Table of Contents Hide
Chocolates! Who doesn’t love chocolates? Even animals will take the chocolate when given the chance.
But Can squirrels actually eat chocolate? Can it be safe to let them consume this yummy, milky treat?
Squirrels shouldn’t take chocolate although they are allowed to. Chocolate is a delicious and tasty treat that has nothing to offer in terms of nutritional value.
Theobromine contained in chocolate is toxic to squirrels when consumed in large amounts and could cause poisoning from theobromine.
It is advised to not feed your chocolate to animals in order to be safe from the risk of poisoning.
Learn the reasons why chocolates aren’t the best food choices for squirrels, and what you can offer squirrels instead.
Why Is Chocolate Considered Unsafe For Squirrels?
There are a lot of research studies in the field, like this one which demonstrates the ways that chocolate and its by-products can have negative effects on wild animals and domestic animals.
The most significant cause has been theobromine, an alkaloid component in chocolate that creates a bitter taste. This ingredient can be fatally toxic to pets. It is the most common cause for accidental poisonings on cats, dogs as well as other pets of the house.
Okay, so what’s this got to anything to do with squirrels?
Theobromine is a fatal ingredient in squirrels, especially when consumed in large quantities. It can cause what is known as chocolate poisoning.
There are different kinds of squirrels with different dimensions of bodies. One of the most popular types of the squirrel is called that of the Eastern grey squirrel.
It is approximately 11 inches and weighs around 1.3 pounds. With that weight, an average Eastern gray squirrel is susceptible to becoming poisoned or even dying by eating 0.5mg of theobromine.
Chocolates are common treats that can cause stomachaches or gastrointestinal discomfort, as well as vomiting in squirrels. Their tiny bodies aren’t able to handle the effects of this delicious sweet treat.
Chocolate isn’t a source of nutritional value to squirrels and may hinder them from absorbing other nutrients in their food in the event that they consume excessive amounts of chocolate.
In simple terms, doses of theobromine exceeding 75 mg/kg body mass can cause death for squirrels.
For many, it’s difficult to keep track of the weight of a squirrel’s body when you give squirrels delicious candies or other chocolate-based products.
However, why feed your wild squirrel or pet squirrel something that may be dangerous when there are plenty of safer alternatives?
Are All Chocolates Toxic To Squirrels?
Chocolate products aren’t all made equal. Certain chocolates are high in theobromine, whereas others contain very little of the chemical.
For instance, dark chocolate has more theobromine while white chocolate isn’t. However, white chocolate contains an excessive amount of fat and sugar which makes it unfit for the bushy-tailed rodents.
Here is an inventory of chocolates with the highest concentrations of theobromine.
- Dark chocolate (228 mg/square 1 oz)
- Dark coffee beans coated with chocolate (147 mg/oz)
- Chocolate for baking (376 mg/square 1 oz)
- Chocolate candy with a sweet taste (175 mg/1.5 OZ)
- Chocolate chips that are semi-sweet (138 mg/oz)
- Wafers of chocolate (21 mg/wafer)
- Powder of cocoa (142 mg/100g)
- Hot cocoa (170 mg/cup)
Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate In Moderation?
Although some pet owners recommend giving sweets in “moderation,” this concept is not applicable to squirrels.
The cute and furry animals might be clever as well as sneaky however they are animals and should not be concerned about eating in moderate amounts.
Do you have any questions about how the animals store food? Are you aware that they store a large amount of food into their cheeks, even if they’re full? Indeed they have their cheeks called ” massive grocery bags!“
Usually, animals are aware of the best foods to eat and what to stay clear of. Squirrels in particular are not likely to eat dangerous foods.
However, that rule is not the case when the food is chocolate! If a squirrel is able to gain access to lots of chocolate and snacks, it will devour until there’s nothing left, or until it’s exhausted. Even then the squirrel will disappear and eat a bite for the next consumption.
In a nutshell: moderation isn’t always a good thing for squirrels.
Can squirrels eat chocolate if pet squirrel owners closely monitor the amount of chocolate available?
Do you think it is okay to give the squirrel a little bit of chocolate at times? Perhaps the best method for answering this is to have an instant look at the digestive tract of squirrels.
While squirrels do take in meat and a range of different types of food particularly when they’re hungry, they’re mostly herbivores. However, these rodents don’t have similar digestive systems as animals like rabbits. This means that squirrels aren’t able to digest the cellulose.
And You know what? Chocolates contain cellulose!
When you think of giving squirrel chocolate, think about how dangerous it is to consume something it isn’t able to digest.
Can Squirrels Die From Eating Chocolates?
