As someone who has spent years observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world, I can confidently say that yes, squirrels do eat cheese! But before you start offering cheese to your local furry friends, there are a few things you need to know about their dietary habits. In this post, I’ll be discussing what kinds of cheese squirrels prefer and how to safely feed them.
Squirrels typically eat nuts, seeds and fruits; however, they can sometimes eat cheese if they find it. Cheese is not a natural part of a squirrel’s diet, so it should only be offered to them occasionally in small quantities.
Table Of Contents
Can Squirrels Eat Cheese?
Although cheese isn’t typically found in nature that doesn’t mean it can’t be given as an occasional treat to your furry friend (in very small quantities)! Cheese has a lot of nutritional value for squirrels but there are certain types which should be avoided altogether due to potential harm they may cause. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly you should know before feeding cheese snacks to your pet rodent!
Nutritional Value Of Cheese For Squirrels
Cheese is rich in proteins which help rebuild muscle tissues and encourages cell growth throughout an animal’s body; consequently helping strengthen bones too! It contains carbohydrates as well making energy readily available when required by providing ample calories needed by active animals such as squirrels who loves nothing more than climbing tree branches or digging around looking for food stash away valuables!
The calcium content found within cheese is another advantage as this mineral helps develop strong bones & teeth while supplying essential vitamins & minerals needed by small mammals like rodents otherwise known as Sciuridae (the scientific name). Vitamin B12 is also present which aids nerve cells aiding general mental health among other benefits like reducing inflammation inside their hearts thereby helping protecting them from cardiovascular related diseases/complications moving forward into adulthood/old age stages further down the line during life cycles etc.
Types Of Cheese That Are Safe To Feed To Squirrels
When considering giving cheese snacks try selecting softer cheeses e.g mild mozzarella’s cottage cheddar varieties – firm cheeses don’t really work here since cold hard brick forms aren’t easy digesting matter process move quickly inside their tummies potentially causing digestive discomfort full blockages eventually upset stomach sickness causing irreparable damage if left untreated swiftly!. Laughing Cow wedges gouda slices arguably best culinary choices adding handful nutritious morsels snack bags times day maximum satisfying between meal hunger craves avoiding unhealthy overindulgence sugary reward treats!!
Cheese Snacks To Avoid Feeding to Squirrels
Squirrels should not be given cheese snacks as part of their diet, as the high fat content can cause health issues. Avoid feeding squirrels things like cheese puffs, crackers with cheese, processed cheeses and other processed or greasy snacks. Instead, opt for fresh vegetables and fruits that are safe for wildlife—such as apples, carrots or walnuts—for their nutritionally balanced diet.
Rules to Follow When Feeding Cheese To Squirrels
When it comes to feeding cheese to squirrels, there are some important rules to follow. First and foremost, always consult with a veterinarian or wildlife expert before introducing any type of food into a squirrel’s diet. This is especially important when it comes to cheese as nutrient-rich foods like dairy can quickly cause an imbalance in their natural diet if not monitored carefully.
In addition, when selecting which types of cheese should be offered, always opt for low-fat varieties that do not contain high levels of sodium. The process of aging cheese also plays a large role in the suitability; aged cheeses tend to have stronger flavors that could potentially upset the delicate digestive system of a squirrel. Lastly, avoid processed cheeses like American slices or condensed cream-cheese spreads – these items offer little nutritional benefit and often come packed with unhealthy additives.
Do Baby Squirrels Eat Cheese or Milk Dairy?
Baby squirrels should never be fed cheese or any other type of milk dairy product. As omnivores, an adult squirrel’s natural diet typically consists of nuts, seeds, fungi and insects; although they can digest smaller amounts of animal proteins such as eggs too. However, young squirres are unable to handle the high fat content found in many types of cheeses – in fact even pasteurized cow’s milk may pose health risks due its higher lactose levels compared to standard water.
Therefore it is strongly recommended that baby squirrels only be fed specially formulated ‘squirrel milk’ products available from most pet stores which provide all necessary nutrients without compromising their fragile digestive systems.
Pests, Rotting, and Poor Health: The Problem with Feeding Cheese To Squirrels
Feeding cheese to squirrels may seem like harmless fun, but it can actually lead to a host of problems. Pests, rotting food, and poor health can all result from feeding cheese to these wild animals. The problem is that cheese is high in fat and doesn’t offer any real nutritional value for squirrels. This causes an influx of pests as the food attracts mice and other creatures. Additionally, depending on the type of cheese given, it can easily spoil if left outside. Lastly, feeding them cheesy foods increases their risk of obesity and other health issues later in life.
Lactose Intolerance in Rodents
Squirrels, like many other rodents, are lactose intolerant; they cannot break down and digest the lactose found in dairy products such as cheese. This means that feeding squirrels cheese can cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Many people mistakenly believe that because rodents consume nuts and seeds in their natural diet, they will also be able to properly digest dairy foods like cheese. However, this is not the case! Feeding a rodent any form of dairy will cause them digestive discomfort.
Food Poisoning Risk from Rotting Food
Not only can eating cheese upset the delicate balance of a squirrel’s digestive system, but it can also put them at risk for food poisoning, if the food goes bad before the squirrel has had an opportunity to consume it. When stored improperly or left out too long without being eaten, cheese can become moldy or turn rancid.
