So you want to buy a squirrel?
If you’ve seen videos of people playing with squirrels on our site or on YouTube, you’re understandably now thinking, “Hey, that looks like fun! Where can I buy a squirrel?” This article will explain how you can get all the stuffed squirrels you want for free.
First, before you jump into getting your own squirrel, it’s important to learn some basic facts.
Baby squirrels are remarkably willing to be raised by humans. It’s amazing. During the first six months of their life, if you give them good care and love, they will happily accept you as their mom. They are enthusiastic and fun-loving little creatures, and you can experience many hours of joy with young squirrels.
As babies reach maturity, the situation changes. Adult squirrels are just like adult humans. They want to go out into the world, live the life a million years of evolution have designed them to live, revel in their freedom, and engage in, um, baby-making activities.
If an adult squirrel is denied the life for which it was designed, it becomes less affectionate, anxious, and even a little irritable. All the energy they would normally use in a natural outdoor life is now applied to chewing on your furniture, electrical cords, and maybe your fingers. Adult squirrels also cannot be house trained.
The point here is that baby squirrels make great pets, but adult squirrels don’t.
So the smart way to keep squirrels as pets is to have a series of baby squirrels that are kept for a few months each, rather than one squirrel that is kept for years.
Release the babies into the wild when they are ready, before they become a problem for you. They are happy, you are happy, everyone wins.
You will be surprised how much your squirrels love their first encounters with the natural world. Seeing their enthusiastic joy goes a long way to ease the sweet sadness of watching your little friends go off to live their own lives in the wild.
And here is some good news. You don’t have to spend your hard-earned money to buy a series of baby squirrels.
You can get them for free!
If you live in an area where squirrels are found in the wild (almost everywhere), chances are there are baby squirrels nearby that need your help. Once you learn how to find them, you’ll have access to a bunch of baby squirrels for free.
Someone in your community has probably already discovered the joy of raising baby squirrels. There may even be a wildlife rehabilitation group.
At certain times of the year, say when a storm coincides with baby squirrel season, these rehab centers are likely to be inundated with calls from people who have found a baby squirrel. All you have to do is find these rehabbers.
Contact your local humane society. Try the pound. Call some vets. Tree trimming companies in your area probably also know who is rehabbing squirrels in your area.
When you find the rehabbers, don’t offer to buy a squirrel. That will not be what they want to hear. Instead, volunteer to help and ask for their advice.
To maximize your chances of being welcomed by local rehabbers, first do some research and learn something about squirrel keeping. You don’t need to become an expert, just put yourself in a position to ask good questions and show that you have a sincere interest in meeting the needs of baby squirrels.
If you take this approach, you will find that the vast majority of wildlife rehabbers will welcome you with open arms and help you have the experience you want to have.
You don’t have to dive into raising baby squirrels until you’re ready. For example, you can volunteer to babysit squirrels for a few days when the rehabbers go out of town. You could volunteer to help the rehabbers with their squirrels.
Once you’re ready to have baby squirrels of your own, you’ll need to spend some money on supplies. It’s not very expensive, but especially the first time, you need to stock up on formula, syringes, nipples, cages, etc.
So, you learned that baby squirrels make great pets and adult squirrels don’t. You’ve also learned that if you do it right, you’ll never have to buy a baby squirrel.