How to care for baby squirrels

Written by cynthia gomez
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How to care for baby squirrels
Help orphaned baby squirrels survive. (baby squirrels in a cemertery image by PHOTOFLY from Fotolia.com)

If you happen to find a baby squirrel alone, it's likely that its mom was killed or trapped, an animal raided the squirrel nest and baby became separated from its mom and siblings, or your pet dog somehow got his hands on one while the family was moving her young. Regardless, properly caring for the baby squirrel can ensure its survival.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Blanket
  • Mild soap
  • Oral electrolyte solution
  • Medicine dropper or oral syringe
  • Puppy milk replacement
  • Cage

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Warm the baby up. If mom is still alive, there is a good chance she will take back her baby. However, mom will not recognise the baby as it has an abnormal body temperature. Additionally, baby squirrels can quickly become dangerously cold without the insulation of the nest. Use a blanket to do this by wrapping the baby up in it and rubbing it softly.

  2. 2

    Check for injuries. Do this by rubbing the baby squirrel softly with a thin, damp cloth. Look for spots where blood and dirt have dried up and covered injuries. If you need to wash the baby squirrel to get rid of parasites, use a mild soap.

  3. 3

    Rehydrate the baby squirrel by feeding it an oral electrolyte solution. Use a medicine dropper or oral syringe to administer the liquid, ensuring that it is body temperature. Offer this every 30 minutes or so for the first few feedings.

  4. 4

    Begin feeding the baby squirrel a puppy milk replacement, available at pet supply stores. Get the powdered form and mix three parts oral electrolyte solution with one part formula. As the squirrel baby gets used to the milk replacement, gradually reduce the amount of electrolyte solution so that it's getting the full milk formula. Feed roughly 1cc per 20g of body weight if the baby still has its eyes closed, or 5 to 7cc per 100 grams of body weight for older babies. (See Resources for sample feeding schedule.)

  5. 5

    Create a home for your baby squirrel. Squirrels don't make good pets; however, while you nurse baby back to health and ready it for release into the wild, it will need a safe place to call home. A cage out of the way works well. Put toys inside so the baby can play.

  6. 6

    Create a home for the baby squirrel. Squirrels don't make good pets; however, while you nurse baby back to health and ready it for release into the wild, it will need a safe place to call home. A cage out of the way works well. Put toys inside so the squirrel can play.

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