Now that you’ve taken a squirrel in as your pet, the next step is to figure out whether you can give them a bath and if so, how. Here are some good things to know about bathing squirrels and giving them a bath that they will truly enjoy.
You can give squirrels a bath; however, this is unnecessary. Squirrels have ways to clean themselves like other mammals and do not need to bathe daily like humans. If you still want to bathe your squirrel, always use lukewarm water to avoid damaging their fur.
If you find yourself caring for a squirrel, chances are you’ve been thinking about how to take better care of your new furry friend. A bath is a good way to groom and bond with your pet squirrel as with other animals. Read on to know the best way to give your squirrel a bath.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
In order to give a squirrel a bath, you need to make sure that you’re using the right products that won’t irritate the squirrel or cause issues.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
1. Dawn Dish Soap – Highly recommended by squirrel owners as the best way to clean your squirrel
2. Unscented Baby Wipes – Very useful in situations where you can’t fully give the squirrel a bath but still need to clean them off.
3. Baby Soap – Good alternative to using Dawn Dish Soap
3. Q-Tips – Used where you need to clean the genital and anal areas of your squirrel
Can Squirrels Have Baths?
Squirrels can have baths but they don’t need to do so often. A good time to bathe a squirrel is when dirt sticks to them or when they release a foul smell. A little goes a long way when it comes to bathing squirrels.
Remember that they may be difficult to bathe at first and may need time to adjust as these are wild animals. If you have trouble getting your squirrel to bathe, try building a routine to help your squirrel build a habit of bathing with water.
Reinforcing their good behavior with food may also help them get used to it. Bathing with a soft, wet cloth can help stimulate the feeling of a mother’s tongue for infant squirrels.
Use a concentrated dish liquid such as Dawn Dish Soap to help clean your squirrel and get rid of little mites that may have stuck on their body.
Why Do Squirrels Rub Themselves in Dirt?
Squirrels rub themselves in the dirt as a way to clean their bodies, especially in the wild. This is called a dust bath.
They look for a dry patch of land where they can lie down, roll around, leaping until they finish off their bath with a good shake. Dust baths help remove parasites that may have stuck to their body.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Feed Squirrels in Your Backyard?
Do Squirrels Bathe in Water?
Squirrels don’t bathe in water as humans do and don’t use products such as soap to clean themselves – they rely on dusty, sandy environments. That doesn’t mean we can’t bathe our squirrels in water, though!
Do Squirrels Bathe Themselves?
Squirrels also bathe themselves in addition to dust baths by using their feet moistened with saliva to clean the other parts of their body, such as their face and the area behind their ears.
Other than that, squirrels rarely use water to wash, if at all.
It is good to note that though squirrels take a bath to keep themselves clean, bathing isn’t a regular thing for them, and doing so frequently might even stress them out.
How to Give a Squirrel a Bath
You can give a squirrel a bath in different ways. There are options you can choose from, and the items you need may already be in your household, so this shouldn’t take much effort to prepare.
You may opt to use warm water and baby soap or plain unscented baby wipes. Another option would be using dish soap. Pet squirrel owners recommend using a little Dawn dish soap on a washcloth to bathe their squirrels.
Here are easy steps on how to give a squirrel a bath:
- To begin, prepare the bath by mixing soap in warm water.
- Dampen the washcloth and gently bathe the squirrel.
- Use the washcloth to clean any cuts and remove dirt and debris from the fur.
- Wash the nose and face but be careful not to let any of the soap get into the squirrel’s eyes.
- Make sure any foam is rinsed off before drying.
- To dry, put the squirrel in the middle of a dry towel to gently pat or rub against it and repeat several times until their fur dries up.
When bathing squirrels, always use lukewarm water to avoid damaging their fur. Bathing a flying squirrel is no different than bathing a normal squirrel – extreme care is needed for both types.
Ensure that the squirrel is 100% dry after bathing. Not letting them dry before putting them back in their cage can be a cause for developing rashes. Drying squirrels after every bath is just as important as making sure they are clean, so do not miss this step.
As rodents, squirrels are prone to getting fleas and flies stuck to their bodies. Bathing with warm water with baby shampoo is also a good way to remove these parasites from your pet. It is not recommended to use chemicals such as flea dips as gentle soap will do.
In every bath, their head must be above water level. Gently trickle the bathwater on the face, making sure all areas of the body are covered. Use an old toothbrush to remove sticky fly eggs, if any.
In case you want to go the extra mile and care for your squirrel as much as a parent would, you may also want to use a Q-tip to stimulate its genital area and anus.
This process is important to help stimulate the squirrel’s urine and regular waste movement, especially in infants. Extra caution is needed if you are caring for a baby squirrel.
Remember to be gentle when giving your squirrels a bath as they are small creatures. In general, squirrels are rarely taken in as pets as they are not domesticated animals and may need extra care and attention.
Although squirrels are intelligent creatures, they may be difficult to train (and may take time to get used to bathing!). At first, they may show signs of resistance when bathing them as they will initially feel a little uncomfortable, so a little extra patience and gentle care are necessary.
Squirrels enjoy baths, whether in the dust in the wild or on your hand with a washcloth but they don’t need to be bathed often. The items you will need to groom your pet squirrel are already found in your home and should take less of your time.
Your pet may feel uncomfortable with water baths at first but by building a good routine and with a little patience, your efforts to groom your pet squirrel will go a long way.