Do Squirrels Make Good Pets?
The way most people see squirrels is as these adorable little furry things that their dogs love to chase after, and that generally provide a bucketful of laughs and “aw”s from their children. This prompts quite a few people to wonder – would a squirrel make a good pet?
On the outside, it seems ideal in many ways. While squirrels are generally energetic and upbeat (despite only being awake for nine hours a day), they are also significantly smaller than dogs, or cats, even, so they might be great pets, right? After all, if you can have a hamster for a pet, why couldn’t you have a squirrel? That seems to be the general idea here, but things are not as simple as they first appear when it comes to befriending squirrels.
Do Squirrels Make Good Pets?
It might be illegal.
Yes, you might not think it, but many states in the U.S. actually say it’s illegal to keep squirrels in your home. So this can land you in some legal hot waters, if you don’t do your research beforehand. Of course, every state is different, so do your research, or ask your local vet for guidance and the legal details in regards to pet squirrels.
It might also be inhumane.
Another important concern that many people have about keeping a squirrel as a pet is that a squirrel is not domesticated, but rather a wild animal. As such, it is not alright to keep it indoors, as you would a domesticated animal. A squirrel is not accustomed to pet life, and so might react poorly. This might cause conflicts with the squirrel, and might prompt it to behave aggressively towards you.
At the very least, it would equate taking away the squirrel’s freedom, and as you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you, then you probably shouldn’t attempt to do it to another living creature.
There is no squirrel food at the pet store.
And with good reason. While squirrels will eat a wide array of foods, they – like any other living creature – have nutrient needs. That means that if they don’t have access to the right foods, this might lead to deficiencies and health problems.
And since you can’t really buy squirrel food at the local pet store, you’re practically inviting these health concerns and deficiencies on your furry friend. If you like, you can start feeding squirrels that come to your yard, to encourage them to return. You can visit squirrel-attic.com to learn about the outcomes by feeding squirrels.
Consider the damage.
Since squirrels are wild animals, keeping them captive inside your home – even if you don’t see it as such, can lead to outbursts, and to extensive squirrel damage to your property. Squirrels are great chewers, so they can chew through your drywall, through soffits, wood, metal, and pretty much anything else inside your home. This will cost you a lot, both in terms of cash and sentimentality. If you’re unsure what to do about a squirrel on your property, why not call a professional at New Jersey Pest Control.
Speaking of teeth, squirrels’ teeth never stop growing. Ever.
Even if your squirrel were to react peacefully to your decision to take it as a pet, it will still need to chew constantly throughout its life. This happens because a squirrel’s teeth never stop growing, and so the squirrel needs to keep filing them down diligently, otherwise suffer a slow and very painful death.
For you, this means that everything in your home will end up thoroughly chewed and destroyed, and that might not be your idea of a good time.
Squirrels carry diseases.
Last but not least, another reason why you wouldn’t want a squirrel as a pet is that they carry a lot of dangerous bacteria, like most other wild animals. This would mean that you, as its owner, would be exposed to a host of serious diseases, like typhus, ringworm, or tularemia.
Bottom line: squirrels as pets are not a good idea.
While squirrels are very cute and cuddly, they are best left in the wilderness, where they belong. Attempting to domesticate one would only end in grief, both for you and for the squirrel.