How to care for abandoned baby squirrels | Daily News

How to care for abandoned baby squirrels

Caring for squirrels is a big commitment and is not recommended for anyone who can't dedicate the time, patience and effort required. For those who are able to commit, it can be a joyous and rewarding experience.

Find out if the Squirrel is abandoned or not

Babies or injured squirrels are often found in a dislocated nest or under a tree. If you find a nest, place it back up into the nearest tree. If the nest is disheveled, you can place them in a shallow basket with the remainder of the nest and some leaves to cushion them if necessary.

Keep the Squirrel warm

The first thing to do is to make sure the baby is warm. Place the baby in a small box (like a shoe box.) Keep the baby warm. If he has not yet opened his eyes, use a box with high sides. Make sure the box has a ventilated lid.

Give It Water

Your second mission is to check for dehydration. It is very common for abandoned squirrels to be dehydrated. To verify, gently pinch the skin between the shoulder blades behind the neck. If the skin stays "tented" for a few seconds then you know he is dehydrated.

Give First Feedings to Rehydrate

Before feeding formula or foods, feed him at least a few meals using the Pedialyte. Any animal that is dehydrated may become very sick or even die if food or formula is given too soon. They can't digest foods well when in this condition.

Begin a Regimen of Solid Food

Once the baby is rehydrated for several days, you can begin feedings every 2 hours. Every 2 hours is only for an infant under 2 to 3 weeks of age. The squirrel will start to turn away from the formula which is his way of telling you he's ready for solids and water full time. This will usually happen between 7 to 10 weeks of age.

You will need to train your little one how to build a nest to sleep in and be capable of warding off other squirrel bullies when he is on his own after release. Therefore, start “training” him as soon as possible by placing nesting items inside his house. When you first give him the “tools” for a nest, break it all up into small, loose sections and allow him to put it together.

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