Yes, potatoes are a healthy and nutritious snack for squirrels. They are packed with carbohydrates to fuel all of your pet’s daily activities, including playing games and gathering nuts. Plus, you don’t even need to cook potatoes for your pet as squirrels can eat raw potatoes. So next time you’re at the grocery store, picking up some potatoes to share with your furry friend would be a good idea.
Why Are Potatoes Good for Squirrels?
Potatoes are a superfood for squirrels as they’re loaded with essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B-complex. Potatoes also contain a plethora of antioxidants to protect your pet’s cells from damage, improve vision and even boost the immune system. So, if you’re looking for a healthy snack to share with your pet squirrel, potatoes are definitely a good choice!
The Nutritional Value of Potatoes
One cup (200 grams) of potatoes contain:
- 38433 IU of vitamin A
- 0.3 mg of copper
- 54.0 mg of magnesium
- 1.0 mg of selenium
- 69.2 mg of betaine
- 4.6 mcg of vitamin K
- 0.6 mg of vitamin B6
- 8.0 mg of omega-3
- 120 mg of omega-6
That’s a lot of nutritional value! Plus, potatoes are super cheap and packed with beneficial carbohydrates, which is why they’re the perfect food for keeping your squirrel energized and healthy!
Do Squirrels Eat Potatoes?
Now that you know potatoes are super beneficial for squirrels, you may be wondering, “But do squirrels even eat potatoes? Also, can their digestive system even process these heavy vegetables?”
Do Squirrels Like Potatoes?
Yes, squirrels like potatoes. Some even prefer to munch on raw white and sweet potatoes over other types of vegetables. They love the taste of raw potatoes because the favorite foods of our furry little friends are the ones that contain high amounts of starch.
Can Squirrels Digest Potatoes?
You don’t need to cook or add any spices when feeding your pet a potato because they can digest them in their natural form. More importantly, while the majority of us humans think that we should peel our veggies before eating them, this isn’t necessary for squirrels. They can eat both the skin and fleshy insides of all fruits and veggies without any issues whatsoever.
How Should I Feed Potatoes to My Squirrel?
While potatoes are a superfood for squirrels that they can easily digest, you need to keep the following three things in mind when feeding your pet these brown vegetables:
- Provide fresh water for your squirrel to drink with potatoes. It will help ensure they don’t choke on their food.
- Make sure the potatoes aren’t rotten. Otherwise, your pet may suffer from several digestive issues that can lead to more severe problems as well.
- Do not give your squirrels large potatoes. Most squirrels don’t like to be fed whole potatoes as it’s hard for them to hold the vegetable and cut it at the same time. So try feeding them small pieces instead.
Different Ways of Feeding Potatoes to Squirrels
There are numerous ways in which you can feed potatoes to your squirrels. Whether your pet prefers raw, boiled, or baked potatoes, here are the guidelines to cook to your pet’s liking:
- Raw Potatoes: Do not give big chunks of raw potatoes at once. It’s hard for them to chew and they might accidentally choke.
- Boiled Potatoes: Cut into small pieces and then boil until soft (about 30 minutes). Remove skin beforehand so that only pure white flesh is left behind and allow the boiled potato to cool down before serving.
- Baked Potatoes: Bake whole unpeeled potato on low heat for around an hour or until cooked through. Do not remove the skin or the potato will lose all of its essential nutrients.
Why It’s Best to Slice Potatoes Into Small Pieces
No matter what form of potatoes you feed to your squirrel, make sure they’re chopped down into small pieces. Doing so will help your furry little friend have an easier time eating and reduce the chances of them choking on their food.
When You Shouldn’t Feed Potatoes to Squirrels
There are certain times when you shouldn’t feed potatoes to squirrels.
- When the squirrel is less than ten weeks old.
- When the potato seems rotten. If you’re not sure whether the potato is rotten, just toss it away and use one that you’re absolutely sure is safe for eating.
- When the squirrel’s diet is already filled with light vegetables like potatoes. In that case, you should add something more filling and packed with protein, like nuts, to your pet’s diet.
What Are Some Other Healthy Vegetables for Squirrels?
While potatoes are an ideal vegetable for squirrels and should make up an adequate part of their diet, they should also be supplemented with other vegetables. Some good options to consider include:
- Celery: High in water content, celery helps keep your pet hydrated; it’s also low in calories and rich in vitamins A, B12, and C.
- Kale: One cup of kale contains 34% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. It’s also rich in fiber, omega fatty acids, minerals (including calcium), and antioxidants.
- Broccoli: Full of nutrients including vitamin C, broccoli is great for boosting your pet’s immune system.
- Carrots: High in beta-carotene and vitamin A, carrots help maintain eyesight and keep the skin of squirrels healthy.
- Zucchini: While it’s not as rich in nutrients as the above vegetables, zucchini still packs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Potatoes are nutritious veggies that are packed with essential nutrients and carbohydrates that can help keep your furry little friend energized throughout the day. So to answer your question in a nutshell, yes, potatoes are super healthy for squirrels and if you’re thinking about adding them to your pet’s diet, go right ahead. We can’t even think of a single reason why you shouldn’t.