Do squirrels eat dog food? Let’s find out. Animal feeds are formulated with a specific animal in mind, and this makes their nutrient composition vary. Dog food is designed for dogs, but it can also be a potential food for other animals.
Dog food has a high level of palatability and provides the correct balance of nutrition required by dogs and other related carnivores. Squirrels eat many different things, and you might wonder if they do eat dog foods?
You can’t offer a plate of dog food to your squirrel until you are sure the food is safe for the pet. If you want to know if squirrels can eat dog food, then you are reading the right article.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.
What Do Squirrels Eat?
If you own a squirrel, you know that it’s not problematic to feed these rodents because they eat many different things. Squirrels are omnivores; hence, their diet is composed of plants and meat.
They mainly eat nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi, vegetables, acorns, flowers, berries, pollen, bark, and small insects. These critters can also munch on young snakes, bird eggs, little birds, caterpillars, rabbits, mice, mealworms, grubs, lizards, worms, chipmunks, etc.
Read full list of what do squirrels eat to learn more.
But note that, a squirrel’s eating habit changes depending on the seasons. The summer months offer an endless menu of fruits and vegetables, and these become the staple food for squirrels.
In contrast, the winter period has a short supply of food, and squirrels will have no choice but to eat what is available. This is when these creatures start eating weird foods like lizards, snakes, chipmunks, and rabbits.
You will see them sneaking into the gardens to eat the growing food item, including fruits, flowers, leaves, grass seeds, buckeyes, etc. Squirrels can also munch on foods that you might not think of, such as bread, cheese, suet, petunias, and fish.
Pet squirrels are happily eating the food they can eat when in the wild. Therefore, you don’t need to look for unique foods for your friend, a duplicate of what wild squirrels eat is fine.
Do Squirrels Eat Dog Food?
If you have squirrels in your area and you haven’t seen them devouring dog food, you should know that this is one kind of food you shouldn’t leave outside. These creatures eat pretty much anything, including dog food.
A squirrel is an animal that works pretty little for its food, especially in winter, and will eat anything it sees edible. It’s no more a secret that squirrels like food, and it is the food of any kind.
Squirrels enjoy both dry and wet dog food as much as your dogs do. The food is appealing and contains many ingredients that squirrels love, and that is why any squirrel will not leave this food.
Best dog food should contain various ingredients like meat, meat meal, vegetables, fats, vitamins, minerals, fruits, carbohydrates, and water. These are essential food ingredients for the squirrels, and it’s not in vain that these rodents eat dog food.
Now that you know that squirrels can eat dog food, should you visit a pet store and purchase dog food for your pet squirrel to eat? What do you think? Should squirrels eat dog food or not?
Dog food will meet the dog’s nutrition demand in the body but not squirrels. The manufacturer is formulating the food that he/she knows is ideal for dogs; that’s why it’s called dog food. Therefore, this isn’t a suitable food to feed squirrels.
Can I Feed Dog Food to Backyard Squirrels?
The most common method people use to attract squirrels to their backyard is through feeding them. You only need to be patient and provide food consistently, and after a couple of months, your backyard is full of squirrels.
After welcoming these cute critters in your yard, sending them away isn’t easy unless under certain tricks. And this means that squirrels will be coming to get food from you or in the backyard.
If that’s the case on your side, you might be wondering if you can use dog food to feed backyard squirrels. Such a concern is pretty common with dog owners who have dog food within.
The truth is that you can feed dog food to backyard squirrels but don’t make it a habit. Since there are dogs, cats, or babies around, there might be problems when your household pet is feeding outside, and you aren’t around.
It is wise always to remember that wild squirrels are not really friendly with dogs, cats, and babies. If you are away from home, squirrels might not miss to creep up on the dog’s dish to steal food.
The dog will not just watch a nuisance animal getting away with its food, and as you know, squirrels are good at defending themselves. These two animals don’t get along with each other, and your dog might get hurt.
Can I Feed Dog Food to Baby Squirrels?
You can feed dog food to baby squirrels, plus you can give some baby food or ‘milk’ for rodents. However, note that this is a new food you are introducing to the baby squirrel, and therefore training is required.
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There are situations where someone rescues an orphaned or abandoned baby squirrel and wants to know if these babies can eat dog food. If you‘re lucky to save a baby squirrel, then you know that dog food can be a potential food.
But there are various things you need to put into consideration. For instance, make sure that the squirrel is old enough to eat solid foods. Newly born baby squirrels can only drink milk since they are teethless.
Confirm that the baby can eat solid food without problems before you even think of buying any. The baby is not tamed yet, and that’s why you will need to train it to eat dog food.
Squirrels only find dog food from people’s homes with dogs; hence, this is not available in the wild. Therefore, the baby squirrel you just found doesn’t know what dog food is or how it tastes.
With proper training and perseverance, the baby will eventually learn to eat dog food alongside other nutritious food that you provide. But beware not to let the squirrel eat from the same plate as your dog or cat.
How Can I Keep Squirrels Out of Dog Food?
Some people find squirrels to be annoying, especially when they steal their dog’s pet food. If it reaches such a point, you would also want to send these rodents away. But what is the convenient way to keep squirrels out of dog food?
It is what makes dog food that attracts squirrels, including bone meal. So, if there is dog food or any food around your compound, it’s one way to attract squirrels. Hot spices like chili powder or cayenne pepper are found to keep squirrels away.
These spices don’t kill or harm squirrels, but they help to repel them away. A squirrel will not tolerate any scent it finds unpleasant. You can spray the surface of the dog’s feeder with flakes of cayenne pepper to keep squirrels out of your dog’s food.
Note: This is just to scare away squirrels, you shouldn’t let dogs eat these as the dog could be exposed and develop an upset stomach.
Alternatively, you can choose to spray the ground or perimeter of structures from where you feed your dog, and it will help to repel squirrels. Other repellents that can keep squirrels away include garlic, black pepper, live peppermint, etc.
The smell of these repellants frequently discourages squirrels, and the good thing is that they aren’t harmful. It is only a natural way to keep squirrels off from your backyard.
Is it Okay for Wild Squirrels to Eat Dog Food?
It may not be an excellent idea for wild squirrels to eat dog food because of their custom of hoarding food for the winter. Dog food hidden for a couple of days can mold and develop toxins making it poisonous.
When it’s hungry, a squirrel won’t leave the food because it is rotten; they don’t care. Toxins aren’t suitable for squirrels and can deteriorate their health. The best thing is that it’s possible to prevent squirrels from accessing dog food.
You will only need to feed your dog from inside the house and ensure no dog food is traceable outside your compound. Dog food isn’t only appealing to squirrels, but it attracts rodents of all kinds, plus skunks and raccoons.
So, any time you allow squirrels to eat and carry dog food from your home, beware that you’re putting its health at risk. You can offer many different and safe foods to squirrels, including walnuts, fruits, acorns, etc.
If there is something that I know squirrels love, it is food. These creatures are busy eating from one corner to another in most parts of the day. They have an appetite for strange foods, and you would never think of them.
It is pretty normal to see a squirrel eating fruit, but things like dog food it’s just crazy. But they love the food and will have it more often.
Though dog food offers many nutrients and contains favourable ingredients to squirrels, it’s not good food for them. Dog food has everything dogs need for their good health but not squirrels.
It is essential to know what foods to feed squirrels and which ones to avoid altogether. An educated squirrel owner is a good squirrel owner.