Raisins contain a high sugar level, grapes dried in the sun, or a food dehydrator. They are a fruit that is rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Furthermore, there is little to no cholesterol and fat present in it.
Feeding raisins is not toxic for squirrels, but overeating can damage their health and hurt their digestive system as they have high sugar levels. Squirrels are active, and they need nutrients to keep their health good and remain active and survive in a predatory environment.
If you are going to add raisins to squirrels’ diet, you need to know how they affect squirrels’ health. To completely understand why raisins are bad for squirrels, you need to look at this fruit and what it contains.
Raisins are grapes that are dried and gone through a natural sun-drying process. You can also artificially dehydrate grapes to make them into raisins and are either brown or golden. They are typically laid out in a vineyard, and after that, they are graded, cleaned, and packed.
Furthermore, they are rich in fiber, iron, sugar and calories, calcium, boron, antioxidants, and antimicrobial compounds. All these nutrients are healthy choices for us humans, but since squirrels have a sensitive digestion system, feeding them, raisins can damage their stomach due to high sugar levels.
There is not proved amount that, when fed above than can cause damage to squirrels. Every squirrel may react to even a small amount of raisins, while some show damage after a certain amount, but you shouldn’t feed raisins to squirrels as they are rich in sugar which is an unhealthy choice for squirrels.
Type Of Raisins:
There are several types of raisins with different shapes, colors, sizes, flavors, but all contain sugar. Here are six types of raisin that are commonly available:
- Black Raisins: These are the most common types of darker raisins as you heat them and caramelize their flavor. The more direct sunlight, direct heat, the blacker they become and caramelized their flavor. They are 2.5 cm long, chewy, fleshy, and can be small as 2.5 cm.
- Currants: Currants are dark-colored grapes with a sour, tarty taste rich in vitamin C. Black currants are popular and used in baking and are not that sweet like other types of raisins. They are 1cm long and are dark-colored have full flavor despite the small size.
- Sultanas: Turkish green grape is known as Thompson seedless and is dark brown and are called sultanas because they are rich in taste and are eaten throughout the world. They are of the same size as a typical raisin and are usually a bit tangier. These are popular and contain about 64.2 grams of sugar and 69 grams of carbohydrates.
- Red Or Flame Raisins: These are delicious and rich in taste and are made from red-skinned grapes. Since they are made from red-skinned grapes, they are called red or flame raisins as they are sweet. They are 1.5 cm large and super sweet, and widely used in sweet dishes.
- Green Raisins: Slim but 2-3 cm long raisins that are most famous in Asia and are the chewy and best choice of accessory for sweet dishes. They are dried in well aired and indoor conditions that give them a green color. Sometimes sulfur dioxide is used to improve their quality.
- Golden Raisins: Artificially oven-dried raisins to give out golden colors instead of dark-color that are obtained due to sunlight. Additionally, they are treated with sulfur dioxide to avoid dark colors during the drying process. They are sweet fruity, tangy, and more like toffee flavor than raisins.
No matter the type of raisin, they all contain sugar, and the level of sugar varies from one raisin to another. Still, for squirrels, any type of raisin is terrible since it can affect their digestive system.
Are Raisins Safe For Squirrel?
Raisins are not poisonous, but they also do not provide any nutritional value to squirrels. On the other hand, they contain high sugar, and sugar to squirrels is like candy. It may be tasty, but it can damage your health badly.
Both will either be flying or ground, eat raisins as they are tasty, and squirrels love the sugary taste but shouldn’t be included in their daily diet. Furthermore, squirrels have a sensitive digestion system, and overeating sugary food can damage their health condition.
Wild Squirrels will eat anything, and if you see them eating raisins and thinking about feeding them to squirrels, you are wrong. There is quite a difference between wild and pet squirrels as the rough condition had made wild squirrels body solid and capable of fighting the diseases independently. Speaking medically, feeding too many raisins can be dangerous even to wild squirrels.
What Else Should You Feed Squirrels?
Either you live feeding the squirrels or have them as a pet, you need to provide them with food that will improve their health or contribute to their nutrition. They love to eat nuts, and they are a good diet for them as they provide more health benefits and keep their front incisor from growing.
You can buy pre-made food for squirrels from the shop and feed it to them, and providing them with a new source of water is enough to keep them hydrated. There is no need to provide them with any other liquid than water as it is enough for them and food like nuts, apples, and sweet potatoes.
As long as you don’t give them fruit with a high sugar level, everything will be alright. For instance, you can feed squirrels fruits like apples, kiwi, cranberries.
Squirrels can eat raisins as they are not poisonous but also don’t provide nutritional value to them. Instead of feeding them something that doesn’t contribute to the squirrel’s health, you should feed them food and items that can benefit their health. In the end, if fed, only a small amount of raisins are good, but too many of them can damage the squirrel’s health due to high sugar levels.
Frequently Asked Question
Q1:Can squirrels eat raisins and cranberries?
Yes, squirrels can eat raisins and cranberries as they are not toxic but also don’t contribute to their health. Furthermore, raisins and cranberries are sugary fruits, so feeding too much can damage squirrels’ digestion system.
Q2:Can we feed squirrels in winter?
Squirrels don’t hibernate in winter, but they are active for a limited time in winter. So feeding them extra might not be any problem for them.