Squirrels love eating fried and potato chips but you should avoid feeding them those food items. No matter how cute they look while eating that food, fries, and chips are very bad for their health as junk foods are not at all suitable for wild animals. In the long run, it can be fatal for their health.
In this article we will do a deep dive about:
- The problems of feeding potato chips to squirrels
- Pros and cons of feeding chips to squirrels
- Reasons why you should never feed them chips or potatoes
- Foods to feed them instead
Let’s dive in.
Let’s do a deeper dive into this topic…
Is it OK to feed squirrels fries?
The thing is squirrels are like children, if you offer them tasty junk foods, they will eat them without any sort of an issue. They won’t eat those food items thinking about whether they are good for their health or not.
So as a human, if you are taking the duty of feeding them, you should not feed them something bad for their health. Just because you are eating fries and chips, it doesn’t mean you should feed them those items as well.
No matter how adorable these videos of them eating chips look, we should never let them eat any food items which may hurt them in the future and may even cut their life short.
One may think that “Oh what”s the harm in feeding them just one or two chips”, but the thing is squirrels living in public places often feed on the food scraps left behind by humans. In most instances, those are processed food items.
Hence if you wanna feed them something, try feeding them nuts, leafy veggies, herbs, and other food items which are healthier for them instead of providing them with junk foods like french fries, tortillas, or potato chips.
They will surely look cute while eating those food items as well!
Reasons Why You Should Not Feed Squirrels French Fries and Potato Chips
Stuffed with oil
Anything oily is not a good food option for any wild animal including squirrels. Their digestive system is not well equipped to process that food and they can develop certain obesity-related problems if you keep them on an oily food diet.
Rich in Sodium
Fast food items are in most cases rich in sodium often in more than the required amounts. However, squirrels have a very small bodies and need a very low salt intake.
They obtain the necessary amount of salt they need from their wildlife diet. By consuming these sorts of junk foods they are getting stuffed with enormous amounts of salt, in excessive amounts. Consuming salts in more than the required amounts can have really difficult consequences down the line.
The sophisticated stomach of squirrels won’t be able to handle junk foods
Processed food is something that is not only bad for wild animals but is also bad for us. However even if our digestive system is better equipped to handle such food items, theirs is not.
In the short term, it can lead to stomach upsets, diarrhea, loss of appetite, etc. In the long term, this can make them obese and can lead to the development of heart, liver, and kidney-related disorders.
You are making them habituated to eating junk food
Squirrels like all animals are creatures of habit. For example, people who keep squirrels as pets (which btw is illegal in many places) often find that once the squirrels get habituated to eating food from the hand of their caregivers, they get less reluctant in eating food by themselves.
- So introducing them to junk food items that taste good is not a good thing to do as after eating such food a few times they can develop a knack for eating more such food items.
- If they can find such food items there is a chance that they will feed more on these sorts of food items and less on the veggies and fruits.
Overview Of A Squirrel”s Natural Diet
- Squirrels are omnivorous animals and their diet primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and insects.
- Just like humans, they need a balanced diet with proper sources of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fat to live a healthy life.
|Foods Suitable for Squirrels||Foods Not Suitable for Squirrels|
|Seeds||Sugary drinks and food|
|Leafy veggies||Tea or coffee|
|Fruits||Salty Processed Food|
|Vegetables||Dairy food items|
So are potatoes bad for squirrels?
Potatoes are not bad for squirrels in fact from time to time, you can feed squirrels cooked potatoes.
However, the nutrition they can obtain from potatoes can be easily obtained by them from other veggies and herbs, moreover, potatoes also contain a component called solanine which can be bad for them if consumed in higher amounts. So you can feed them potatoes after a gap of a few days in cooked form and small amounts.
What should Squirrels eat?
Squirrels should eat food items that are natural and free of any kind of preservatives, oil, and seasonings i.e., even squirrels living in the cities should stick to the diet they would have stuck by if they were living out in the wild. This will ensure that they have a long and healthy life.
Squirrels should eat nuts, veggies, herbs, and some selective fruits that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals and act as a good source of carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein.
- Nuts like acorns, walnuts, hazelnuts, and seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, etc are perfect for them.
- Squirrels love fruits like apples, pears, and berries but you should feed them fruits in limited amounts as those contain suitable amounts of sugar in them.
- Leafy greens are just ideal food items for them. Veggies like carrots, broccoli, and corn are suitable for them.
Avoid feeding fries, chips, or any other kind of processed junk food materials to squirrels. These are wild animals we are talking about. They are meant to live on naturally available fruits, nuts, seeds, plants, and veggies.
Squirrels absolutely shouldn’t feed on market-available junk food as regularly snacking on it can shorten their lifespan. So instead of feeding them chips or chocolates or fries feed them nuts or leafy veggies or seeds.
Do squirrels like junk food?
Is Salt bad for squirrels?
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