Do you find these little critters in your backyard and wonder, can squirrels eat chocolate?
Yes, squirrels eat chocolate if you offer it to them. In fact, they love it, but it doesn’t suit their nutritional demands. Feeding too much chocolate is poisonous and can cause serious health issues in squirrels and can be even fatal. The degree of toxicity depends upon the amount of chocolate level of theobromine in it.
Squirrels are opportunistic like foxes. They can eat anything, such as trash and human food including chocolate. This behavior of squirrels can lead them into consuming unhealthy food.
That is why you should be extremely careful when feeding them any leftover food, otherwise, they end up obese and unhealthy.
This detailed article will walk you through everything about why chocolate is bad for squirrels and what you can feed them instead.
Is Chocolate Poisonous To Squirrels?
Yes, chocolate can be poisonous to squirrels depending upon the quantity consumed. Too much chocolate can give heart issues to squirrels and in some cases can cause diarrhea.
These effects are due to theobromine which is a chemical found in chocolate and cocoa. Theobromine is closely related to caffeine. Depending on the chocolate its proportion ranges from 0.5% to 2.7%.
The poisonous effect of chocolate on a squirrel’s health depends upon the following factors;
- Quantity of Chocolate: The poisonous effects of chocolate with the quantity of chocolate consumed.
- Size Of the Mammal: Smaller mammals, such as squirrels suffer when they eat chocolate.
- Type Of Chocolate: Some chocolate contains more theobromine, and is thus more poisonous to squirrels than others.
If you have a pet squirrel then you should not feed it a big bar of chocolate. Instead, you can give the squirrel a small amount of chocolate once in a while.
Does Chocolate Kill Squirrels: How Much Of It Is Deadly?
Chocolate can be fatal to squirrels if eaten in large quantities. The level of toxicity depends upon the size of the squirrel, the amount of chocolate, and its type.
Some chocolates contain more theobromine and when eaten beyond a certain threshold can take a squirrel’s life.
Dark and baking chocolates contain more theobromine than other chocolates, and thus are more poisonous to squirrels. When a squirrel is affected by chocolate, you can witness these primary signs of poisonousness;
Besides squirrels, Theobromine has toxic effects on other mammals such as cats, dogs, and other rodents.
The table below shows different chocolates and their theobromine levels.
|Type Of Chocolate||Backing Chocolate||Dark Chocolate||Milk Chocolate||Semisweet Chocolate||White Chocolate|
|Theobromine Level||390 mg/ounce||130-450 mg/ounce||44mg/ounce||150mg/ounce||44mg/ounce|
Keeping in mind the theobromine level, you can occasionally offer a small piece of chocolate as a treat.
Can Squirrels Dark Eat Chocolate?
Yes, squirrels can eat dark chocolate but it doesn’t mean that you should offer it to them. Dark chocolate is poisonous to squirrels as it is extremely high in theobromine (up to 450 mg/ounce).
Dark chocolate can cause diarrhea, and heart disease and can be even fatal to squirrels and other small mammals.
Apart from theobromine dark chocolate contains fat and sugars, which do not make a balanced diet for squirrels. Too much sugary and fatty products can make the squirrel overweight and unhealthy.
Can Squirrels White Eat Chocolate?
Squirrels can eat white chocolate but it doesn’t provide any nutritional value to them. Although white chocolate has very low levels of theobromine, it is still unhealthy for squirrels and even some other mammals like dogs.
White chocolate contains sugar, milk products, cocoa butter, vanilla, and lecithin (a fatty substance). If you look at these things, it doesn’t make an ideal diet for a squirrel.
Instead of white chocolate, you can feed your pet squirrel some nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate Cake?
Squirrels can eat it, but do not feed it to them. The chocolate cake contains many things which are not good for squirrels.
Apart from chocolate, which is toxic for them, it contains unhealthy items such as sugar and baking soda. Baking soda leads to dehydration in squirrels and too much sugar reduces their ability to absorb calcium.
Flour and other items are also unhealthy for squirrels and can disturb their balanced diet. Instead of chocolate cake, you should feed them fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate Cookies?
