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 coco||170mg per cup|
|Sweet Chocolate Candies||175mg per 1.5 ounces bar|
|Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans||147mg per ounce (28 beans)|
|Cocoa Powder||142mg 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|
|Acorn, Red Oak (high tannin)||Okay||Save the high tannins for desperate times|
|Acorn, Red Oak (low tannin)||Excellent||Better than high tannin acorns|
|Beechnut||Excellent||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® Seeds||Poor||Do not feed|
|Peanut Butter||Okay||Favorite squirrel food. Feed-inFeed-inFeed in moderate amounts.|
|Peanuts, Raw||Dangerous||Raw peanuts can be moldy and squirrels can become sick|
|Peanuts, Roasted||Okay||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 American||Excellent||Prefer in-shell beechnut to encourage gnawing|
|Water||Excellent||Fresh and unfrozen water should be fed to squirrels daily.|
Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.
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.