1. Baby Squirrel Care Guide
Found a baby squirrel? Don’t panic; just follow the instructions below on how to care for a baby squirrel. We also have Baby Squirrel Kits with everything you need. Below is a list of items you can buy locally until your order from Henry's arrives. If you need help, call our helpline at 321-626-1897.
Emergency Shopping List
- Large plastic container and flannel or fleece for bedding
- No-shut-off heating pad (in a pinch, make a “rice buddy”)
- Digital scale to weigh the baby squirrel (you feed by weight)
- Syringes to feed with (in a pinch you can use an eye dropper)
- Either (1) Esbilac Puppy Formula Powder (not liquid); or (2) Homemade Goat Milk Formula (3 tablespoons goat milk, 3 tbs yogurt, 2 tbs heavy cream, 1/2 egg yolk; makes 1/2 cup formula). See page 3 for more info.
Do not use KMR, human baby formula, condensed milk, scalded milk, GNC puppy formula, soy/almond milk, Pet-Lac, kitten formula, Whiskas Cat Milk, Esbilac "Milk Replacer Plus," breast milk, regular milk, Kid Milk, premixed liquid formula in the can, etc. Use the Homemade Goat Milk Formula or Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer Powder for now, then order Fox Valley formula online.
Make sure fluids/formula are very, very warm. Baby squirrels will not drink liquid that is only slightly warm!
Check the Baby Squirrel's Condition
- Is the baby skinny? A starving baby needs smaller feedings at first (see Page 3 for more info).
- Is the baby dehydrated? Pinch the skin on the belly and count how many seconds it takes for the skin to go back down flat. 4 seconds or more could be life-threatening (see Page 2 for more info).
- Is the baby injured? Check for cuts, bruises, swelling.
- Check for fly eggs. These look like small grains of beige-colored rice. Remove them immediately or they will hatch into maggots and eat the baby alive. Check eyes, inside ears, and around the anus. (See Page 5.)
An injured, emaciated, or very dehydrated baby squirrel needs extra care, so call us. You can see pics of healthy and not-healthy babies on Page 6.
"First you warm him, then you hydrate him, then you feed him"
Step 1. Slowly Warm the Baby Squirrel
You can begin warming the baby squirrel in your hands. Or make a “rice buddy.” Fill a sock with 1 cup of dry uncooked rice or beans and microwave for 30 seconds. Squish the sock to ensure there are no “hot spots.” Place next to baby and cover him; reheat every 2 hours. To keep the baby squirrel warm all night, use a no-auto-shutoff heating pad.
Use the setup pictured below. Don't change anything! A cardboard box will dehydrate him. Towels will catch his nails. He will chill and die without a heating pad. Heat lamps will dehydrate him. Reptile warmers don’t get warm enough. Place the heating pad under half the container, not inside, to avoid overheating.
Place the baby squirrel on the bedding and cover him with one flap. Once the baby is warm, go to Page 2.
The Perfect Setup for Baby Squirrel Care:
Tips for Success
- Keep lid securely on container at all times.
- Use plenty of bedding so the baby can get away from the heat if he gets too hot or burrow down for warmth if he gets cold.
- Keep household pets and small children away from the baby squirrel.
- Don’t leave the baby outside, in a garage, or on a porch; bring him inside.