Chocolate cookies are not good for squirrels. But they can still eat it when available. The ingredients from which a chocolate cookie is made are harmful to squirrels and can make the unhealthy.
Besides chocolate, which contains theobromine and is not good for squirrels, chocolate cookies are loaded with unhealthy things such as flour, white/brown sugar, salt, eggs, butter, baking soda, and chocolate.
Flour which is part of the cookie can do more harm than good. Flour contains some extra nutrients that are originally not present in grains. Squirrels do not need these extra nutrients in their diet and do not give them much nutritional value.
Cookies also contain backing soda which causes dehydration in squirrels. When eaten alone can even kill the squirrel.
What Should Not Be Fed To Squirrels?
Apart from chocolate, there are many things you should not feed squirrels. Some of these are:
- Onion and garlic: It can cause anemia in squirrels.
- Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol can damage the liver.
- Fatty/Salty Foods: Too much fatty and salty food can cause stomach problems for squirrels.
- Spoiled Foods: Contains toxic materials which are bad for squirrels.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is poisonous to squirrels and can produce problems related to the nervous system.
What Can Squirrels Eat Besides Chocolate? [Things To Feed Them]
We have talked about, whether can squirrels eat chocolate and how toxic it is, but you may be thinking, what else can squirrels eat besides chocolate? Here are some favorite foods that squirrels enjoy eating.
Fruits & Nuts
Squirrels like eating fruits. Fruits give them the energy for foraging. Squirrels enjoy different kinds of fruits, such as Apples, bananas, Pears, Pineapple, Mangoes, Grapes, Eggplants, Mangos, and Melons.
Nuts are the favorite foods of squirrels. They take it away to eat it or bury it in the ground for winter when the food is short in supply. Squirrels eat nuts, such as peanuts, hazelnut, almonds, acorns, cashews, Walnuts, pine nuts, and pistachios.
Vegetables & Flowers
Squirrels like vegetables and will eat anything in your garden. These bushy-tailed critters also depend much on corn and other grains, such as wheat & oat. Squirrels also eat fresh leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and lettuce.
Squirrels eat flower petals such as tulips to store some fat for the winter. If squirrels are damaging your flowers then you should grow some squirrel-repellent plants.
Fungi & Mushrooms
Squirrels like eating mushrooms and fungi, such as oysters, truffles, acorn truffles, and lichens.
Squirrels won’t eat just any mushroom. Those with a Purplish tent on their top usually suit them. They can also munch on some wild mushrooms, that are either hallucinogenic or toxic to us.
Squirrels also eat insects such as mealworms, ants, grasshoppers, spiders, and wasps.
Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate-Covered Almonds?
Squirrels can eat chocolate covered with almonds. But is not a good idea to offer it to squirrels. Although it contains almonds which give them proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. But it contains chocolate which is poisonous to squirrels.
You can give them just almonds. But don’t overfeed these little critters with almonds, as too much almond builds fats. Around two almonds per day would be enough for your pet squirrel.
Can Squirrels Eat Milk Chocolate?
Squirrels can eat milk chocolate but are not healthy for them. It contains chocolate which is toxic to squirrels if consumed in large quantities. Moreover, it is loaded with sugar which is bad for their health.
Can Chipmunks Eat Chocolate?
Like squirrels, chipmunks can eat chocolate but it is poisonous to them. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine, which is toxic to chipmunks and other small mammals. Instead of chocolate, you should offer them seeds, nuts, and fruits.
Can Squirrels Eat Oreos?
Although squirrels can eat Oreos, you should keep this snake to yourself. Oreos contains many ingredients such as four, cocoa, and sugar which do not make an ideal diet for squirrel. Even though Oreos are not poisonous like a chocolate bar, still it is not a good idea to give them to squirrels.
So, Can squirrels eat chocolate? The answer is yes but it is bad for them. Chocolate provides little nutritional value to squirrels and causes serious health issues. Not just squirrels but chocolate and chocolate-related food items are also unhealthy for other animals.
Squirrels can eat bread and other human leftover foods that are not good for them. That is why it is important to clean leftover foods and trash from your yard and feed some nuts and fruits to the squirrels.