Squirrels or hippos?
Do you know squirrels and hippos have a lot in common amongst them? The primary thing is that both of them are mammals, and both of them relish eating plants. Another significant similarity is that both of them can be kept as pets.
Now, which one would you think to keep as a pet? Squirrel is cute and seems intelligent, but the truth is that hippos are easier to take care of than squirrels.
Squirrel as a pet
There are various reasons a lot of people are against keeping squirrel as a pet. Some of the significant reasons are you cannot leave squirrel at home alone; you would need a house sitter with a lot of patience. Secondly, they lack the instinct of relying on others for food or protection.
Young squirrel requires being with other companion squirrels for learning survival skills and behaviour. They do not quickly adapt to the new environment, plus they do not accept strangers after nine weeks of their age. A major drawback is that their teeth grow continuously, and they can chew anything on your furniture, walls, etc. You cannot train them what to chew and what not.
The early months of squirrel
In the first 6 months, they would show affection to humans and rely on them for food. As they grow, their claws and teeth become sharp, and they unintentionally harm humans, pets and furniture. During mating seasons, they might become very defensive towards humans. Therefore, it is advisable not to keep them as pets.
What damage can they do?
You would go really nuts keeping a squirrel as you cannot tell them not to eat your remote control or scratch the curtains. They can eat the woodwork and create chaos at your place. They are not that intelligent as they seem. Therefore, it is not suggested to keep the squirrel as a pet.
When were squirrels common as pets?
It started with the early American colonists who began keeping squirrels as their pet. They adopted other animals as well, but the squirrel was the most popular amongst all. Then in the 18th century, it became so renowned that people started selling squirrels as a pet.
In family portraits, paintings and museums, squirrels were everywhere. After some time, people realized that squirrels are wild animals and are pretty tough to be kept as pets. They need forest or ground to roam; a house is not enough for them. (See How Are Ponies and Horses Different?)
Is it legal to keep the squirrel as pets?
At the inception of the 20th century, people believed that squirrels are pests, not pets. Later, a rule came which stated that it is illegal to keep the squirrel as pets as it is a wild animal. However, this law does not abide in every country, but in various countries, it is applicable.
Their brain is just the size of a walnut. An average squirrel litter produces 4 offspring. Also, tree squirrels never hibernate. Their incisors grow 6 inches every year. (See How Big Is the Biggest Whale)
Do Squirrels Make Good Pets? Can they be domesticated?
What It’s Really Like Owning a Pet Squirrel? Why squirrels are bad pets?