Do Squirrels Eat Pistachios? (MUST READ)

Jasmine Okechukwu
Do Squirrels Eat Pistachios

Do squirrels eat pistachios? When people need to feed squirrels, it’s best to ensure these foods are safe. Pistachios for a long time have been considered to be healthy snacks for humans as it is packed with lots of dietary supplements such as protein, fat, carbs and minerals, and vitamins.

Quick answer: Yes, squirrels do eat pistachios. Pistachios are neutral nuts for squirrels, but they do eat them anyway, and they are safe for them. Squirrels need to avoid high-sugar nuts and salty foods, and while pistachios are safe for them, they are best consumed in moderation.

Pistachios are known and enjoyed for their numerous benefits. However, it is high in calories, but the high-protein content in it can make up for this, provided it is not consumed too often. This nut is a member of the cashew family, and it happens to be widely consumed according to various resources; it is highly beneficial for your eyes and gut health.

Studies have pistachios linked to squirrels’ life expectancy, hence why they are mostly recommended for squirrels. Squirrels are not picky eaters, but they do have a varied diet, and it needs to be monitored carefully. Primarily they will eat plants, and since they are omnivores they will eat insects, eggs, and even small animals.

To maintain squirrels’ good health, you will have to monitor their diet. Adult squirrels tend to like walnuts, hazelnuts, and carrots, but there are other neutral nuts they are likely to enjoy. Pistachios are great nuts but before feeding them to your squirrels, you need to know if they are safe or not.

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Can Squirrels Eat Pistachios?

Young squirrels are very tender so no they shouldn’t be fed pistachio or any other nuts, however, adult squirrels love pistachios and can eat them.

White pistachios are neutral and considered to be the healthier choice for squirrels, but they should not be fed the red pistachios as they are not regarded as safe. Squirrels prefer natural nuts such as hazelnuts, walnut, corn, squash, and apples, but while they love pistachios too, you should not feed them more than two.

While pistachios are excellent with numerous benefits, and are safe for squirrels, due to their fat content, they should be consumed in moderation. One cup of pistachio nuts contains about 526 milligrams of sodium, and this can be toxic to your squirrels if consumed too often.

If you are going to feed your squirrel pistachio, then it’s best to opt for the unsalted ones. The raw human-grade pistachios with the shell are a good source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants hence they are safer for squirrels but keep this to a maximum of two per day.

Potential Risks Of Overfeeding Squirrels With Pistachios

We know that squirrels are not picky eaters; they eat almost anything that smells edible to them. And when it comes to food, squirrels do not know when or to stop eating.

Although squirrels love to munch on pistachios, they are potential dangers to their health due to the fact that they are very high in sodium and fat. Let’s get you familiarized with the dangers of pistachios to squirrels when they are consumed in excess;

1. Gastrointestinal Problem

This is one of the common issues associated with eating pistachios in large amounts. Humans are faced with these issues, and squirrels are not left out. This is one of the reasons why pistachios are better offered to squirrels in moderation.

Pistachios are very high in fiber which could be suitable for the digestive system but they are also capable of wreaking havoc too. Gastrointestinal discomforts like bloating, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are expected when squirrels overeat pistachios.

2. Sodium Poisoning

Squirrels are also at risk of salt poisoning when they get excessively indulge in nuts and pistachios, especially the kinds that are high in salt. Too many salts have their own health complications for squirrels, it can damage their kidneys and can lead to other kidney problems like kidney stones.

3. Weight Gain

Pistachios do contain a lot of fat, which is considered to be good fat. However, when we feed squirrels excessively with this snack they may begin to add too much weight. Squirrels need to maintain a lightweight to be able to navigate their way in the wild easily. As energetic animals, being overweight will slow them down which increases their chances of being lunch to their predators.

squirrel eating
Image: Envato Elements

What Type Of Pistachios Can Squirrels Eat?

Pistachios are safe for both humans and animals but not all varieties of pistachios should be fed to your squirrels. Both wild and pet squirrels will go crazy over pistachios which is why you should select the variety carefully.

Unhealthy pistachio won’t necessarily cause damage to your squirrels, but they will keep coming back for more and too much sodium can be damaging to them. So, here are the pistachios you should feed your squirrels.

  • Turkish antep pistachios.
  • White pistachio.
  • Green skinned pistachio.
  • Kernel pistachio.
  • Iranian long pistachio.

Final Thoughts

Squirrels are not exactly picky eaters, but it’s best not to feed them salted or sugary snacks.

Most pistachio nuts have high sodium content; hence it is best to feed them in moderation and find healthier nut alternatives too. Once squirrels discover a food source, they will keep coming back but if you are feeding them pistachio then keep it limited to two servings per day.

However, when squirrels are overfed with pistachios, they are at the risk of getting overweight. They can also be faced with health issues like abdominal pain, kidney damage, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation.

The red pistachio has a certain dye that might not suit your squirrels so they are best avoided completely.

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