Are you wondering how to bathe a baby squirrel? Bathing a squirrel can be a fun, if not a bit of a tricky, experience. While it may not be something you find yourself often doing, it’s essential to know how to do it if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to bathe a baby squirrel.
Can You Give a Squirrel a Bath?
It is generally not recommended to give a squirrel a bath. Squirrels are wild animals, and they are naturally good at grooming themselves to keep clean. In most cases, they do not need human intervention to maintain cleanliness.
If you are concerned about a squirrel’s cleanliness or if it has come into contact with something potentially harmful, it is best to consult with a wildlife rehabilitator or a veterinarian experienced with wild animals. They can advise you on the appropriate steps to take or provide the necessary care for the animal.
Additionally, squirrels may become stressed or frightened when handled by humans, which can lead to injury for both the squirrel and the person attempting to give the bath. It is essential to remember that squirrels are wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
1. Dawn Dish Soap – Recommended by squirrel rehabbers as the BEST way to clean your squirrel
2. Unscented Baby Wipes – Handy when you can’t entirely bathe the squirrel but still need to clean them off.
3. Baby Soap – An alternative to using Dawn dish soap
3. Q-Tips Cotton Swabs – Use cotton swabs to clean the genital and anal areas of the squirrel gently.
4. Flea Comb – used to remove fleas and ticks from the fur.
5. Absorbent, soft microfiber towels – line the sink or bathing container and use to dry the squirrel after the bath.
Squirrels, as rodents, are often troubled by fleas, ticks, mites, and flies that attach to their fur. You can give your pet a warm bath with baby shampoo to get rid of these parasites. Using harsh chemicals like flea dips is not suggested, as a mild soap like Dawn or baby shampoo will do the job.
How to Bathe a Baby Squirrel
Here are the steps you need to follow to ensure your squirrel is properly and safely bathed:
Find a Safe Place to Bathe the Baby Squirrel
First, find a place where you can safely contain the squirrel while you bathe it. This could be a sink, tub, or even a kiddie pool. Ensure the area is secure and escape-proof, so the baby squirrel doesn’t get away.
Use Lukewarm Water to Bathe the Baby Squirrel
Next, fill the bathing area or container with lukewarm water. The depth of the water must be such that the squirrel’s head will stay above the surface when it is standing in the water.
Be sure not to get water in its nose or eyes, as this can be very uncomfortable for the squirrel. Line the bottom of the bathing area or sink with a soft towel for the squirrel’s comfort.
Bathing an Injured Squirrel
If the squirrel is uncomfortable or injured, you may consider using a plastic cage or net to prevent it from jumping out of the water.
Once the squirrel is in the water, you can begin the actual bathing process.
When Bathing a Baby Squirrel Do Not Scrub
Place a few drops of soap in the sink full of water. Gently put a few drops on the squirrel fur after you have wet the fur completely and massage the soap into the fur. Clean the fur with mild soap, and do not scrub too hard. This is important to remember, as you don’t want to cause discomfort or injury to the squirrel.
Make sure to get in between all the toes.
Use a flea comb to remove fleas or ticks from the squirrel’s fur.
Be Sure to Rinse the Baby Squirrel Thoroughly
Once the soap is worked into the fur, rinse it thoroughly with clean lukewarm water and then dry with a soft towel making sure to dry in between the toes. Then, wrap the squirrel in a soft towel to absorb any remaining moisture.
Allow the Baby Squirrel to Air Dry
Finally, let the squirrel out in a safe, enclosed area. Give it time to dry off naturally, and offer it food and water. This will help the squirrel to feel more comfortable and secure in its new, clean fur.
After bathing the squirrel, make sure that it is completely dry. Not drying the squirrel off before returning it to its cage can result in skin irritation. It is just as essential to make sure the squirrel is dry as it is to guarantee it is clean, do not overlook this step.
Step-by-Step Directions: How to Bathe a Baby Squirrel
Here is a step-by-step outline to follow if you prefer to bathe your squirrel successfully.
Step 1: Prepare the Bath
Before beginning, ensure you have everything you need to bathe your squirrel. You will need lukewarm water, mild soap, and two soft towels.
Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and place a soft towel inside the sink or container for the safety and comfort of the baby squirrel.
Ensure the water is not too hot, as it can cause discomfort for the squirrel. The depth of the water should be such that the squirrel can comfortably remain in it without submerging its head.
Step 2: Gently Clean the Fur
Gently place the squirrel in the container of water. With your squirrel in the water, gently clean its fur with mild soap. Make sure not to scrub too hard, as this could irritate the skin.
Give the fur a gentle shampoo massage creating some suds. Make sure to work the soap in between the toes as well.
Using a flea comb on the squirrel’s fur removes fleas or ticks.
Take your time and be thorough, reaching every area of the fur.
Step 3: Rinse Off the Soap
Once you have finished cleaning the fur, rinse off the soap thoroughly. It is vital to make sure all of the soap is removed, as it can cause skin irritation if left behind.
Step 4: Dry Off the Squirrel
After the squirrel is rinsed off, wrap it in a soft towel and gently dry its fur. Make sure to get into all the hard-to-reach areas, such as behind the ears and between the toes.
It is essential to completely dry the squirrel after it has been given a bath. If the animal is not allowed to dry off before being put back in its enclosure, it may develop skin irritation.
Making sure that the squirrel is clean is significant, but so is making sure that it is dry – so do not forget to do this.
Step Five: Treat Time
Once the squirrel is dry, you can offer a few treats as a reward for the bath.
Do Squirrels Enjoy Taking a Bath?
Squirrels do not always enjoy taking baths, as they are generally very clean animals and prefer to take care of their own grooming needs. However, some people have reported that they have seen squirrels take a bath in shallow pools of water or even in the rain.
A bath may be a way to cool off or be for fun. Additionally, some species of squirrels enjoy taking baths, such as the Eurasian red squirrel.
Eurasian red squirrels have been observed bathing in birdbaths and using leaves to scrub themselves. This suggests that some squirrels enjoy bathing and may even use it as part of their regular grooming routine.
Do Squirrels Bathe Themselves?
Yes, squirrels do bathe themselves. They have a few different ways of bathing.
Squirrels typically groom themselves by licking their fur and using their paws to rub dirt off their coats.
They also use dust baths, which involve rolling around in dust or dirt to help rid their fur of parasites and odors.
If available, squirrels may also use water to help clean their fur, although this behavior is not seen as often.
How to Bathe a Baby Squirrel – Conclusion
Bathing a squirrel can be a fun and rewarding experience if done correctly. Just remember to use lukewarm water, gently clean the fur, and rinse off all the soap. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll indeed have a happy and clean baby squirrel on your hands!
Following these steps, you can bathe your baby squirrel safely and comfortably. You can give your squirrel a nice, clean bath with patience and care.