Is It Safe to Keep a Squirrel As a Pet?


As urban sprawl continues to take place, humans are much more likely to encounter adapting squirrels that are becoming more common in urban areas. In many cases, squirrels make their way into homes, businesses, and properties. Sometimes, there is a situation that arises where it may seem like making a squirrel your pet could be a good idea. Continue reading to learn if it is safe to keep a squirrel as a pet.

Safety Factors

While squirrels may seem like harmless creatures to keep as a pet, they can actually present some potential problems. Just like most other wild animals, squirrels are known to carry many different diseases. In addition, if a squirrel gets loose in your home, it could cause some damage. Continue reading to learn about some detailed problems squirrels can cause.


Tularemia is a disease that can potentially be very harmful, and even deadly, to humans. Tularemia is a bacterial infection that is commonly found in rodents, rabbits, squirrels, and other small critters. Humans can be exposed to tularemia through a variety of ways, including coming into contact with a sick animal, drinking or eating anything that an infected animal has come into contact with, and even by breathing in the bacteria in the air. Once infected, tularemia can cause symptoms as severe as inflammation of the heart, liver, and brain. Luckily, there is an antibiotic treatment that allows most patients to completely recover.


Another common disease that can be transmitted from squirrels to humans is leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can present some very serious symptoms to humans if left untreated. Humans are generally exposed to this infection through the urine of an infected critter. Since squirrels can urinate randomly wherever, it could be very easy to get infected with this disease by a squirrel. Some symptoms include headache, bleeding, chills, vomiting, and a dangerously high fever. Receiving a course of antibiotics treats leptospirosis, preventing the more dangerous symptoms of liver and kidney damage from occurring.

Home Damage

Much like other nuisance animals that are commonly encountered, squirrels can create some serious amounts of damage in homes and garages. This is mainly due to their tendency to chew on virtually any material. If you did have a pet squirrel, odds are it would cause some damage. One of the most common problems encountered with squirrels is that they will chew through lumber, drywall, and many other building materials to get where they want to go. Once they get into the area they want to be in, they can cause even more damage. Chewing on wire, tearing up insulation, and even creating holes in the exterior of your home are all commonly done by squirrels. Visit to learn more about the damage squirrels can cause.  If you could somehow train a squirrel, this problem may not be the biggest deal, but otherwise it would be wise to avoid having a pet squirrel.

Is It Safe to Keep a Squirrel?

After reading through some of the problems that squirrels can cause to you, your family, and your home, you may be wondering if keeping a squirrel as a pet is the best idea. In general, the recommended answer would be to not keep a squirrel as a pet, as there are too many problems that could occur. In addition, giving a squirrel the care it needs can be tedious and hard to do. While this is an individual choice, most squirrels encountered should be removed by a professional wildlife removal company to keep you and your family safe.

Squirrel Removal

Removing a squirrel from your home or property on your own might seem like a simple proposition. For some homeowners, it can be as simple as setting a non-lethal cage trap and removing the animal. However, many squirrels are too smart for pest control beginners. It is recommended to hire a professional company like Complete Wildlife Removal Wyoming to take care of your squirrel problem. Not only will they remove the squirrels, but they can also prevent them from coming back in the future through wildlife exclusion services and animal damage repairs. In addition, wildlife removal companies provide cleaning and sanitation services to get rid of any disease and illness you and your family could be exposed to.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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