How do squirrels get calcium in the wild?

Humans take supplements and animals can supplement their diets too. So how do squirrels get calcium in the wild?

Squirrels get additional calcium in the wild by gnawing on animal antlers and the bones of animals. If you own a pet squirrel you can crush up and feed them calcium supplements, Tums or Rolaids. You can also give them animal grade bonemeal powder or eggshell powder.

Both animals and humans need nutrients to maintain good health. Humans have a wide variety of foods which offer these vitamins and minerals. We can also add supplements to our diets but animals cannot.

Animals have to eat foods that offer all the vitamins and minerals they need in the most convenient way possible. Sometimes animals don’t get all the nutrients that they need. Squirrels can sometimes suffer from a lack of calcium. So your question may be ‘how do squirrels get calcium in the wild’ this article looks into it 

How do squirrels get calcium in the wild?

Squirrels eat almost anything, they are opportunistic feeders. They have to be opportunistic feeders because they forage for food. Unfortunately, the foods that they eat do not always protect them fully from developing metabolic bone disease (MBD).

This disease affects the squirrel by causing the animals bones to weaken which is very damaging and dangerous. Thus, they need additional calcium. A lack of calcium in squirrels can also result in paralysis and seizures 

Squirrels know when they need additional calcium. When they sense this, they use their long and sharp teeth to gnaw on deer antlers as well as animal bones. They do this to get the calcium out of the bones/anthers, into their bodies and thus into their bones.

If you own a pet squirrel, you can buy bones for gnawing at the pet store and serve them to your squirrel. Simply go to the pet store asking about these types of bones and they will give them right to you. 

Other sources of calcium, that you can feed your squirrels, include animal grade bonemeal powder as well as eggshell powder. You can make your own at home eggshell powder by boiling eggs, drying them out then grinding the eggshells. Feed these to your squirrel.

A good amount to serve your squirrels is ½ a teaspoon of powder a day. In addition, squirrels need vitamin D to synthesize the calcium. Ensure that your squirrel gets 30 minutes of time in the sun to get the calcium it needs. 

How do you give a squirrel calcium?

If you need to give your squirrel calcium, because they’ve developed MBD, give them the calcium immediately. You can also give them calcium supplements, Tums or Rolaids to add calcium to their diet. Use a spoon or a syringe to feed them. 

Crush your calcium to form a powder and add it to some fruit juice, add enough juice to create a paste consistency. Once this paste is ready, use your syringe or spoon to feed the paste into your squirrel. 

After the animal has eaten its first calcium supplement you’ll need to give it an additional 100mg of calcium every 4 hours, cut that amount in half if you’re feeding smaller squirrels 

Is it bad to feed squirrels?

No, feeding squirrels isn’t bad, it can actually be very helpful to them from time to time, it will give them a break from having to forage for food. That being said, there are some negatives that come with feeding squirrels. 

If you feed them human food, the squirrel can develop illnesses because their bodies aren’t designed to take human food. Also, if you feed them, they will lose their fear of humans. The more you feed them the more comfortable they will become and even aggressive if you don’t feed them. 

If you feed squirrels near vehicles or homes then they may later try to enter vehicles or homes in search of food. This can be very dangerous especially if the squirrel isn’t afraid of humans. In addition, if you feed them too often they can become dependent on you 


In summary, squirrels get calcium by gnawing off of antlers as well as animal bones of dead animals. If squirrels don’t get enough calcium this can damage the animal’s bones and body in general. You can feed your squirrel calcium supplements to counter this.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other squirrel related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: How do squirrels breathe, why do squirrels eat green pine cones, why do squirrels run away, how do squirrels drink water in the wild, why do squirrels stop in the middle of the road, how do squirrels trim their nails

How do squirrels get calcium in the wild?
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