Can squirrels eat chocolate? (+7 types)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can squirrels eat chocolate?”, and can squirrels eat a cocoa plant?

Can squirrels eat chocolate?

Yes, squirrels can eat chocolates. Squirrels love eating chocolates as much as nuts. However, eating chocolate is not as safe as eating nuts for squirrels. 

The theobromine present in chocolates is toxic for most mammals including squirrels the toxicity depends on the type of chocolate which determines the amount of theobromine present and the amount of chocolate consumed by the squirrel. 

It is recommended to not feed chocolate to squirrels or If you must, feed in very small amounts. As a result of theobromine poisoning, a squirrel experiences trembling, diarrhea, excitement, hyperactivity, seizures, muscle tremors, abnormal heart rhythms, and even death. 

An Eastern grey squirrel that weighs 1.3 lbs requires only 0.5 mg of theobromine for poisoning them. 

Chocolates high in theobromine 

Baking chocolate 376mg per square ounce
Dark chocolate 228mg per square ounce
Hot coco170mg per cup
Sweet Chocolate Candies175mg per 1.5 ounces bar
Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans147mg per ounce (28 beans)
Cocoa Powder142mg per 100 grams
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 138mg per 1oz handful

Can squirrels eat the cocoa plant?

Yes, squirrels can safely eat the cocoa plant. Besides squirrels, monkeys, humans, and bats also much on the cocoa plant. The cocoa plant goes through extensive refining to be made into chocolate. Therefore, the cocoa plant is safe for the consumption of squirrels.

Can squirrels eat white chocolate?

White chocolate lacks non-fat cocoa solids, thus, containing little amounts of theobromine. Hoover, some brands can contain up to 35% cocoa solids. Besides white chocolate is a poor nutrition source for the squirrels.

Can squirrels eat chocolate chip cookies?

Since squirrels are opportunistic feeds, they can eat chocolate chip cookies. They come across a variety of human food like popcorn, cranberries, Oreos, cake, cookies, etc. But It is not recommended to rely on chocolate chip cookies for nutrition.

Can squirrels eat chocolate cakes and chocolate-covered almonds?

Squirrels should not be fed any chocolate-covered nuts because It is not safe for them. Similarly, squirrels should not be fed cake, pies, cobbler, Nutella, or any other sweet human food. 

Their digestive system is adapted to metabolize nuts, berries, seeds, fungi, plants since they’re wild animals. Feeding them human food will make them vulnerable to a variety of health issues.

What to feed squirrels?

Unlike popular opinion, peanuts and corn are not that good for squirrel health. However, you can feed your squirrels with small amounts of peanuts and corn among a variety of other foods. 

The best food for squirrels is the nuts in shells like walnuts, hickory nuts, white oak acorns, and beechnuts. 

Gnawing on the shells of these nuts helps keep the teeth of the squirrels healthy. Bird seeds like black oil sunflower seeds and nut-based blends also act as good squirrel foods.

Squirrel Feeding Guide 
Food Quality Information 
Acorn, Red Oak (high tannin)Okay Save the high tannins for desperate times 
Acorn, Red Oak (low tannin)Excellent Better than high tannin acorns 
BeechnutExcellent Prefer in-shell beechnut to encourage gnawing 
Bread Poor Do not feed 
Butternut Excellent  Prefer in-shell beechnut to encourage gnawing
Corn Okay Does not fulfill the nutritional needs of the squirrel. Feed-in small quantity only 
Fruits (Apple, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, watermelon)Excellent Feed the non-citrus fruits in small amongst only
Hazelnuts Excellent Prefer in-shell beechnut to encourage gnawing
Human junk food (candy, chocolate, chips)Poor Poor source of nutrients 
Hickory nuts Excellent Favorite squirrel food. Prefer in-shell beechnut to encourage gnawing
Niger/Nyjer® SeedsPoor Do not feed 
Peanut Butter Okay Favorite squirrel food. Feed-inFeed-inFeed in moderate amounts.
Peanuts, RawDangerous Raw peanuts can be moldy and squirrels can become sick
Peanuts, RoastedOkay Feed only the unsalted only and in small amounts
Pecans Excellent Shelled and unshelled, both can work
Pistachio Okay Only white pistachios. Do not feed red pistachios.
Pumpkins and Pumpkin SeedsOkay Pumpkin shell prompts gnawing Sunflower seeds Okay Favorite squirrel food. Feed in small amounts only
Vegetables (Broccoli, carrots, peas, yellow squash, zucchini)Excellent Full of nutrients 
Walnut, Black or AmericanExcellent Prefer in-shell beechnut to encourage gnawing
Water ExcellentFresh and unfrozen water should be fed to squirrels daily.

Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.

Can rats eat chocolate?

Can chocolate kill you? 

Can you die from eating too much chocolate?


In this article, we answered the question “Can squirrels eat chocolate?”, and can squirrels eat a cocoa plant?

If you’ve enjoyed ”Can squirrels eat chocolate?”, take a look at ”Can monkeys eat chocolate?” too.


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