Pros, Cons, and Care Advice for Owning a Flying Squirrel.
It is impossible to deny the endearing quality that is possessed by flying squirrels. If you are able to supply them with the environment and care they need, they may make wonderful choices for those looking for little pets.
Having a Pet Flying Squirrel as a Companion
Even though they aren’t maintained as pets nearly as often as other types of rodents, flying squirrels are allowed to be kept as pets in the majority of states. However, in some of those areas, you will need a permit to do so.
Before you decide to introduce one of these adorable little gliding rodents into your house, you should carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of owning one.
The Advantages of Keeping a Flying Squirrel as a Pet
Having a flying squirrel as a pet brings with it a number of fantastic benefits and opportunities.
They have a high level of intelligence and may be entertaining little companions because of this.
If you spend enough time with them when they are young, flying squirrels that have been reared in captivity are known to form strong bonds with their human caretakers and may develop quite friendly personalities.
Although they have been known to bite when they are scared, they are not known to bite as often as other tiny pets.
Because there aren’t that many people who keep flying squirrels as pets, they make for great topics of discussion.
The Drawbacks Involved in Keeping Flying Squirrels As Pets
Because of the obvious drawbacks associated with keeping a flying squirrel as a pet, this species may only be recommended to a select group of individuals.
They have special care needs that may be difficult to offer, including a vast living space in comparison to other tiny pets. These pets have specific care requirements that may be difficult to provide for.
Their enclosure has to be tall enough to let them to move about and glide, but it also needs to include gaps that are tiny enough to prevent them from escaping or harming themselves.
The typical cost of a flying squirrel may range anywhere from $250 to $600, making their acquisition a potentially pricey endeavor.
They have a voracious appetite for chewing and may be destructive if they are not provided with sufficient amounts of acceptable stuff to chew on.
Even if they are intelligent enough to learn certain things, they are not capable of being house-trained in any way.
Because they are able to develop an emotional connection with their owners, there is a risk that they may become too preoccupied with them and experience anxiety if they are separated from them.
You could have a hard time locating a veterinarian who is conversant in the treatment that they need for their medical conditions.
It is possible that you will not be able to have one because of where you reside. It is against the law to possess them in:
Only flying squirrels native to the southern United States are prohibited in Utah.
In the following states, obtaining a permit will allow you to own one:
- State of North Dakota
- South Carolina (Scotland)
- State of South Dakota
- West Virginia
The Northern flying squirrel is protected in Utah and needs a permit.
Due to the fact that they are nocturnal, you may be required to spend time with them during the hours of the day when they are up, even if you may be ready to wind down and call it a day at that point.
They may become fearful of being handled if they were not socialized and reared from infancy, and they may bite if they are agitated.
If you have other animals in your houses, such as cats, dogs, or even ferrets and big birds, flying squirrels are not likely to get along well with them and may even be in danger from them. They do not make good roommates.
What Is It Like Being a Flying Squirrel?
Their name may give the impression that they are able to fly, but in reality, they are able to glide with the help of their patagium, which is a membrane that expands when their limbs are extended, giving the impression that they are wearing a wingsuit.
The Northern flying squirrel and the Southern flying squirrel are the two varieties of this animal.
The Northern type has bodies that are varying hues of gray and brown, and their abdomens are gray. Their length ranges from ten to twelve inches. The bodies of Southern flying squirrels are brownish-gray overall, but their abdomens are white. Their length ranges from eight to ten inches.
The health of the Ground Squirrel
In their natural habitat, flying squirrels have an average life expectancy of about six years. It has been documented that they may survive for up to 15 years when kept in captivity.
They are not known to suffer from a great number of ailments; but, if they do not consume enough amount of calcium, they are more likely to have health issues such as arthritis, paralysis, and easily broken bones.
They may maintain proper calcium levels by eating oranges once a week, taking calcium or bonemeal powder, eating powdered eggshells, or chewing on bird cuttlebones. All of these are healthy alternatives.
Care for the Flying Squirrels
To provide them the freedom to climb and glide, you will need a cage that is far higher than it is long. It is your responsibility to provide them with an abundance of branches, perches, and a place to nest.
Be sure to get your branches from a pet shop, where they will have been thoroughly inspected and cleaned to ensure they are free of any dangerous pesticides or parasites.
Other owners try using enormous parrot cages, which may work provided the bars aren’t too far apart and the squirrel can’t make their way through them. However, some owners have reported that this method hasn’t been successful. A cage that is specifically made for sugar gliders is yet another option worth considering.
Even while they like being out of their cages, especially when they get to ride in your shirt pocket, they are not allowed to freely roam your home without supervision. Because of their insatiable want to chew, there is a chance that they may both harm themselves and cause damage to your property.
Flying Squirrel Diet
You may offer young flying squirrels Esbilac or Goat’s Milk Esbliac to eat, but you should never give them any kind of dairy from cows or newborn formula since these things are hazardous to them.
Esbilac and Goat’s Milk Esbliac are both safe options. Apples and oranges sliced into pieces, as well as a seed and pellet mix designed particularly for flying squirrels, are all tasty treats for these animals.
When they reach maturity, their diet consists of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and insects in addition to what they ate when they were younger. Mealworms, waxworms, crickets, and other live or preserved insects may be acquired at a pet shop in addition to canned insects.
Apples, grapes, peaches, pears, pears, and plums are examples of some delicious fruits, whereas sweet potatoes, maize, and mushrooms are examples of some common vegetables.
In particular, oranges are crucial. In addition to that, they are allowed to eat an egg cooked through once in a while as well as a handful of pecans or walnuts.
The Behaviour of Flying Squirrels
They have the potential to be incredibly loving and obsessed on their owners; but, in order to achieve this level of attachment, you will need to acquire them when they are between 6 and 8 weeks old and tame them.
In order to form a relationship with them, you will need to commit to spending at least three hours every day in close proximity to them for a period of at least three weeks.
The most typical method that owners use to do this is to tuck them away in a pocket of their shirt, where they may get cozy against their owner. You may also handle them carefully and feed them to build a positive association between themselves and you.
Obtaining a Squirrel That Can Fly
Depending on the breeder, a flying squirrel may cost as much as $600 or more and sells out very quickly. They can be obtained from specialist breeders for an average price of around $450, but the price can reach as high as $600 and they sell out quite fast.
It is essential to purchasing them when they are between 6 and 8 weeks old so that you can successfully form a relationship with them. It is also feasible to adopt them from shelters, although adjusting an adult pet to their new environment may be more challenging.
Are Flying Squirrels Capable of Being Kept as Pets?
People who are willing to put in the effort to tame their flying squirrels when they initially bring them into their homes may find that they make excellent pets. They are cute and cuddly companion animals that form a strong attachment to their owners and are known for their intelligence.
They are able to cope well with older children, but due to their tiny, fragile bodies and their inclination to be timid, they are probably not the best option for younger children.
Whether you do decide to obtain a flying squirrel, check to see if they are allowed in your state and that you have all of the necessary documentation before you do so.