Is It Legal To Have A Pet Squirrel?

If you’re wondering whether it’s legal to have a pet squirrel, the answer may vary depending on your location. While in some places it is legal to own a squirrel as a pet, in others it may be prohibited. It’s crucial to check your local laws and regulations regarding pet ownership before considering a squirrel as a companion. This will ensure that you are in compliance with the law and can provide a safe and suitable environment for the squirrel.

is it legal to have a pet squirrel

Understanding the Legalities of Keeping Squirrels as Pets

Keeping squirrels as pets may seem like a charming idea to many, but it is important to understand the legalities surrounding this practice. While squirrels are adorable creatures, they are also considered wildlife, and laws regarding their ownership and care can vary from one jurisdiction to another.

Laws and Regulations

Before deciding to keep a squirrel as a pet, it is crucial to research and understand the laws and regulations in your area. Many countries, states, or provinces have specific guidelines that govern the ownership and care of wildlife, including squirrels. These laws are in place to protect both the animals and the public.

In some regions, it is illegal to keep squirrels as pets without obtaining the necessary permits or licenses. These permits may require background checks, home inspections, and proof of adequate facilities and knowledge for squirrel care. Violating these laws can result in fines, confiscation of the animal, or even criminal charges.

Reasons for Legal Restrictions

The legal restrictions surrounding keeping squirrels as pets stem from several reasons. Firstly, squirrels are wild animals with specific natural behaviors and needs. They may not thrive in captivity and can suffer from stress, malnutrition, and other health issues.

Secondly, squirrels can potentially carry diseases or parasites that can spread to humans or other domestic animals. This is especially concerning in regions where certain diseases, such as rabies, are prevalent among wildlife populations.

Furthermore, releasing pet squirrels into the wild can have adverse effects on the local ecosystem. These animals may outcompete native species for resources or introduce diseases or parasites to the local wildlife population.

Alternative Options

If keeping a squirrel as a pet is not legally permitted in your area, there are alternative options available for those who admire these creatures. Consider volunteering at a local wildlife rehabilitation center or sanctuary that specializes in caring for orphaned or injured squirrels. This allows you to interact with squirrels under professional supervision and contribute to their well-being.

Additionally, creating a squirrel-friendly environment in your backyard is a great way to observe and support these furry creatures. Planting trees, providing nesting boxes, and leaving out food sources like birdfeeders can attract squirrels while still allowing them to live in their natural habitat.

In Summary

While squirrels may be cute and captivating, it is crucial to understand and respect the legalities surrounding their ownership as pets. Laws and regulations vary depending on your jurisdiction and are in place to ensure the well-being of the animals and the safety of the public. If keeping a squirrel as a pet is not allowed in your area, consider alternative ways to appreciate and support these fascinating creatures in their natural environment.

Is it Permissible to Have a Pet Squirrel? Explore the Legal Considerations

Many people find squirrels to be adorable creatures and might consider keeping them as pets. However, before bringing a squirrel into your home, it’s important to understand the legal considerations surrounding pet ownership. While some states and countries allow pet squirrels, others have strict regulations that prohibit or restrict their ownership. In this section, we will delve into the legal aspects of having a pet squirrel.

1. Research Local and State Laws

The first step in determining the permissibility of owning a pet squirrel is to research the laws in your specific locality and state. Animal ownership regulations can vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another, so it’s crucial to understand the rules in your area. Check with your local animal control office or wildlife agency to gather accurate and up-to-date information about squirrel ownership.

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2. Wildlife vs. Domesticated Squirrels

It’s important to differentiate between wildlife squirrels and domestically bred or captive-bred squirrels. In many places, keeping a native squirrel species as a pet may be illegal, as they are considered wildlife and protected under conservation laws. However, some regions allow the ownership of non-native squirrel species that are bred in captivity and considered domesticated. Make sure to understand the distinction and regulations pertaining to each category.

3. Permits and Licenses

In certain jurisdictions, owning a pet squirrel may require obtaining permits or licenses. These documents are typically issued by wildlife or conservation agencies and serve as proof that you meet specific requirements for squirrel ownership. The application process may involve providing information about your intentions, ensuring the squirrel’s welfare, and paying applicable fees. Be prepared to adhere to these requirements to legally own a pet squirrel.

