Squirrels are omnivorous mammals that eat many different things including avocados. They eat produce, insects, eggs, nuts, seeds, and other food.
Squirrels eat avocados for the nutritional benefits. They contain healthy fats, fiber, and carbohydrates. They also have a lot of potassium which helps fight heart disease.
Parts of avocados can be dangerous for squirrels. You should avoid feeding the skin and pits to them.
Read on to find out why squirrels love avocados and how to feed it to them.
Why do squirrels eat avocados
If your pet squirrel starts to eat avocados regularly it could be because they are lacking certain nutrients. An easy way to remedy this is by giving them a vitamin and mineral supplement that will keep them healthy and happy without needing to resort to fruit that may make them sick.
Avocado contains many nutrients such as Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, riboflavin, and folate which are all essential to pet squirrels.
Unfortunately, avocados also contain persin which can be harmful in large amounts. Persin is a fatty acid derivative that is toxic to domestic animals such as cats, dogs, horses, and birds. It is believed that it may be toxic to other animals such as squirrels but has not been researched.
Nutrients of avocados for squirrels
Avocados are an excellent source of nutrition for squirrels with many minerals, proteins, and healthy fats that help them grow strong. Each type of avocado has slightly different nutritional information. For example, a squirrel eating a California avocado receives the following nutrition:
58 calories, 10 g total fat (2 grams saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, trace carbohydrates, 1 g protein, and 2% daily value of vitamin C.
In addition to being tasty and full of nutrients for squirrels, avocados are easy to access and open. Squirrels can jump to the fruit, use their claws to cut into it, and then scoop out the flesh with their front teeth.
What type of avocados do squirrels eat
Squirrels like to eat all types of avocados but prefer ripe ones over unripe ones because they are tastier. The softest type of avocado is the Hass which you can easily spread on bread or toast. Other types taste just as good and squirrels may prefer them even more than the Hass.
Best way to feed avocados to squirrels
Squirrels usually eat avocados by scooping out the insides with their tongues and letting the outside of the fruit sit until it's unappealing to humans. The best way to feed avocados to squirrels is by scooping out the flesh and setting it out for them to eat. The easiest way to do this is to cut the avocado in half. Remove the seed and then scoop the flesh out.
Squirrels eat avocados by first chewing little holes around the skin. Then, they chew through the fruit to get at the fleshy insides inside. Once finished with one avocado, squirrels will move on to another. Squirrels chew up avocados and will usually not eat the seed.
It is also important for owners not to feed their squirrels avocado pits because they are poisonous.
Owners should never feed their squirrels avocados without knowing what other foods they are eating at the time. An example of this is if your pet eats only commercial hamster or squirrel food, but then you give it half an avocado one day and it becomes ill shortly after. Without feeding them the fruit regularly, the owner would not know if it was the avocado, or something in the food that made their pet sick.
Teaching your pets to eat avocados: Many owners teach their pet squirrels to eat fruit by leaving it in the cage with them and showing them how to open it. Other methods of training your pets include hand feeding them, or putting the half cut avocado on a tree branch for them to discover on their own. Only use this last method if you know your pet will not climb the tree and eat the entire fruit.
Do squirrels eat avocados off of the tree or the ground
Squirrels eat avocados while they are hanging on the tree or on the ground. Many times you will find partially eaten avocados on a tree. Squirrels will tear a hole in avocados on the tree, eat a little bit, and then move on.
When do squirrels eat avocados
Squirrels, like many other animals, eat avocados in the spring and fall months. They're more active during these two seasons because they need more food and resources to prepare for winter and summertime hibernation and breeding.
Squirrels eat avocados at all times of year when they are available, but most often they prefer to eat avocados in springtime when other food is scarce and the squirrels need to stock up on fat and energy.
What part of the world do squirrels eat avocados
If you give squirrels avocados to eat, they will eat them. This is true no matter where you are in the world. Squirrels in the wild can only eat avocados in areas where avocados grow. This is usually in countries close to the equator. The further you get from the equator the less you will find avocado trees and squirrels eating on them.
How to keep squirrels from eating avocados
It can be difficult to keep squirrels from eating avocados off of your trees. One solution is to put aluminum around the trunk of your tree to prevent squirrels from climbing up. This is a fairly good solution as long as the squirrels don't find another way onto the avocado trees.
Is eating avocados dangerous for squirrels
At this time there is no reason to believe that the avocado flesh contains anything that will cause a health risk for most squirrels.
The skin and seeds of avocados are poisonous to most animals. This may be true for squirrels, but instinctively they will stay away from eating these parts.
While it is rare for squirrels to get sick from eating avocados, owners should monitor their pets while they are eating avocados just in case something goes wrong. Some concerns are that avocados may give squirrels diarrhea, weigh them down making it difficult to jump, or fill them up so much that they are less likely to eat their regular food.
As a general rule, it is believed that corns, avocados, peaches/nectarines etc., can cause obstructions in your pet's intestines leading to an intestinal blockage requiring surgery. However, this has not been proven in squirrels.
Prevention of your squirrel eating avocados: Do not feed your pet your own produce without noticing what other foods they are eating at the time.
If you do give your squirrels fruit, make sure it is washed and cut up into very small pieces. This may be difficult for some squirrels, but it will help to prevent choking and intestinal issues.
Even if it is not toxic, avocados can be fattening and cause obesity in your pet, so giving them too much fruit of any kind is not recommended.
Do squirrels eat avocados summary
Squirrels eat avocados because they are a great source of healthy fats and protein. Avocado is also low in sugar so it can be eaten as part of a balanced diet for squirrels without overloading their system with sugars that would cause weight gain or diabetes. Squirrels will eat the flesh of avocados and leave the other parts alone.