Should you get the idea of keeping a squirrel as a pet, be advised that these are wild animals. It is expressly forbidden to catch the rodent and keep it as a pet.
Pet squirrel = animal cruelty
If you keep a squirrel as a pet, this counts as animal cruelty. Depending on the federal state, this is punished according to the official fine catalog with a street between 5,000 and 50,000 euros. In addition, you can face a prison sentence of up to 3 years.
Squirrel as a pet - are there exceptions?
The only exception is an injured or sick animal. The squirrel is then in need of help. If you find such an animal, you cannot keep the squirrel as a pet. You must report it to the State Office for Nature and the Environment, a veterinarian or a nature conservation organization. Immediately after caring for the animal, you must release it back into the wild.
If the squirrel has a handicap that would kill it in the wild, you can keep it as long as you report it to the authorities.
The squirrel as a breeding animal
In Germany and Europe there are a few breeders who keep squirrels as breeding animals, but not as pets. The animals must be registered with the authorities by presenting a certificate of origin. If this is not done, it is illegal animal trade. You should only buy a squirrel from such a breeder if he can show you the certificate of origin.
Squirrel is not a stubby animal
The squirrel may not be kept as a pet in human shelters. This is also considered cruelty to animals. Windows, cables and the like indoors are a danger zone for the animals. If you have a squirrel for the reasons mentioned above, you may only keep it in an outdoor enclosure. This enclosure must provide enough space for the animal.
Furthermore, it is important that you inquire in advance about a veterinarian who is familiar with squirrels. If the emergency has occurred, then it is too late to look for a suitable veterinarian.
What should look like an outdoor enclosure for squirrels?
- Legally required is a minimum area of 3 square meters per animal. However, experts advise 5 square meters per animal. The height of the outdoor enclosure should be at least 2 m.
- The foundation of the enclosure should protrude at least 40 cm into the ground. Only in this way you can protect the squirrel from other rodents and predators.
- The enclosure is fenced and covered. At least 2 of the walls must be brick, because squirrels do not tolerate permanent drafts.
- There should be a small tree to climb in the enclosure. If this is not the case, provide enough branches and greenery.
- In the enclosure there must be at least one gable, which serves as a nest and sleeping place.
How to tame the free-living squirrel
You don't have to keep the squirrel as a pet to enjoy it. You can tame these wild animals so that they keep coming back. To do this, keep providing food in a permanent place in your garden. The small rodents will return here again and again. They quickly understand that you provide them with food. Over time, squirrels also get used to your voice.
Garden animal - A life with nature
Welcome to my animal blog! My name is Dirk and I am happy to take you on my journey through the fascinating world of animals and gardening.
Born 54 years ago, I have had an insatiable curiosity for the animal world around me since childhood. Although I have moved professionally in other industries, my true passion has always been animals and nature. It is remarkable how a small garden has become such an important part of my life.
Many of my fondest memories are associated with the animals that share our home. Whether it's the curious squirrels that scurry across the trees in the morning, the colorful variety of birds that visit our feeders, or the busy bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, every moment with them is invaluable to me.
This blog is my contribution to share my experiences, discoveries and insights with like-minded people. Here I will share stories of unforgettable encounters with animals, give tips on gardening and creating wildlife-friendly habitats, and take you on my journeys through nature.
Thank you so much for being here!
Dirk aka garden animal