Squirrels are little rodents seen everywhere in the yard or parks and keep climbing the trees because they are energetic and eat healthy food.
Will Squirrels Eat Bread? Squirrels can eat bread because they are scavengers and eat everything available without any hesitation, no matter if it lacks essential nutrients. However, regular use can cause different health problems because it contains high sugar and cellulose concentration, toxic ingredients, and high salt concentration.
You have often seen squirrels eating nuts, as nuts are their favorite diet, but they can eat almost everything they find to survive in different environments. It is always a pleasure to feed the wild animals in your garden or to your pets because they love to eat any kind of food.
Why do squirrels eat bread?
They are omnivore animals and love to eat plant seeds, vegetables, nuts, meat, fruits, and other things. They can eat bread happily without any hesitation, as they are scavengers and do not refuse any food provided to them.
They are active enough to find food in any condition and environment. They also eat the food of other animals, insects, and even humans’ leftover food if they approach the trash can outside the house where you put the kitchen waste.
Squirrels have a good sense of smell and reach where any food source is present, as they can smell bread pieces and eat them instantly.
Moreover, some of these products are not toxic for these rodents, and they eat them to get the essential nutrients needed for survival, as grain breeds can provide them necessary nutrients and energy to carry on their daily activities.
You can feed them with this type of food, as eating a small quantity of it after a few days does not cause any health problems to these little rodents because they enjoy eating different taste products.
Why should squirrels not eat bread?
Squirrels should not eat bread daily or more often because of different ingredients, and the following reasons are listed here.
High sugar content
Different products contain high levels of sugar content, which is not safe on a daily basis, as their bodies cannot get the essential nutrients from sugar and end up with different health issues.
Professionals recommend avoiding high sugar, fat, and starch food for these rodents because they can gain weight with high fat and sugar products, which causes problems.
According to National Nutrients Database, each slice contains approximately 1.4-1.5 g of sugar, and different manufacturers add 3-5% of sugar to their bread products.
Moreover, they use other sugar extracts to coat the slices and add more taste, which also causes damage to their digestive systems and body organs if consumed in high quantities.
Difficult to digest cellulose
They have tiny stomachs and less immune digestive systems, which causes them to eat light and high nutrients food instead of high-carbohydrate products.
It contains large quantities of cellulose, which is difficult to digest without any problem. The dietary fibers inside the high cellulose bread products are low, which makes it difficult to digest such products.
Food rich in dietary fiber is considered more beneficial for squirrels, such as nuts, because nuts contain approximately 8-11 grams, while bread contains 3-4 grams of dietary fiber.
Its long-term use causes digestive and gastrointestinal issues in these animals, which leads to vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, it is better to avoid such products if you want to feed food to the pet or wild squirrels in your yard.
Bread can contain toxic chemicals
Different food companies use different ingredients in its making and add preservatives to avoid mold growth and bacteria on soft milky bread.
Different ingredients, such as chocolates, raisins, garlic, cellulose, and xylitol, are not safe for these animals because they cannot digest these ingredients and make them sick if consumed daily.
Mild symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach ache, and can become severe if they eat it more often. Garlic is a natural repellent for squirrels, and high raisins intake causes heart and digestive problems.
Presence of salt
Salt is also a main ingredient in it, as one slice contains approximately 170-250 mg of salt, and researchers concluded that pure wheat white bread has more salt content than others.
Their digestive systems cannot handle high salt concentrations and can get sick if they consume more salt in their diet. The digestive system cannot filter the sodium chloride in their diet, which causes kidney failure or heart problems.
Therefore, wildlife professionals recommend avoiding salted nuts and salt-rich food products for squirrels because it can cause rodents to die even if they take excessive amounts of salt.
Is moldy bread safe for squirrels?
Many house owners feed the wild squirrels in their yard with moldy bread, as they do not want to waste the food.
However, it is not safe for rodents to eat moldy slices because the moldy food products contain mycotoxins, which cause rodents to get sick and cause several health problems.
The mycotoxins are poisonous and can cause vomiting, fever, seizures, and different stomach problems. Another toxin called Aflatoxin in moldy bread can cause liver failure.
These rodents can bury it to eat later, which also causes mold and fungus to grow on it and is not safe for squirrels and other animals who find the buried food.
Can you feed baby squirrels with bread?
It is not common to find baby squirrels in the yard, as they live in their nest and eat the food the mother provides them.
Baby squirrels cannot eat bread, as they feed milk or liquid products for 7-8 weeks of birth, and their digestive system is not strong enough to digest high cellulose products.
They do not have sharp teeth enough to bite solid food; therefore, it is better to feed them milk or juice products they can eat and digest easily.
You can consult a veterinarian about the food and correct diet if you have a baby squirrel as a pet in the house because they need more care than adult rodents.
What type of bread is not safe for squirrels?
It is better to avoid food items with high sugar, salt, and cellulose content because these ingredients can cause severe health problems for these animals.
For example, white bread contains high sugar content and is not safe for squirrels. On the other hand, banana and cinnamon bread is also harmful to rodents, as they carry lots of carbohydrates and a low amount of dietary fiber.
Moreover, they cannot tolerate the cinnamon smell and like to eat products that use cinnamon. Potato bread is also not recommended for these rodents because it contains as much sugar as in one long chocolate bar.
A high intake of sourdough bread can also affect the digestive system because it provides more cellulose, which is difficult to digest and causes rodents to get sick.
You can feed whole-grain or multi-grain bread to these rodents occasionally and ensure it is not moldy.
They also like to eat cornbread because it provides essential vitamins, but it is better to let them eat it after a few days or irregularly to avoid health problems.
Can squirrels eat bread with peanut butter?
People put peanut butter on it to enhance the taste for their pet squirrels.
They can eat bread with peanut butter, as they like to eat products that include nuts in any way. They like peanut butter because it provides essential nutrients and high energy needed to carry the excited life activities.
A small amount of peanut butter is recommended to feed squirrels; however, it is not poisonous for rodents, but it can cause health issues if fed regularly.