweet potatoes, cherry or
grape tomatoes, and carrots.
Also make sure that a calcium source, whether cuttlebone, a
commercial calcium block, or found deer antler, is always
available for your squirrel to add both dietary calcium and
Fruit choices can be nearly any fruit. Feed your squirrel
only the meat of the fruit or vegetable, not the peeling or
seeds, the peelings may have pesticide residue and some
fruit and vegetable seeds are toxic.
Sunflower seeds are great for feeding from your hand as a
snack when you are giving your flying squirrel the frequent
social interaction that is so necessary for its wellbeing.
But sunflower seeds are high in fat, which is one reason
that they are so tasty, so limit your squirrel to only a few
unsalted raw sunflower seeds a week. You may also
occasionally give your flyer a cricket, meal worm, or grub
as an added protein snack.
When you first buy your flying squirrel it will probably be
a baby that is not quite weaned. Giving it Esbilac or goat's
milk by hand three times per day and carrying it in a
"bonding pouch" for a number of hours per day will a major
factor in helping it to bond to you and ensuring that it
will be a good pet as it grows to adulthood.
Flying squirrels, of course, as other animals in captivity,
need a constant source of clean water. But don't buy the
traditional hanging water bottle that you might use for
rabbits, rats, or mice. Squirrels sometimes have problems
drinking from bottles with a ball-spout, and some have died
of dehydration as a consequence before their keepers
realized that there was a problem. Use a water dish designed
for small animals that is not easily tipped over or that
attaches to the side of the cage. A cage side mounting dish
designed for parrot food might work well. Some flying
squirrel caretakers suggest added liquid Vitamin D3 to the
water daily. In any event, keep the squirrel's drinking
water very clean, and if you must use a small pet hanging
water bottle, be sure to clean the bottle, change the water
and check the tip every day and watch to make sure that your
squirrel is actually drinking from it.
Monitor your flying squirrel's health daily, and if you have
any problems or concerns about it, don't hesitate to call
your veterinarian. Small animals like flying squirrels can
die quickly from a health or dietary problem, often before
their keepers realize what is happening.
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Page By: Tippy & Alfred who simply have the grandest time making these
web pages. They feed the squirrels outside their office window lots of
peanuts during the winter. Alfred would love to chase one up a tree,
but when he goes outside the squirrels run away, it really hurts Alfred's
feelings too, he just wanted to play chase me up the tree.