Do Squirrels Drink Milk? 5 Facts You Should Know

Feeding is always a critical concern for those who wish to keep squirrels as pets in their homes. So, do squirrels drink milk?

This is an irresolute inquiry among squirrel lovers who always feel obliged to fill the bellies of these fascinating creatures. 

If you are still insecure about feeding squirrel milk, this article is tailored to inform you if squirrels drink milk and if it is really healthy for them.

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Do Squirrels Drink Milk?

Now to the big question. Do squirrels drink milk? Yes, baby squirrels can drink milk; however, the milk should be free from lactose and recommended by a veterinary. Unlike humans, a squirrel’s digestive system is very sensitive, thus selecting what goes in there.

The milk must be freshly prepared since milk residues are very acidic and can pose digestive problems to a baby squirrel; thus, special care should be observed.

An infant squirrel drinking milk from a glass cup
An infant squirrel drinking milk from a glass cup

What Kind of Milk Do Squirrels Drink?

As mentioned earlier, baby squirrels should be fed with veterinary formula milk, free from lactose. Examples of recommended milk formulas include Milk Matrix and Esbilac.

Additionally, Puppy milk and Pedialyte are proven to be healthy for the growth of a baby squirrel and can be included in their diets.

Conversely, adult squirrels are not very discerning about what they feed on. They will literally chew and drink on anything they find sweet and not have problems. This is because their systems are more developed for survival, unlike baby squirrels.

Last update on 2021-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Much Milk Does a Baby Squirrel Drink?

Proper feeding habits are essential in ensuring the well-being of a baby squirrel. For baby squirrels less than six weeks old, 1-3ml of milk should be administered using a needleless syringe which should be thoroughly cleaned after every feeding.

For squirrels that are six weeks old, 5-8ml of milk should be appropriate. While feeding, short breaks should be taken in between to facilitate the swallowing of milk or solid pulped foods.

Solid foods and mashed fruits should, however, be fed to squirrels that are three months old. During feeding of baby squirrels, they should be positioned in an upright position to prevent choking from food or milk blocking their noses and mouths.

Can A Baby Squirrel Drink Cow’s Milk?

Cow milk is not recommended for baby squirrels as it induces digestive problems. This is because pasteurized cow milk is low in fat, thus inhibiting proper digestion. 

Therefore, baby squirrels cannot efficiently digest cow milk as it lacks the necessary enzymes and bacteria that help break down food.

Cow milk also lacks essential ingredients that are needed for a baby squirrel. It can as well cause diarrhea and dehydration for the little animals.

On the other hand, formula milk is usually boosted with nutrients and formulas that are very valuable to the health of a baby squirrel.

Do squirrels drink milk? Yes they do
As baby squirrels don’t eat solid foods other than their mother’s breast milk, orphaned baby squirrels will need to be sustained with milk formula using an eye dropper.

Can You Feed a Baby Squirrel Cat Milk?

Like cow milk, cat milk is useless as it lacks the necessary nutrients required by baby squirrels. Cat milk also has more fats and a considerably high amount of proteins that are not suitable for a baby squirrel digestion.

Cat milk is specifically designed for cats that have different nutrient preferences. They require plenty of proteins as it is good for their health. Similarly, baby squirrels have their recommended milk formula, with the best formula being Esbilac.

However, recent concerns claim that Esbilac modified their formula, and small animals cannot digest calcium particles present in the formula resulting in digestive problems. Rehabbers and pet owners have since been advised to adopt a new formula known as Fox Valley.

Last update on 2021-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Can Baby Squirrels Drink Human Breast Milk?

Interestingly, every set of young animals has different nutrient requirements, thus creating unique milk formulas. As human breast milk looks suitable for baby squirrels, it also lacks the correct nutrient ratios for these little critters.

While human breast milk has no adverse effects, it may necessitate stunted growth in baby squirrels. In cases where a squirrel’s milk formula proves difficult to find, goat milk can be used instead as it provides similar nutrients to that of a squirrel’s milk formula.

Goat milk formula is prepared by mixing goat milk, cream, and yoghurt in proportionate amounts of 3 parts, 1 part, and 1. Nevertheless, this formula should only be used temporarily.

Can Squirrels Drink Evaporated Milk?

Water content is the main difference between regular and evaporated milk. This means that evaporated milk possesses relatively the same nutritional values as regular milk. This means that it is also not good for baby squirrels as it is likely to stimulate digestive concerns.

Evaporated milk contains way too much lactose and proteins which are not good for little animals. They also lack enough fat to help in digestion for the young squirrels. It’s, therefore, wise to stick to the specified milk formulas when feeding baby squirrels.

How to feed the right milk to a baby squirrel [source: Spencer Kenny]

How Long Can Baby Squirrels Live Without Their Mother?

The absence of a mother for a baby squirrel means a lack of food, warmth and protection. It will definitely die within 24 hours if there is no intervention. A predator may take advantage of the helpless baby squirrel as well, or it may simply starve to death.

Naturally, babies require the care and attention of their mothers after birth for survival. The mother, in most cases, is responsible for providing warmth, food and security to their babies.

Baby squirrels are not an exception and need their mother’s care until they are 8-10 weeks old.

Wrapping Up

Milk is essential and is considered the principal source of nutrition for young mammals. However, different mammals have different nutrition preferences and cannot partake of the same milk formulas.

Esbilac and Fox valley are the ideal milk formulas for baby squirrels. Feeding these young critters with different formulas may pose digestive problems, usually leading to diarrhea. It is, therefore, a prerequisite to stick to the recommended milk formulas.

Moreover, feeding habits determine the growth and survival of baby squirrels. Poor feeding habits give little room for the continued existence of baby squirrels. Proper feeding habits, on the other hand, ensure the complete development of the little animals.