You were walking along minding your own business, and came upon a baby squirrel all by itself. Holy cow, what do you do now?? This article will help you save the baby.
STEP ONE: See If The Mother Rescues Her Baby
The baby squirrel has likely fallen out of it's nest, and the mother may be nearby. If your time permits, watch the baby squirrel from a distance for an hour or so to see if the mother comes to rescue her stranded baby.
Protect the baby from predators, but stay far enough away so that you won't interupt a reunion between mother and baby. This is the best possible outcome, as nobody knows how to raise a baby squirrel better than a mother squirrel.
If that doesn't work, then it's time to spring in to action.
STEP TWO: Give The Baby Squirrel A Safe Warm Nest
Give the baby squirrel a safe dry warm place to live, to replace it's nest.
We use a plastic tuperware with air holes in the lid.
- Place the tuperware on a towel.
- Put a heating pad underneath the towel.
- Set heating pad on low.
- Make sure heating pad doesn't automatically shut itself off after a period of time.
- Put old T-shirts in the tuperware so the scared baby will have a cozy place to hide.
You may have to improvise your own make shift nest. A cardboard box under a table lamp will do in a pinch.
The most important thing is that your baby squirrel be warm. Baby squirrels can't digest food properly if they are cold.
STEP THREE: Give The Baby Squirrel Fluids
Almost every baby squirrel will be dehydrated when you find it. Until you learn more, don't give the baby squirrel ANYTHING but water. You can give the baby water with an eye dropper if you have one, or let it lick water off your finger.
Cow milk is bad for squirrels, avoid that, and anything else but water, for now. In the next section we'll discuss the proper fluids.
Don't try to feed the baby squirrel yet. The baby may not be old enough to eat, and in any case, it needs to be fully hydrated before moving on to any kind of food.
To summarize, do these three things right now, before anything else.
1) See if the mother will rescue the baby squirrel.
2) Give the baby a safe, dry and warm nest.
3) Gently try to offer the baby water.
And now, the next important step...
STEP FOUR: Get Help!
Raising baby squirrels is a ton of fun, but it's also a lot of work, and there are a number of things you need to learn. I'm sure you have many questions, and now is the time to start getting answers.
The fastest way to meet a group of people standing by ready to help is by visiting The Squirrel Board.
There are many experienced rehabbers on this forum, and they love to help new comers. Day by day support from experts is only a few clicks a way.
It would also be helpful to find someone in your local area who can provide hands on instruction. Try to find local wildlife rehabbers by contacting the Humane Society, the animal shelter, and veternarians.
Ok, you're off to a good start. Now it's time to complete the following steps under the guidance of your support team.
STEP FIVE: Get The Correct Fluids
As soon as possible you want to improve your baby squirrel's diet beyond water. You'll want to replace water with pedialyte, a solution that will do a better job of hydrating your baby. Remember, your baby can't digest anything until it is fully hydrated.
Pedialyte is for human babies too, so you can buy it in the baby department of most drug stores.
You'll also want to get some syringes and nipples, which will make feeding your baby much easier for both you and your baby.
You may be able to get syringes at your local drug store too. Ask for 1 cc syringes, and of course remove the needles!
If you've found local wildlife rehabbers in your area, they may be able to supply your emergency needs without delay.
If that doesn't work, you can get syringes and nipples here:
You should order these materials immediately.
STEP SIX: Get The Right Food
If your baby squirrel's eyes aren't open yet, it can't eat food, and you will need to replace the mother's milk. Again, don't use the cow milk that's in your refrigerator.
Instead, use Esbilac, which can be found in many pet stores. Esbilac is a milk like fluid which is perfect for your baby squirrel.
If you can't find a local supply, Esbilac can be purchased from these either of these companies:
Again, please don't improvise and try to feed your baby something out of your refrigerator. You and your baby squirrel will both be happier with the outcome if you take the time to give your baby what it really needs.
This article is intended to get you up and running on the first day with your baby squirrel. If you follow the steps above you'll have the opportunity to have a new friend, and an enchanting experience you'll long remember.
Once your baby squirrel is healthy, and has a few days to get used to the change, they'll happily accept you as their new mother, and provide you with many hours of joyful friendship.