Naturally, squirrels don’t die just from tasting chocolates, but you do not want to expose them to something that could cause harm to them.
Even if you do not keep squirrels, but you do have some wandering around your yard it is important to provide nutritious treats.
Like people “are what they eat” in the long run animals are as fit or unhealthy depending on the type of food they consume in their diet. The cumulative effects of eating sweets are generally not something you’d want for squirrels.
The bottom line is to avoid feeding chocolates.
What Other Foods Are Unsafe For Squirrels?
Now we know the definitive solution to this question: Can squirrels consume chocolate? The next question to ask is: what other food items can’t be fed to squirrels?
Here’s a list of food items that are either dangerous or provide little or any nutritional value for squirrels.
1. Junk Food
Junk food is loaded with artificial sweeteners and sugars. Sugar can cause naturally hyperactive animals more exuberant, which isn’t healthy for overall health and well-being.
Salted snacks aren’t ideal for squirrels as they’re filled with sugar and do not add value to the animals.
Junk food items include pizzas, hot dogs, French fries, chips chocolate cake brownies, chocolate bars, and other commercially processed food items.
2. Pet Food
Foods for pets with a lot of meat content may be suitable for cats and dogs however they are not recommended for squirrels. These animals tend to be vegetarians and could be killed if they consume excessive amounts of meat.
Squirrels, however, are also omnivores. This means they can eat plants and meat, however, the major portion of their diet must comprise of seeds, fungi as well as nuts, and fruits. In certain instances, squirrels also eat eggs, tiny insects, and caterpillars.
Birdseed is often used in squirrel feed, particularly when it is added to an animal feeder, but it’s not a great source in terms of nutrition value for squirrels of any kind.
3. Human or Animal Formula
Formulas can be extremely hazardous to squirrels, no matter if it’s infant formula, puppy or kitten food.
Formulas are stuffed with excessive amounts of chemicals and preservatives, which are harmful to the squirrel’s body regardless of whether it’s a young squirrel or an old one. These unnatural substances can cause rickets, seizures, nervousness, and even sudden death in squirrels.
Corn isn’t necessarily harmful to squirrels, but it is when to cut into smaller portions and fed to them in tiny amounts.
However, the food may develop mold quite quickly, and it can be sour within very short amounts of time. Squirrels could be poisoned or even die when they consume food that is sour or rotten.
Foods Low in Nutritional Value
This could come as an unexpected surprise since squirrels are often seen stuffing peanuts into their faces.
This is the truth. Peanuts aren’t nuts, in the true meaning of. They are, instead, they are legumes like soybeans and lentils.
Raw peanuts may contain toxic mold or fungus which could be dangerous for squirrels. The squirrels also like peanut butter, even although it’s not the healthiest and most nutritious choice, but it’s acceptable in a pinch.
It’s fine to give peanuts to your pets on occasion however, eating too many nuts (and other legumes) may hinder the absorption of vital minerals and trace elements including zinc, calcium as well as potassium, and iron. This could lead to deficiencies in minerals in animals as well as humans.
2. Sunflower seeds
Similar to peanuts like peanuts, sunflower seeds don’t provide any nutritional value for squirrels and are not an essential component in their food. Therefore, they should not be included in the squirrel’s food chain.
Squirrels love munching on breakfast cereals, however, they’re not part of the rodent’s normal diet. Cereals are basically fillers and have zero nutritional value for squirrels. In fact, they could result in severe malnutrition especially if you are feeding them.
Ideal Squirrel Diet
The most nutritious diet for squirrels is made up of plant-based, natural foods which include:
- Seeds, nuts and nuts Nuts and seeds in their shells are excellent for squirrels. The best varieties to feed your squirrels are hazelnuts pecans and almonds as well as walnuts.
- Fruits Kiwi fruits and strawberries, bananas grapes peaches, and every other kind of fruit is great for squirrels. Fruits are best fed in small quantities every week or once particularly sweet ones.
- vegetable: Broccoli, zucchini carrots, beet greens, carrots and turnip leaves, radishes, and many other high-calcium veggies are great for squirrels. Do not feed fresh corn, garlic or yam, as well as dried vegetables.
- Bones Bones are a excellent source of calcium for squirrels, and they can aid in keeping their teeth in top condition.
Also, ensure that you provide plenty of water since squirrels are known to take in plenty of water every day particularly during the summer months.
However, they could be without water during the time of being in hibernation.
Do squirrels consume chocolate?
The simple response is no. You should say that you will not feed chocolate to squirrels especially in large amounts. They love chocolate and may even take some bites however it’s not healthy for them. If you want to know what squirrels eat here is an article for you.