A Comprehensive Guide: What to Feed Squirrels for Optimal Nutrition

Squirrels are small, agile creatures that can be found in various habitats around the world. These charming little animals are known for their acrobatic skills and their ability to scurry up trees with ease. If you have squirrels visiting your backyard or if you’re considering getting one as a pet, it’s important to understand what to feed them for optimal nutrition. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the different types of food that squirrels love and need for a healthy diet.

Nuts – A Staple in a Squirrel’s Diet

Nuts are an essential part of a squirrel’s natural diet. Squirrels have strong jaws and sharp teeth that allow them to crack open hard shells to access the nutritious nut inside. Some of the nuts that squirrels enjoy include acorns, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts. These nuts provide them with essential fats, proteins, and vitamins.

It’s important to note that while nuts are beneficial for squirrels, they should be given in moderation. Too many nuts can lead to obesity and other health issues. Offering a variety of nuts will ensure that your squirrel gets a balanced diet.

Fruits and Vegetables – A Colorful Addition

In addition to nuts, fruits and vegetables are great additions to a squirrel’s diet. These colorful foods provide important vitamins and minerals necessary for their overall health. Some fruits that squirrels enjoy include apples, berries, pears, and grapes. When feeding fruits to squirrels, remember to remove any seeds or pits as they can be harmful.

Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes can also be given as treats occasionally. However, it’s important not to rely solely on fruits and vegetables as they should make up only a small portion of a squirrel’s overall diet.

Protein Sources – Building Blocks for Growth

Protein is an essential component of a squirrel’s diet as it helps with growth, development, and maintenance of body tissues. In the wild, squirrels often consume insects and small animals to meet their protein needs. If you’re raising a pet squirrel or want to supplement the diet of wild squirrels in your backyard, offering protein-rich foods is crucial.

Some protein sources that squirrels can benefit from include cooked eggs, insects (such as mealworms), and unsalted peanut butter. These foods should be given in small quantities and as occasional treats rather than a regular part of their diet.

Water – Hydration is Key

While it may seem obvious, providing fresh water is often overlooked when it comes to feeding squirrels. Just like any other living creature, squirrels need access to clean water for hydration. You can provide water by placing a shallow dish or bowl in your backyard or near your pet squirrel’s enclosure.

It’s important to change the water regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria or other contaminants. In colder climates, make sure the water doesn’t freeze by using a heated birdbath or regularly replacing frozen water with fresh supplies.


Feeding squirrels a balanced diet is essential for their overall health and well-being. Nuts should be the main staple in their diet, supplemented with fruits and vegetables for added nutrition. Protein sources can be offered occasionally to provide additional nutrients, while fresh water should always be available for hydration. By following this comprehensive guide on what to feed squirrels for optimal nutrition, you can ensure that these delightful creatures thrive in your care or enjoy their natural habitat to the fullest extent possible.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.