- Rotten foods contain potentially lethal toxins that could make a squirrel very ill or even kill them if ingested.
- Always store leftover pieces of food securely in air-tight containers. If you plan on giving your squirrel more than one helping per day – refrigeration is recommended.
Poor Health From Eating Unnatural Foods
In addition to being susceptible to illnesses related to consuming spoiled food items, squirrels may suffer from malnutrition if given an artificial diet consisting mostly of processed foods like cheesy snacks or heavy cream-based dishes. A nutritionally poor diet does not provide enough energy for these rodents to perform necessary activities such as foraging for food and building nests–not to mention eating quality food gives these animals overall better well-being.
Therefore feeding wild tree-dwellers cheese should be occasional treat rather than part of its regular diet!
What You Need To Know About Feeding Cheese To Squirrels!
- Never feed your pet rodent any type of dairy product including milk and cheese; they are lactose intolerant which means consumption could result in uncomfortable gastrointestinal distress.
- Rotting cheeses can contain dangerous toxins that may lead to serious illness or death – always store accordingly.
- Choose healthier alternatives when feeding squirrels so they do not experience malnutrition due to an unnatural diet.
The Benefits Of A Natural Diet For Squirrels
A natural diet is essential for maintaining healthy levels of growth and vitality among arboreal animals like squirrels. Wild tree dwellers usually eat nuts & seeds supplemented with fresh fruit & greens from time to time which help maintain optimal health & balance within their systems (compared with diets made up solely from human processed goodies). This way you can rest assured knowing you’re offering your furry friends homogenous nutriment with all necessary requirements for their nutritional needs
To ensure your local wildlife stays healthy through munching on naturally sourced victuals – don’t forget about always providing clean water sources nearby!
Do Squirrels Need Dairy in Their Diet?
Squirrels are naturally omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. However, traditional squirrel diets have always been plant-based and did not include dairy products. Although the question of whether squirrels can eat cheese has been debated for a long time, most experts agree that a diet rich in natural sources is much healthier for them than one containing dairy.
Dairy products like cow’s milk contain lactose, a sugar which most rodents cannot process effectively. This means that consuming dairy will often lead to gastric upset for squirrels as well as other health complications like diarrhea and bloating. In addition, if left uneaten, milk or food containing dairy can spoil quickly and provide an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to grow.
Types of Cheese That Are Safe To Feed To Squirrels
- Cheddar: Cheddar is high in protein and calcium which makes it a popular choice when it comes to feeding squirrels. Opt for low-fat varieties with no added preservatives or flavoring.
- Swiss: Swiss cheese is also good source of calcium but lower in fats than other options. Make sure you buy all-natural Swiss since it contains no artificial ingredients
- Feta: Feta has less fat than other cheeses but still packs a punch nutritionally speaking. It’s also high in minerals, making it an excellent choice when looking for something nutritious.
Cheese Snacks To Avoid Feeding To Squirrels
Squirrels are omnivores, so they can eat cheese on occasion. However, you should avoid feeding them high-fat cheese snacks such as pizza or nachos in order to avoid potential complications from their diet. Additionally, highly processed cheeses like cream cheese and string cheese should generally be avoided as well. Protein-rich alternatives that are safer for squirrels include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Rules To Follow When Feeding Cheese To Squirrels
- Offer small pieces—no more than ½ ounce per day.
- Choose low-sodium cheeses.
- Avoid processed and pre-packaged cheeses as they are high in fat and sodium.
- Only feed fresh, unopened packages of cheese.
- Store opened packages of cheese in the refrigerator.
Food Poisoning Risk from Rotting Food
Food poisoning is a real risk from rotting food, especially for squirrels who feast on nutritionally inadequate diet. Eating moldy or decaying foods can cause significant health problems, including infection, vomiting and diarrhea. To prevent food poisoning, it’s important to offer only fresh food items to squirrels as part of their natural diet. This includes avoiding processed foods and sugary treats that can quickly turn into unhealthy snacks.
Poor Health From Eating Unnatural Foods
Due to their highly varied and nutritionally-rich natural diet, squirrels are prone to poor health if they consume unnatural foods. Processed junk food can only provide limited nutrition and calories, making it inadequate for a rodent‘s needs. Eating too much of these snacks can even cause obesity; this is most apparent in when observed in wild squirrels who have become used to eating human junk food. It can also lead to vitamin deficiencies as well as dental issues such as tooth decay. Ultimately, squirrels should stick with the foods they evolved to eat in order to stay healthy!
So, do squirrels eat cheese? The answer is yes! Squirrels love to nibble on small pieces of cheese in the wild and as a treat in your backyard. But given their natural diets, it’s important to limit how much cheese you give them. Cheese should only be an occasional treat and not part of their regular diet.
Cheese can provide essential nutrients for squirrels, but any treats should be given in moderation. Pay attention to the type and size of the cheese that you give, too—nuts and fruits are healthier options overall. With all these considerations in mind, now you know that yes indeed, squirrels do eat cheese.
You may also be interested in reading: