Squirrels are quick critters who need to eat throughout the day to maintain their energy levels and body weight. A varied diet is crucial in keeping them healthy but you also need to make sure you feed the appropriate foods, not just any variety of foods.
Squirrels can eat a variety of plants, including legumes. Peanuts are probably the most popular, and widely loved legume, but they aren't the only one you should be feeding.
Peas, lentils, and beans are all excellent sources of plant protein. You should provide a small amount of legumes in a squirrel's daily diet.
Everybody knows squirrels like nuts. Walnuts, acorns, almonds, and other nuts are all loved by squirrels. They love to hold them in their tiny paws and we love to watch them eat them! Nuts are a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and even fiber for your little guy. Provide a few nuts a day as treats to your pet squirrel.
Seeds should be the bulk of your squirrels daily diet. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and other large seeds that are found in most parrot or squirrel mixes should be available to your pet squirrels. These will provide the bulk of their calories and nutritional content but should not be the only food you offer. Squirrels who live solely on seeds will lack calcium in their diet and will most likely become overweight.
Handheld pieces of berries, melons, apples and other fruits can be offered sparingly. Too much fruit will cause diarrhea in your squirrel but a little bit of it daily will give them a small amount of natural sugar and carbohydrates that they need to balance out their diet.
While you may not like the idea of your little squirrel munching on a crunchy mealworm your little rodent friend sure might!
Squirrels will often enjoy the occasional mealworm or superworm, or may even jump at the chance to chase a cricket. Gutloading insects can be another way to add vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D to your squirrels diet. Moths are another option if you and your squirrel are adventurous and want to really jump and chase things.
Next to the seeds, vegetables are the most important part of your squirrels daily diet. Sweet potatoes and corn are popular choices and also very nutritious for your little pet. They provide key vitamins and minerals that seeds, nuts, and other foods don't offer your squirrels. A nice chunk of a vegetable will also give your squirrel a natural water source and add some variety to his diet.
Some companies make squirrel pellets that are formulated to be balanced nutritionally for squirrels. Many Northern and Southern flying squirrel owners prefer to feed these pellets with some added nuts, seeds and other foods to ensure they are providing a well-balanced diet.
Parrot biscuits and monkey biscuits can also be fed as additional food but are not formulated to be the primary diet for pet squirrels.
Many squirrels, especially flying squirrels, will need a calcium and Vitamin D3 supplement if they don't get enough from the food they eat.
In order to make sure your squirrel is getting enough calcium and Vit. D you can dust fruits and vegetables with calcium powder made for reptiles a few times a week.
Squirrels will eat a variety of things but that doesn't mean you should let him eat whatever he wants. Nutritious cereals and crackers are popular treats with squirrel owners but sugary and salty snacks should be avoided. With all the options you have for feeding pet squirrels you shouldn't have any trouble getting a variety of foods into your furry little friend.