Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?
It is recommended by many that squirrels get at least one hour per day of natural sunlight to help provide vitamin D as well as other health benefits. If you choose to do this, use careful judgement, common sense, and these guidelines:
1. Never place a caged squirrel in direct sunlight.
2. Always provide water and shade.
3. On hot and/or humid days, indoor squirrels should be kept inside.
4. To-be-released squirrels need to be slowly acclimated to summer temps.
5. Never leave indoor squirrels (or unacclimated to-be-released squirrels) unattended outdoors.
6. Make sure your squirrel is in a secure cage (they can chew through screening), safe from predators, and not exposed to mosquitoes.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
Mild--Damp fur, appears to be sweating, rapid heartbeat and breathing
Moderate--Drooling or "foaming at the mouth," labored breathing, vomiting
Severe--diarrhea (may contain blood or mucous), uncoordination, seizures, collapse
If you see any of these symptoms, bring the squirrel indoors immediately and begin Emergency Cool-Down Procedures.
A squirrel can develop heatstroke in as little as 10 minutes, even in the shade!