As squirrels can be found in all kinds of ecological niches all around the world, almost everyone has seen one of these creatures at least once in their lives.
There are over 1,200 species of squirrel all around the world and they can be found on all continents, except for Australia. The squirrel family is made of flying squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs, and ground squirrels, but the 122 tree squirrel species that belong to the subfamily Sciurinae, 22 genera, are the ones that most people ever see in their lives.
How Much Does a Squirrel Cost?
The cost of a squirrel, on average, will be between $100 and $500, although this price will vary depending on factors like the breeder, the quality of the pet, its age, species, and so on.
There are some US states where there are limitations on the type of unique pet you can own, which is why before you consider adopting a squirrel, you will have to make sure owning a squirrel is legal in your location.
How much does a pet squirrel cost to own?
Once you have a baby squirrel, you will have to get a cage in which to keep it. The perfect cage will be at least four feet wide and three feet tall. It should have branches and a nesting box inside of it. You will spend at least $200 to $400+ for a decently sized setup, but this will ultimately depend on the materials you use for the cage and its size. If you want to keep the squirrel both inside and outside, then you can consider getting a second cage for outside.
When it comes to its, diet, a squirrel in the wild will choose to eat food that is high in carbohydrates, fat, and protein, like green vegetables, fungi, nuts, fruits, seeds, and plants.
While kept in captivity, the pet squirrel will be fed by most owners with a combination of the foods it gets in the wild and a readily available packaged squirrel food mix. You might be inclined to rely on packaged squirrel food alone, but this is a really bad idea, as most packs don’t contain everything your pet will need, and you risk malnourishment issues. Expect your squirrel, as long as it is healthy, to eat around one pound of food per week.
It’s important that you give them chewing material at all times, as their teeth will continue to grow throughout their lives. To keep its dental health in check, you can opt for a cow hoof that has been sterilized, hardwood pieces, or a flavored hardwood stick you can get at your local pet store.
Like most animals, squirrels live to play and socialize. You surely saw one of the many viral videos of playful squirrels. When they feel playful, these creatures like to wrestle. to help with this, consider placing one or more small stuffed animals inside the nesting box.
Squirrels need perches or tree branches on the side of their cages as they love to climb and attach to things.
You should add routine and unexpected vet visits to your budget as well.
Important things on having a squirrel as a pet
A squirrel is a small rodent. it will only measure about 11 inches long when reaching adulthood, while its tail will be between 4 and 10 inches in length. Still, there are some species that become as large as a small beaver. For example, marmots and prairie dogs. Depending on its species, it can have a weight between 4 and 28 ounces.
Different types of squirrels have different social behaviors. While Red squirrels could be considered solitary creatures as they live alone throughout the year and only get together when needing to raise their young, Gray squirrels, although solitary during the summer, will get together during the winter in groups as large as 24 squirrels in one place.
When searching for the perfect pet, we recommend that you get a captive-bred squirrel that is as young as possible. Look for a pet that has been separated from its mother at weaning time or has been hand-raised from a young age. This is the best way to ensure that the squirrel adapts to humans around it and will be easy to train and tame.
A healthy squirrel is first and foremost, within a healthy weight for its age. It should also have a clean, glossy coat, clear, bright eyes, and a clean nose. The squirrel shouldn’t have ticks or fleas either.
A domestic squirrel that grows up in optimum conditions should live up to around 20 years.
Don’t expect your squirrel to be active all throughout the day. They will mostly be active a few hours before dusk and just a couple of hours after sunrise. They will usually choose to rest for the rest of the day.
If you like to give it some freedom and let it run around the home, make sure that you first secure any electrical wires. They are known to chew on all kinds of wires so leaving them exposed could risk the integrity of your electrical system as well as the life of the pet.
Squirrels are prone to infections so experts recommend that you don’t handle them too much when it’s not needed.
When thinking about getting a squirrel, using blogs to research whether this is a good pet or not will be a great way of getting discouraged. For example, websites Vin have full listicles about why you shouldn’t keep a squirrel as a pet.
If you find a wild squirrel that seems hurt or in need, don’t hurry up to take it home. It might have diseases you don’t know about putting your family’s lives in danger. Instead, look for a wildlife rehabilitator who can take care of the pet.
You can also call a local vet if you don’t have any wildlife rehabilitators around you. Search online in your area for people or institutions that could help these types of creatures in need.
Squirrels are known to have great temperament when properly raised. They are very intelligent, affectionate, playful, and even attentive to their owners.
They will occasionally scratch or bite by accident and can leave some visible marks, although they aren’t considered aggressive in general.