Squirrels enjoy eating foods such as peanuts, acorns, pecans, walnuts and grapes. So can squirrels eat almonds? do they like them? Let’s find out.
Can Squirrels Eat Almonds?
Yes, squirrels can definitely eat almonds. Squirrels love all kinds of nuts, and almonds are not excluded. They are delicious, healthy, and loaded with proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients, making them a healthy treat for you and your backyard critters. However, they should be fed in moderation because providing them with these nuts too often can have severe consequences on their health.
Now, let’s take a close look into what almonds are and why you should feed them to your backyard critters, especially if you want to attract them to your yard.
What Are Almonds?
Almonds are the edible and widely cultivated seed of tree species, also named almonds. They are one of the most popular nuts in the USA. People eat them in various forms like chopped, roasted, whole, sliced and slivered. And due to their popularity, they are available in the form of milk, paste, flour and oil.
Are Almonds Good for Squirrels?
The answer is yes. Almonds are good and completely safe for squirrels to eat and are considered one of the healthiest nuts for both humans and animals. However, like everything, they must be consumed in moderation.
Below, we’ve put together some of the nutrients found in almonds and what they can do for your furry friend.
- It functions as a building block for skin, bones, muscles and blood.
- It helps in the production of vitamins, hormones and enzymes.
- It makes the body feel fuller, which is beneficial, especially in the winter when there’s a food shortage.
- It enhances hair growth on their body, which is beneficial during the harsh winter months.
Minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and Magnesium:
- Phosphorus: It is responsible for filtering waste and repairing cells and tissues.
- Calcium: Required to maintain the health of their teeth and help build strong, healthy bones. It also enhances the brain function.
- Magnesium: helps create and maintain enzymes for metabolizing protein and carbs and making energy.
Antioxidants such as vitamin E and C:
- It helps reduce the risks of facing heart attacks, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Rich in fats:
- It contains healthy monounsaturated fats, which help in keeping a healthy heart.
Are Almonds Bad to Squirrels?
No, Almonds are neither bad nor poisonous to squirrels. However, eating large quantities can cause some severe side effects, which are as follows:
Digestion related issues
Digesting almonds is more difficult for squirrels than other nuts, even in small quantities. And if they are overfed on almonds, diarrhea and upset tummy will be among the most common outcomes. And if they had far too many of these nuts, the consequences could be even more severe.
Almonds contain Cyanide which is a serious threat that can arise from overeating almonds.
Signs of cyanide poisoning include respiratory distress, dilated pupil, staggering, dark red gums, muscle twitching and quick death.
Almonds come in two varieties – bitter and sweet. Bitter almonds contain a higher level of cyanide than sweet almonds. And a handful can be enough to kill your furry friend. So, know which variety you are feeding.
If your pet is showing signs of illness such as bloating, swelling, vomiting, breathing difficulty, or tremors after eating almonds, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Do Squirrels Like Almonds?
Yes, squirrels do like almonds so much. in fact, amongst all the nuts enjoyed by squirrels, almonds are one of the closest to a squirrel’s heart. Give a squirrel a nut, and you will become his best friend.
Want to make sure? Enjoy watching this video:
How to Feed Almonds to Squirrels?
Feeding squirrels is not as easy as feeding a pet, especially in the beginning, and this is because they’re incredibly agile and quick to escape as soon as you come near them. So, we’re going to talk about a few ways you can feed the visitors of your backyard almonds.
The first thing you need to do is to ensure that there are no pesticides attached to the almonds so you don’t accidentally poison them. I’d recommend buying almonds in bulk from Amazon or Sams that you can share with your furry critters.
Secondly, you need to figure out whether the squirrels coming to your yard are tree or ground squirrels. It is not that difficult if you have enough time. All you have to do is to notice where they spend most of their time.
If they spend most of their time running around the ground, they’re ground squirrels, and if they spend most of their time climbing up and down trees, they’re tree squirrels.
In the first case, place a couple of almonds (with the shells) in a bowl on the ground of your yard.
In the latter case, you can buy a squirrel feeder and set it up for them on the tree
Also, try to find shelled almonds in the market because they prefer it over the unshelled ones. And don’t forget to give them access to clean water.
Conclusion: Can Squirrels Eat Almonds?
Yes, squirrels can eat almonds, and they are their favorite. They are not just great for humans; they are also one of the healthiest for them. They are a great source of nutrients that will benefit these fast-moving critters.
However, feeding them too much is never a good thing. Two per day should be enough and should also be served in the shell. Also, it is always best to give them raw, unsalted almonds and not roasted ones.