4. Restrictions and Limitations

Even in areas where pet squirrels are allowed, there may be certain restrictions and limitations. For example, there might be regulations on the number of squirrels you can own or specific enclosures and care standards you must meet. Some regions may require regular inspections or prohibit the release of pet squirrels into the wild. Familiarize yourself with any restrictions or limitations imposed by your local authorities to ensure compliance.

5. Consideration of Squirrel’s Welfare

While legality is an important factor, it is equally crucial to consider the well-being of the squirrel itself. Squirrels have specific dietary, environmental, and social needs that must be met for them to thrive in a domestic setting. Ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and resources to provide a suitable and enriching environment for your pet squirrel. Consulting with a veterinarian experienced in squirrel care is highly recommended.

6. Potential Consequences of Illegal Ownership

It’s essential to understand the potential consequences of illegally owning a pet squirrel. If you reside in an area where ownership is prohibited or fail to comply with the necessary permits and regulations, you may face legal penalties, fines, confiscation of the squirrel, or other repercussions. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, so it’s crucial to educate yourself and adhere to the legal requirements to avoid any legal complications.


Before considering a pet squirrel, thoroughly research the legal considerations surrounding squirrel ownership in your area. Understand the local and state laws, differentiate between wildlife and domesticated squirrels, obtain any necessary permits or licenses, and adhere to any restrictions or limitations imposed. Always prioritize the welfare of the squirrel and ensure you can meet their specific needs. By following the legal guidelines and providing optimal care, you can enjoy the companionship of a pet squirrel within the boundaries of the law.

Pet Squirrels: Navigating the Legal Landscape

Keeping exotic pets has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people looking for unique and unconventional companions. One such pet that has gained attention is the pet squirrel. Squirrels are intelligent, charismatic, and can be quite entertaining to have around. However, before you consider welcoming a squirrel into your home, it is crucial to understand the legalities surrounding these furry creatures.

1. Local Regulations:

When it comes to owning a pet squirrel, the legal landscape varies from one jurisdiction to another. It is essential to research and understand the specific regulations in your area before bringing a squirrel home. Some states or cities may have strict laws against owning squirrels or have specific requirements and permits in place. Ignoring these regulations can lead to hefty fines or even the confiscation of your beloved pet.

2. Wildlife Conservation:

The laws surrounding pet squirrels often stem from concerns about wildlife conservation. Squirrels are wild animals, and allowing them as pets can disrupt natural ecosystems. In some areas, certain species of squirrels may be protected due to their declining populations or vulnerability. The goal of these regulations is to ensure the preservation of these species and maintain the delicate balance of the local environment.

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3. Licensing and Permits:

If owning a pet squirrel is legal in your area, you may still be required to obtain specific licenses or permits. These documents are typically designed to ensure that squirrel owners meet certain criteria, such as providing proper care, veterinary attention, and appropriate living conditions for their pets. The application process for these licenses may also involve inspections of your home to verify that you have a suitable environment for the squirrel.

4. Liability Concerns:

Another aspect of navigating the legal landscape of owning a pet squirrel is understanding the liability involved. Squirrels, though small, are still wild animals and can pose certain risks. If your squirrel were to bite or injure someone, you could potentially be held liable for any damages or injuries caused. It is crucial to consider these potential risks and consult with insurance providers to ensure you have adequate coverage.

5. Ethical Considerations:

Beyond the legal aspects, it is essential to consider the ethical implications of owning a pet squirrel. Squirrels are highly active and curious animals that require a stimulating environment and plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Keeping a squirrel confined to a small cage or depriving it of its natural behaviors can be detrimental to its well-being. It is crucial to provide an enriching and suitable environment for your pet squirrel.

6. Responsible Ownership:

Before bringing a pet squirrel into your home, it is crucial to educate yourself about their specific needs, behaviors, and care requirements. Squirrels have unique dietary needs, social interactions, and exercise requirements. It is important to ensure that you can provide them with the necessary care and attention they require to thrive in a domestic setting. Responsible ownership is essential to ensure the health, happiness, and well-being of your pet squirrel.

In summary, owning a pet squirrel comes with its own set of legal considerations. It is important to research and understand the regulations in your area, obtain any necessary licenses or permits, and ensure responsible ownership. Remember, squirrels are wild animals, and their welfare should always be the top priority. By navigating the legal landscape and being a responsible pet owner, you can enjoy the companionship of a squirrel while respecting the laws and preserving the well-being of these incredible creatures.

