Squirrels are not pets and live their best lives in the wild.If you find a baby squirrel that needs care, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.Feed the squirrel slowly, carefully, and frequently if you prepare a rehydrating solution or milk replacement formula.Solid foods can be slowly introduced with the guidance of the rehabilitator.
Step 1: Before taking in a wild squirrel, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.
Contact your government's environmental, wildlife, or similar agency if you want to search online for "wildlife rehabilitators near me."If advised, help the squirrel.There are many reasons to consult an expert before helping a baby squirrel, including that it may not be in need of help.The mother may be waiting for you to leave.Squirrels need round-the-clock care for their first few weeks of life.It is difficult to care for a baby squirrel in the wild.It will not have the skills it needs.It's illegal to take in or care for wild animals where you live.You could be subject to fines or even jail time.
Step 2: If advised to do so, pick up the baby squirrel.
If the wildlife rehabilitator tells you to pick up the baby squirrel, you can build a temporary nest for it.The next thing to do is to gather up some material.Put it in your pocket.Scoop up the baby squirrel with both hands.If you can, wash your hands as soon as possible.Take the squirrel home and put it in a small container.There are a lot of holes in the lid.You can use the material in your pocket to make a nest.The squirrel should be moved into the nest.On top of a heating pad set to low or medium, put the other half of the box.The goal is to warm that half of the box to 99 F.
Step 3: Check for dehydration, as advised by the wildlife rehabilitator.
You can check for dehydration by pinching the baby squirrel's skin.The squirrel is likely dehydrated if the pinched skin stays raised for more than 1 second.The squirrel is most likely dehydrated if the skin falls quickly.Provide hydration if advised by the wildlife rehabilitator.
Step 4: If you need a rehydrating solution, use Pedialyte, water or a homemade mix.
Water won't work for rehydration, but Pedialyte is a better choice.Do not drink a sports drink.You can make your own rehydrating solution by combining salt, sugar, and water.The mixture should be kept in the refrigerator.If the squirrel needs to be rehydrated, use one of these options.Don't use it for regular feedings.
Step 5: If the baby squirrel is thirsty, use powdered puppy milk replacer.
You can provide this formula if the baby squirrel doesn't need rehydration.You will shift to this formula once you have completed the process of rehydrating the squirrel.Purchase powdered puppy milk replacer at any pet store and mix it with distilled water, whipping cream or plain.Store the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Step 6: Warm a small amount of liquid.
If you draw up enough Pedialyte, water, homemade rehydrator, or formula, you can fill a 1cc oral syringe.Put it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 5 seconds.You can test the temperature by squeezing a drop on your wrist.The solution should be reheated for 5 more seconds if it feels cold to your skin.Wait until it is warm on your skin before feeding it to the squirrel.If the baby squirrel has fur and is more than 2 weeks old, use an oral syringe.
Step 7: The dropper should be drawn with the appropriate amount of liquid in mind.
Once your rehydrating solution or milk replacer formula is mixed and warmed, use the measurement lines on the oral syringe to get the right amount for a feeding.Follow the recommendations of the wildlife rehabilitator that you have contacted.Tiny, pink-skinned, eyes-closed babies under 2 weeks of age should get a small amount of liquid every 2 hours.Open-eyed, fully-furred babies should get a small amount of liquid every 3 hours.When the baby is 6 weeks old, feed them 4-5cc every 4 hours.It includes night feedings until at least 6 weeks of age.
Step 8: The dropper should be pointed toward the roof of the baby's mouth.
Squirrels can aspirate the feeding liquid, which can lead to pneumonia and death.Aspiration will be less likely if the squirrel is upright.To keep the squirrel secure, cradle it tightly and gently.The squirrel's head can be tilted slightly upward if you use your thumb gently.Before and after handling a squirrel, wash your hands.Wear latex or thin leather gloves.Follow the alternate feeding instructions of the wildlife rehabilitator.
Step 9: Feeding liquid should be dispersed very slowly to prevent aspiration.
Place one drop at a time on the baby's lips.If the baby has fur and its eyes are open, you can place the dropper just past its lips and squeeze 3-4 drops at a time.It may take up to an hour to complete a feeding at a one-drop-at-a-time pace.If the liquid is running out of the squirrel's mouth, you're feeding it too fast.Wait about a minute before starting again.
Step 10: A newborn squirrel needs to be stimulated with its bowels after each feeding.
The squirrel needs external stimulation to urinate and defecate if its eyes are still closed.After each feeding, gently rub the newborn's genital and anal area with a cotton ball or cotton swab dipped in warm water until it urinates or defecates.Use a damp cloth to wipe away the mess.When the squirrel's eyes are open, it should urinate and defecate.
Step 11: If there are feeding problems, get the wildlife rehabilitator involved.
If the baby squirrel gags when you try to feed it, you should immediately contact the wildlife rehabilitator.If there are feeding problems, you should always get the squirrel to the rehabilitator so they can care for it.If the squirrel won't urinate or defecate even with stimulation, get the rehabilitator's help right away.
Step 12: The rehabilitator recommends the first solid food.
Different wildlife rehabilitators have different preferences when it comes to feeding a baby squirrel.You can buy packaged feeding blocks at pet retailers.Some experts prefer feeding blocks for rodents, while others prefer squirrel-specific blocks.They may recommend the best place to get the feeding blocks.
Step 13: Try to get the squirrel to open his eyes.
At around 4-5 weeks of age, most baby squirrels open their eyes.Place your feeding block into the squirrel's enclosure after you give it a feeding with the dropper.If it shows no interest at first, don't worry.It will start looking at the block.Once you add the food block, introduce a water source into the enclosure.Fresh water can be found in a shallow dish in the enclosure.The squirrel formula should be fed every 4 hours until it shows no interest in the formula.It will only want solid food at 7 to 10 weeks of age.
Step 14: Vegetables and other healthy foods should be introduced one at a time.
Add small, ripped-up pieces of broccoli, kale, spring mix, or other dark greens after the squirrel has taken to the feeding blocks.Start with one vegetable at a time and wait a few days before trying another.You can offer seeds, nuts, and pieces of fruit at a time.The feeding blocks should not be replaced with these other foods.Add a few pieces at a time.It is easier to determine if a squirrel has a bad response to a new food if it is provided one at a time.The most obvious sign of this is diarrhea.
Step 15: If you take the squirrel to a rehabilitator, it will be released into the wild.
The squirrel is ready to go back into the wild once it is weaned.You should let an expert handle the transition because it is very challenging.If you want to transfer the squirrel to their care, contact the rehabilitator.You can take in the squirrel as a pet.Squirrels are very demanding pets and this may be illegal in your area.It is likely to live a better life in the wild.