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How to buy a pet squirrel

Updated February 21, 2017

Squirrels can make interesting pets. However, before you purchase one, check all applicable laws to confirm that keeping and caring for a squirrel is legal in your town, county and state. Afterwards, the only thing standing between you and pet squirrel ownership is finding a competent breeder.

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  1. Confirm that it's legal to keep pet squirrels in your state. Find your state's Department of Wildlife (or Natural Resources) phone number and inquire about laws governing pet squirrel ownership. Check with city hall, health departments and other relevant county offices to determine whether there are special laws regarding squirrel pet ownership in your state, county or town.

  2. Contact your local department of animal services. Ask about pet squirrel permits. If your region requires that you have a permit, obtain one before pursuing pet squirrel ownership.

  3. Get a list of exotic pet dealers in your area. Find a pet squirrel breeder. Buying pet squirrels from experienced breeders ensures that you get a captive-bred, domesticated squirrel that is easy to manage and look after.

  4. Call pet squirrel breeders. Arrange meetings to see their stock.

  5. Check the pet squirrel's appearance. Lustrous coats without fleas or ticks, average weight, a clean nose and eyes that are not clouded are signs of good health.

  6. Note the squirrel's behavior. Although you are in the market for a squirrel that has been tamed beforehand, a squirrel that goes completely limp in your hands may not be the best squirrel to purchase. A squirrel's suspicion is natural and can often indicate that it is alert and healthy.

  7. Ask breeders questions about squirrel pet care. Verify that they are interested in the squirrel's health and care after it has left their hands. Inquire about their availability and support should you need it in the future.

  8. Decide on a breeder and pet squirrel to buy.

  9. Visit the breeder again and buy your pet squirrel. Exchange any necessary paperwork, phone numbers and money.

  10. Tip

    Male and female pet squirrels do not typically differ in temperament. Choosing either a male or female squirrel is completely up to your preference or breeding requirements. House only one pet squirrel to a cage. Pet squirrels enjoy having their own personal space and nesting areas.


    Do not attempt to catch a pet squirrel from the wild. Capturing wild squirrels and keeping them as pets is illegal in many states. Owning a pet squirrel along with a dog or cat is not a good idea. Dogs and cats have a natural aversion to squirrels and often try to hunt and hurt them.

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About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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