Flying Squirrel Care
By Michael Russell
Flying Squirrels are very fun pets to own. They form extremely strong bonds with their owner and are truly fascinating to watch. Many people don’t realize this, but these animals have actually been kept as pets for hundreds of years!
The minimum cage size to keep between one and three flying squirrels is two feet long by two feet tall by one foot deep. You should get a wire cage rather than a glass cage so they can climb and get more air circulation. They will need a nest box in the cage to sleep in. Put the nest box at the top of the cage because flying squirrels love to be up high. Bedding material made out of cotton should be used in the box. Do not use anything containing rayon or polyester.
At the bottom of the cage you will need to have some kind of rodent litter. Don’t use cedar or pine shavings though. These can cause respiratory problems. They will also need a water bottle and a running wheel. Hamster wheels are too small, so you will need to get an eleven inch ferret wheel.
You should feed your squirrel a very good diet. Feed primarily nuts and fruits. A good diet would be lots of peanuts, a few pecan halves, a few walnut pieces, a piece of apple and a piece of orange. They should be fed each night. Any fruit that is not eaten should be removed daily. Forty percent of the diet should be fruits. This will keep their digestive system working correctly. Fruits that are good for them are apples, oranges, grapes, peaches, plums and pears.
Try to get your squirrel when they are young so they can quickly bond to you. Every day you should carry them in your shirt pocket for a few hours so they can get used to your scent, hear your heartbeat and feel your body heat. You can also get a bonding pouch if you don’t want to use your shirt. Just make sure the squirrel is close to your body. This will really help your squirrel to bond with you. Once your squirrel is bonded to you, it will start to interact with you all the time. It is truly a joy to watch. They will also start to fly to you from places.
Flying squirrels are especially prone to developing calcium deficiency. Because they are nocturnal, they are not exposed to the sun. The sun gives off vitamin D3, which is needed to absorb calcium. If your squirrel develops calcium deficiency their hind legs can become paralyzed and they can even die. Try to give your squirrel foods that are high in vitamin D3. Other than this, flying squirrels are very healthy and do not get diseases. Their body actually secretes oil that repels bugs and this is probably why they don’t get diseases.
If you take good care of your squirrel, it can live to be up to fifteen years. Try to spend as much time with your pet as you can. This will make your squirrel extremely friendly.
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