Can squirrels eat Chocolate? This is a question asked in many forums. Chocolate is a delightful and delicious snack loved by most people, and given a chance, animals such as rodents will steal a bite.
A squirrel is a cute rodent that likes running in the backyard looking for nuts or berries.
Sometimes, people feel the urge to feed stray animals that visit their homes like the squirrels.
Animals love eating human food like leftovers, Chocolate, or candy. However, just because the food looks tasty doesn’t mean that it’s safe for them.
People are fond of feeding them candies, cookies, and Chocolate whenever they spot them in the compound but can squirrels eat Chocolate, and is it safe for them?
It can also be a good way to catch a squirrel in your backyard.
The toxic levels depend on the consumed quantity, type of Chocolate, and the animal’s digestive system.
Chocolates contain theobromine content harmful to squirrels if taken in large quantities. To avoid poisoning, it’s best if you stick to feeding them nuts, berries, and fruits.
- Why Chocolate is harmful to squirrels
- Do squirrels Eat Chocolate? Do they like it?
- Importance of Chocolate
- How much Chocolate can Kill a Squirrel?
- How Long Does a Squirrel take to Show the Effects of Chocolates?
- Can Squirrel Eat Cacao?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion: Can Squirrel Eat Chocolate?
Why Chocolate is harmful to squirrels
Chocolates contain an alkanoid known as theobromine, normally produced in plants to keep them safe from diseases, pests, and insects.
LD50 (Lethal Dose) of 50% is a way of measuring how toxic a substance is. In squirrels, the LD50 is 0.5 mg of theobromine while it’s 1000mg/kg body weight in humans.
When taken in large amounts, it may lead to the squirrel’s death as 0.5 mg of theobromine is enough to kill them.
It means that 50% of all squirrels weighing 500g will die after 0.5mg enter their bodies.
Some of the effects of Chocolate on squirrels are excitement, seizures, diarrhea, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, trembling, abnormal heartbeats, and death.
Squirrels have different resistance to alkanoids from dogs. They are less sensitive to chocolates than dogs, meaning dogs are more likely to die first than a squirrel if they feed on the same amount of Chocolate.
Do squirrels Eat Chocolate? Do they like it?
A squirrel is an opportunistic animal that can eat anything that comes its way. Squirrels love eating Chocolate whenever they get the chance. They may even grab your bar from your hand and run away.
They are fond of eating human food, and you’ll find them looking for leftovers in the trash. Any foods consumed by humans, squirrels also like eating.
They would choose human food over any other food they find during their hunting. They will taste anything that comes their way.
After finding the food, they invite the rest by using certain sounds. If you’ve to feel the squirrels chocolate, give them a tiny to no amount at all.
Remember that the amount that appears small to humans may be too much for them due to their body size and weight, and they may soon get addicted.
If you can’t resist the urge to feed them, feed them nuts or seeds and fruits instead because they love them too.
Chocolates have some benefits, but it does more harm than good to animals.
Besides the harm it does to humans, chocolates also have benefits which include; it’s good in reducing heart disease, improving memory and brain, improving blood flow, and protecting the skin.
Importance of Chocolate
Reducing Heart Disease
Research has shown that dark chocolate is beneficial to the heart as it prevents white blood cells from sticking on the walls of blood vessels and aids in restoring artery flexibility.
It Has Antioxidants
Dark chocolate has some organic compounds such as polyphenols, catechins, and flavanols that have been proven to be biologically active and serve as antioxidants.
Boosts energy levels
Chocolates are excellent energy boosters because they improve blood flow in the body; thus, more oxygen is carried to the muscles faster. This explains why squirrels become excited after eating Chocolate.
It Contains Vital Minerals
Chocolate is an example of an energy booster since it contains minerals like copper, magnesium, iron, selenium, and zinc, beneficial to humans.
Improves the Brain Functionality
As I mentioned earlier, chocolates contain theobromine and caffeine, essential in improving brain functionality.
How much Chocolate can Kill a Squirrel?
The LD50 test on small animals like squirrels showed that it would only take 0.5 mg of theobromine or, in other terms, 36 grams of a 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate bat to kill a squirrel.
It also showed that too much Chocolate could be harmful to humans at a lethal dose of 1000mg/kg, almost 85full chocolate bars at once.
Too much Chocolate or other sugary food can also cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, weight gain, and other chronic diseases.
How Long Does a Squirrel take to Show the Effects of Chocolates?
When taken in small quantities, the squirrel may start showing signs after 24 to 48 hours.
However, when taken in large quantities, it will take 24 hours or less to kill it.
Can Squirrel Eat Cacao?
Chocolate is normally made from cocoa nuts, dried seeds harvested from the cacao tree. The seeds are then processed and refined to become edible Chocolate.
Most squirrels can and do eat cacao plants without having any health issues. There are no side effects that have been reported on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Other Foods Are Toxic To Squirrels?
Squirrels are vegetarians, but you’ll find them eating foods like mushrooms and popcorns that aren’t safe for them.
Like Chocolate, there are many kinds of foods that squirrels love eating even though they are lethal.
These foods include human food such as candy, grilled and fried food, pizza, coffee, and junk food.
Others include alcohol, onions, coffee, avocado, and beverages containing caffeine.
Anything natural is good and safe for the consumption of squirrels. Other things that aren’t natural are not beneficial for squirrels.
What Foods Are The Best For Squirrels?
Fruits such as bananas, grapes, kiwi fruit, berries, peaches, etc.
Vegetables like carrots, kale, broccoli, beet greens, turnip, and any vegetable that has a high calcium content. However, foods like garlic, yam, and dried vegetable aren’t good for squirrels.
Nuts and seeds– nuts are good for squirrels, including walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Seeds include sunflower seeds, peas, and corn
Bones-bones have a high calcium content which is suitable for squirrels. They help them strengthen their teeth.
What to do after a Squirrel eats a high amount of Chocolate?
There is no medicine for chocolate poisoning in squirrels and other rodents. However, you can induce vomiting for the theobromine to get out of the body.
You can also call the vet if the symptoms persist or you aren’t able to induce vomiting.
Can A Squirrel Eat Chocolate Cake?
Chocolate cake is a favorite dessert loved by most people. However, squirrels shouldn’t be allowed to eat it because the cake is made with theobromine from cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and chocolate chips.
The cake is also mixed with sugary ingredients that aren’t safe for the squirrel. Consumption of the cake may lead to seizures, stomachache, and increased breathing.
Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate Chip Cookies?
The primary ingredient in chocolate chip cookies is sugar and dark chocolate which isn’t healthy and safe for squirrels.
It would be best never to feed the squirrels because it contains high amounts of caffeine and theobromine. Once you notice some discomfort in the animal, call a vet immediately
Conclusion: Can Squirrel Eat Chocolate?
I hope your question on can squirrels eat Chocolate is answered. The simple answer is ‘no.’
As I mentioned above, like and can eat Chocolate even if it isn’t a safe food for squirrels.
When consumed in large amounts, it can lead to death. To avoid all this, avoid feeding them chocolates or any other sugary food that isn’t natural.
Keep Chocolate where they can’t reach because a small piece can cost them a lot.