French fries are deep-fried foods that are high in calories and sodium content, they are considered junk food, even humans avoid eating french fries to watch their own weight and health. They may be a delicious and quick snack to eat, but they come with their downsides which far outweigh the good.
That being said, something as fried and oily as french fries is not a good idea to be fed to squirrels. They are completely wild animals and processed foods like french fries do not work well with their bodies, even if they may eat and actually like them. This article should cover some facts about the dietary habits of these garden rodents, so read on to find out more.
Are French Fries OK For Squirrels To Eat?
French fries are made by soaking potatoes in hot, burning oil and salt. Both of these are things that should not be present in the food you should give squirrels.
Squirrels require a more natural diet that contains nutrients like protein, natural fats, vitamins, and minerals. A lot of calcium is also important, so foods like nuts, celery, and carrots are the ideal foods for a squirrel’s diet.
A squirrel would probably not refuse a french fry if you offer it one, considering they eat almost anything. Even so, it is advised to not do so, especially when feeding it directly.
It is scientifically proven that we should not feed squirrels by hand as they need to rely on their own selves for survival. Fed on a regular basis, they can easily become accustomed to people and the system of meals. This will result in them not being able to look for food.
If they start expecting food from you, they can even become aggressive when you do not provide them with it.
Do Squirrels Eat Cooked Potatoes?
Yes. If the question is about whether squirrels eat a certain food item, chances are that the answer will always be yes, since these adorable animals are ultimately rodents. Squirrels will eat cooked potatoes since they love fresh vegetables.
However, our normal, white potatoes are not as good and healthy an option as sweet potatoes would be. Since sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and minerals, they make a healthy snack for squirrels.
The best way to serve the dish would be to give the vegetable in its raw form to the squirrel as cooking it can take away some of the natural nutrients it contains.
Can Squirrels Eat Tortilla Chips?
As with any other living being, junk food is not the best thing to fill up on when hungry. It is okay to snack on it once in a while. Similarly, squirrels can eat Tortilla chips and will probably like them, but such unhealthy foods have little to no nutrition in them.
There is also a lot of salt in tortilla chips. Now, since wild animals have sensitive stomachs, it can get harmful to their body and cause problems like bad kidneys or obesity.
Sure enough, one chip is fine to have – but you do not always know what the squirrel has eaten throughout the day. It is very much possible, especially in public places like parks where picnics take place, that the squirrel gets a lot of unhealthy things to eat on a daily basis.
It is upon us to make sure that we watch what we offer them. Hence, it is advisable to avoid junk food like chips completely.
Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate Chips?
Many animals have bad reactions to being fed chocolate. Take for example, how chocolate is poisonous to dogs because of its theobromine content which dogs are unable to metabolize effectively.
Theobromine is harmful to most mammals and the level of its toxicity varies according to the type of chocolate, the quantity consumed and how the consumer’s digestive system takes it.
Squirrels love sweet things and they will certainly eat chocolate chips offered to them, but just like dogs and a lot of other mammals, they cannot metabolize theobromine. If large amounts of chocolate are consumed by the squirrel, it could become fatal to them – so it is better to avoid giving them the snack completely.
Can Squirrels Harm Humans?
Squirrels will not attack or bite unless provoked. As you may have noticed, they keep to themselves and scamper away upon being approached.
However, there have been instances when squirrels have attacked or bit people gravely enough to cause injury.
Squirrels rarely attack, but when they do, it will be either due to a situation where food is involved, or when harassed.
As they are mostly driven by food, if they sense that you are somehow coming in between them and their food, they will attack to protect or steal. Other times, if you bother a squirrel minding their business and trouble them to the point that they feel stressed, they will react violently.
Since they are everywhere, the only way for us to cope with them is to be careful when feeding them.
Squirrels may also carry numerous diseases like ringworm, typhus, tularemia, etc. which can be transferred through their bite.
Can Squirrels Have Rabies?
Despite their tiny and sometimes unhygienic nature, rodents of all sizes have proven to have never been found to be infected with rabies or transmit the disease to humans.
Squirrels are the same – though some instances online do speak against it. If you doubt that a squirrel around you has rabies, you can check by watching for signs of overt aggressiveness, slow movement, and an excessive amount of saliva.
Since rabies is spread through physical contact, such as bites or scratches, it is best to maintain your distance when feeding or admiring them. If bitten, contact your doctor immediately.
What Food Is Bad For Squirrels?
Squirrels might consume anything, but a lot of foods that they are able to acquire in a day may not be the healthiest options for them. A lot of things squirrels love eating can also be bad for them. The following is a list of food items that you must avoid when feeding squirrels.
Squirrels love peanuts and can end up eating a lot of them when offered. It may not be harmful to them, but it is bad for them as they just keep them full and do nothing in providing them with the nutrients they need.
The fats in nuts can make them obese and also cause heart problems. In addition to that, raw peanuts can be dangerous if they get moldy.
2. Junk Food
Junk food that has a high amount of salt, sweetness, or spice must be kept away completely from squirrels. Since they all are processed foods that can only be handled by the human stomach without upsetting it, you must never feed them to squirrels. Animals require a natural diet or food that was made specifically for them.
High amounts of sugar can also increase their heart rate and cause a squirrel to get even more hyper than they already are. When it comes to food, things with nutritional value are the best choice to go with – especially for wild animals.
3. Animal Formula
Animal formulas products that were designed for puppies or kittens can be fatal to squirrels if consumed. These formulas possess many added preservatives, chemicals, and extra artificial flavors to spice up the formula, which can cause problems like seizures, conversions, rickets, etc in squirrels.
4. Pet Food
Pet food is catered especially for dogs or cats, but it is not something your rodent friend will not eat. Like most food items that squirrels are very fond of, pet food of any kind is not dangerous to squirrels, but it is also of zero nutritional value.
It is best avoided completely as sometimes they possess byproducts and chemicals that can be harmful to their bodies.
Pet food also contains a high amount of meat. Squirrels are omnivorous, but their meat options are limited to those of insects, snakes, and lizards and the ratio of meat in pet food can actually be fatal to them.
Corn is another food item that squirrels love but can die from given certain conditions. Corn can grow moldy or sour easily, which will be fatal to squirrels. So the corn you pick to feed should be fresh.
Squirrels love corn to the point that sometimes they may overeat to death. Hence, it is best that you keep something so appetizing to them away, in case they expect more from you and grow aggressive.
6. Dried Fruits
All sorts of dried fruits must be avoided when feeding squirrels. They contain a high amount of sugar and starch, even if natural, which is not a good thing for their health. Avoid giving squirrels fruit items like plums, prunes, figs, dates, and raisins.
Given in moderation, they are fine to feed to the squirrel. However, due to the high sugar, it is recommended you keep them away. Instead of such fruits, try replacing these items with fresh fruit like berries or shelled nuts like walnuts and acorn.
It is a kind action to feed little creatures, but when you do it, the responsibility to feed them unharmful things also falls upon you. Junk food may be an easy and quick way to get something to feed squirrels and other animals but take into consideration that it is unnatural for wild animals.
Squirrels are smart critters who are capable of fending for themselves, and you need not worry about how they do it with their small size. Hence, only when you have foods like fruits and vegetables to spare, treat your backyard companions with their favorite, healthy items.