Legal Restrictions and Requirements for Keeping a Pet Squirrel

Keeping a pet squirrel can be an exciting and unique experience. These small and adorable creatures can bring joy and companionship to your life. However, before you decide to bring a pet squirrel into your home, it is important to understand the legal restrictions and requirements associated with owning one. This section will outline the key factors you need to consider.

Laws and Regulations

Each country, state, and even city may have specific laws and regulations regarding the ownership of exotic pets, including squirrels. It is essential to research and familiarize yourself with these laws to ensure that you are in compliance.

Some jurisdictions completely prohibit the ownership of squirrels as pets, considering them wildlife and not suitable for domestication. Others may require specific permits or licenses to keep them legally. Contact your local wildlife agency or department of natural resources to obtain accurate information about the legal requirements in your area.

Permits and Licenses

If keeping a pet squirrel is legal in your jurisdiction, you may need to obtain permits or licenses to ensure compliance. These permits are usually issued by the appropriate wildlife or environmental agencies and may require you to meet specific criteria.

The application process for permits or licenses typically involves providing information on the type of squirrel you wish to keep, the enclosure or habitat you will provide, and any necessary vaccinations or health screenings. Additionally, you may be required to demonstrate your ability to care for the squirrel’s physical and emotional needs.

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Housing Requirements

When it comes to housing a pet squirrel, you will need to provide a suitable and secure habitat that meets their unique needs. This includes a cage or enclosure that allows for climbing, jumping, and exploring. The enclosure should be escape-proof and provide ample space for the squirrel to move around and exercise.

It is important to note that some jurisdictions may have specific housing requirements and regulations in place for pet squirrels. These may include minimum cage sizes, environmental enrichment, and safety standards. Ensure that you are aware of and comply with these regulations to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your pet squirrel.

Health and Veterinary Care

Just like any other pet, squirrels require regular veterinary care to ensure their health and well-being. It is important to find a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals or has experience with squirrels.

Your pet squirrel will need vaccinations, routine check-ups, and preventive treatments for parasites and diseases. Regular veterinary care will help detect any potential health issues early on and ensure that your pet is receiving the necessary care to thrive.

Feeding and Nutrition

Squirrels have specific dietary requirements, and it is crucial to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet. As omnivores, their diet should consist of a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It is important to consult with a veterinarian or an experienced squirrel owner to determine the appropriate diet for your pet.

Additionally, be aware of any restrictions on feeding wild squirrels. Feeding wild squirrels can disrupt their natural foraging behavior and may be prohibited in some areas to avoid overpopulation or the spread of diseases.

Behavior and Training

Pet squirrels, like any other animal, have their own unique behaviors and instincts. It is important to understand and respect their natural behaviors while providing appropriate training and enrichment.

Squirrels are known for their agility and climbing abilities, so providing them with opportunities to exercise and explore is crucial. Harness training can also be helpful for supervised outdoor activities, but make sure to follow any local ordinances regarding leashing or restraining pets.


Before deciding to keep a pet squirrel, it is essential to research and understand the legal restrictions and requirements associated with their ownership. Laws and regulations vary by jurisdiction, so it is crucial to consult the appropriate wildlife or environmental agencies to obtain accurate and up-to-date information.

Obtaining the necessary permits or licenses, providing suitable housing, ensuring proper nutrition and veterinary care, and respecting the squirrel’s natural behaviors are all essential aspects of responsible pet squirrel ownership. By adhering to these requirements, you can enjoy a fulfilling and harmonious relationship with your furry friend.


Is it legal to have a pet squirrel?

The legality of keeping a pet squirrel varies depending on the jurisdiction. In some places, it is illegal to have a pet squirrel as they are considered wildlife and require special permits. It is important to check local laws and regulations before keeping a squirrel as a pet.


In conclusion, owning a pet squirrel can be an intriguing and unique choice for animal lovers. However, it is crucial to consider the legal implications before getting a squirrel as a pet. Laws regarding pet squirrels vary from country to country and even within different states or regions. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly research and understand the local regulations and requirements before bringing a squirrel into your home.

Additionally, it is important to ensure the squirrel’s well-being and proper care. Squirrels have specific needs and behaviors that must be accommodated in a home environment. Providing a safe and stimulating habitat, appropriate nutrition, and regular veterinary care are essential for the squirrel’s health and happiness.

By being responsible and informed, you can enjoy the companionship of a pet squirrel within the boundaries of the law, ensuring a positive and enriching experience for both you and your furry friend.