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Is It Illegal to Keep a Squirrel As a Pet in Your Home?

Squirrels seem to be everywhere in many parts of the U.S. But before you let one of them into your home, there are a few things you should know.

Can You Legally Keep A Squirrel As A Pet?

It’s probably cheaper than owning a dog, right? Not to mention there seems to be a never-ending army of those fluffy-tailed creatures scurrying around this time of the year.

Whether you can legally own a squirrel or not mostly comes down to where you live. World Population Review lists 10 states that allow their residents to keep squirrels as pets with no questions asked.

  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahome
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

A handful of other states will let you have a pet squirrel with the proper permit (a squirrel permit?). Those states include

  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina

Even if your state does allow you to welcome a squirrel into your home, you might want to consider the risks involved before opening up your door.

Girl reading with a squirrel

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Preparing Your Home For A Pet Squirrel

Squirrels aren’t domesticated animals. You’re going to need to make some changes to your home if you want that little ball of fur to have a comfortable life.

READ MORE: Only One State Won’t Let You Take Home Roadkill

WebMD suggests several things to consider before your pet squirrel’s first day in its new home.

  • Remove small objects the squirrel can knock over when climbing
  • Cover holes where the squirrel might be able to escape
  • Put away all snacks and harmful chemicals
  • If you do have an enclosure, the squirrel should not be able to escape through small openings.

While this all of this may seem like a lot of work, WebMD does say squirrels can be toilet trained using a litter box. You’ll just need to clean them up with a cotton ball until they’re fully trained.

Maybe just watching squirrels outside your window is a better option.

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