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The Secret Life of Squirrels: Can They Really Swim?

Written by Kelvin LowJune 3, 2023
can squirrels swim

Squirrels are known for their adorable antics, can squirrels swim? Yes, you read that right! Squirrels are natural swimmers and can paddle their way through water effortlessly.

In this blog, we will explore the fascinating world of squirrels and their swimming abilities. We will discuss how squirrels swim, their paddling techniques, and the dangers they face while swimming. We will also take a look at squirrels swimming in pools and in nature, and provide tips on how to help a squirrel in need while swimming.

So buckle up and get ready to dive into the secret life of squirrels!

Can Squirrels Swim?

Yes, squirrels are capable of swimming although some may not be proficient. They often resort to swimming to evade predators or find food. Certain squirrel species have been observed diving underwater, showcasing their adaptability and resourcefulness.

How Do Squirrels Swim?

Squirrels are adept swimmers, able to traverse up to a quarter-mile in open water. They use their hind legs to paddle and their tails as rudders and paddles, allowing them to navigate through the water with ease.

Squirrel Paddling Techniques

Squirrels are agile creatures with exceptional aquatic abilities. Their underwater maneuvers make them great swimmers among land mammals. While some species of squirrels may struggle in water or even drown if surrounded by large groups of water bodies, the red squirrel and grey squirrel glide smoothly over any body of water using their gliding webbing.

The acrobatic doggy paddle stroke is their easiest way out if in distress. These mammals also use their bushy tails as a rudder along with their webbed hind legs to paddle through water. They can hold their breath for up to 30 seconds while swimming underwater; this helps them search for food or look for a new home across miles of aqua-bodies.

Squirrels as Swimmers

Squirrels are agile creatures with a surplus of aquatic abilities. They use their gliding webbing on their limbs to provide a dog paddle stroke while swimming across a body of water. Interestingly enough, naturalists have observed that the Red Squirrel is actually a stronger swimmer than the Grey Squirrel.

Squirrels are good swimmers due to their ability to hold their breath for up to 30 seconds while swimming underwater. It's no wonder why these furry little mammals are often seen paddling in large groups in search of food or perhaps just taking a dip for fun.

Dangers of Swimming for Squirrels

While swimming may seem like second nature to some animals, such as fish or aquatic mammals, it poses a significant risk to land mammals such as squirrels. Even though they have unique paddling techniques that help them swim efficiently, it is crucial to understand the dangers associated with their aquatic abilities.

One of the major concerns is that squirrels are not natural swimmers and are prone to exhaustion in water; this can lead them to drown easily. It is also essential to be aware of waterborne parasites and bacteria that pose severe health risks to the agile creatures.

Therefore, it's best to keep them away from bodies of water at all times. Additionally, chlorinated pools or chemically-treated bodies of water can also prove harmful and potentially fatal for squirrels if they go for a swim unknowingly. In case you find a drowning squirrel in your pool, use a pool net or call your local wildlife agency for assistance.

Squirrel Swimming in Pools

It's not uncommon to spot a squirrel taking a dip in a backyard pool, and while it may seem unusual, it's actually a natural behavior for them. Squirrels are great climbers and jumpers, which means they have strong muscles and excellent coordination - both of which are essential for swimming. In fact, squirrels have been known to swim long distances across bodies of water when necessary.

So next time you see a squirrel paddling around in your pool, don't be too surprised - it's just another example of these fascinating creatures adapting to their environment in unexpected ways.

Squirrel Swimmers in Nature

Squirrels are agile creatures and good swimmers. Some species of squirrels like the North American red squirrel have been spotted swimming in the wild. Squirrel's aquatic abilities enable them to glide or paddle through water with great ease.

Not all squirrels may enjoy swimming; however, their natural ability allows them to swim long distances effortlessly. Their gliding webbing makes it easier for them to swim underwater without much hindrance.

The surplus of food around a body of water could be the easiest way for squirrels to search for a new home. But it's best to keep squirrels away from large bodies of water due to drowning risks and germs like chlorine which pose a health risk.

Tips to Help a Swimming Squirrel

Squirrels are not known for their swimming abilities, but with a few simple tips, you can help a squirrel stay afloat in the water.

First and foremost, it's important to never force a squirrel to swim if they don't want to. If they do decide to take the plunge, make sure the water is shallow enough for them to touch the bottom with their feet. You can also create a makeshift ramp or use a pool float to give them something to climb onto if they get tired.

To help keep them calm and prevent panic, gently support their body with your hands or a towel while they are in the water. And remember, once the squirrel has had enough, allow them to climb out of the water on their own and provide them with a warm towel or blanket to dry off.

With these tips, you can help keep our furry friends safe while still enjoying some aquatic adventures.

How fast can squirrels swim?

When forced to swim, squirrels can paddle with their front paws, but their hind legs often drag behind them in the water. As for how fast they can swim, there is no set speed - it likely varies depending on the individual squirrel and the conditions they are swimming in. However, it's safe to say that squirrels are much faster and more agile when climbing trees than when swimming in water!

How Far Can Squirrels Swim?

Squirrels can swim for short distances, usually no more than 3-4 feet, and they can use their bushy tails as a rudder to help steer themselves. However, squirrels are not adapted to long-distance swimming and can quickly become exhausted in the water. Additionally, squirrels may struggle to find a safe exit from the water if they fall in accidentally. So while squirrels can swim, it is best to keep them on dry land whenever possible!

Final Verdict

Squirrels are not only great climbers and jumpers but also capable swimmers. They use different paddling techniques to stay afloat and move through the water quickly. However, swimming can also pose a danger to squirrels, especially when they are trapped in pools or other bodies of water with no easy way out.

If you encounter a swimming squirrel in need of help, remember to approach it carefully and seek professional assistance if necessary. It's fascinating to learn about these little creatures' secret life, so keep exploring and discovering more about our furry friends.

About The Author

Kelvin Low

Kelvin Low has more than three years of experience in taking care of pets at home - ranging from dogs, hamsters, to cats and hedgehog. His passion and care towards animals has motivated him to create educational content online to more more pets owners in need.

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