Many states have laws against possessing native squirrels. So, if you find a baby, you must try to locate a wildlife rehabilitator soon. Till you are able to locate a wildlife rehabilitator, you should keep the baby warm and hydrated. Normally, the mother nurses the baby for 2-3 months and teaches it basic skills that would be required for survival, but if the baby gets separated, the mother might come looking for the baby. Though she might not be bothered by the human smell, she might not take back a cold and dehydrated baby. So, do keep the baby warm.
How to Care for a Baby Squirrel
A newborn squirrel will be pink and hairless. If you touch a healthy baby, it would be warm and would also respond to your touch. The first thing you need to do is check if the baby is dehydrated or cold. If the squirrel's gums and lips have turned gray and it seems to be lying still or curled up, it needs immediate attention. You need to keep the baby warm.
Take a soft cloth, wrap the baby properly in the cloth, and hold it in your hands. The warmth from your hands will make the baby warm. Providing a constant heat source might also help in keeping the baby warm. If it is cold, do not try to feed the baby. Look for any injuries. If you see any signs of bleeding, it's advisable that you consult a vet. You also need to check if the baby is dehydrated. Get hold of a syringe or a clean eyedropper to hydrate the baby. You could warm Pedialyte (oral electrolyte solution) in a microwave. Check the temperature of Pedialyte before feeding. It shouldn't be too warm. Give it every 15 minutes for 2 hours.
How to Feed
You need to watch out if the baby's stomach is getting bloated during feeding. Keep the baby wrapped snugly and hold it in an upright position. Be very careful while feeding and make sure that the baby is not sucking vigorously. This might create problems, as the water might enter the baby's lungs. So, place just the tip of the dropper near the baby's mouth. If you see water or Pedialyte coming out of the baby's nose, you must immediate stop. In case the baby's condition seems to be improving, you could give Pedialyte every 4-6 hours. Before you switch to formula completely, you could mix Pedialyte with formula.
You could even use a puppy formula, which can be bought from any pet store. Consult a vet to find out the amount of formula that needs to be given, as the amount will vary, depending on the baby's age and body weight. After feeding, clean the baby's body using a soft cloth and rub near the genital area to stimulate defecation and urination. Once the baby opens its eyes, you could introduce solid food also. Break the food into tiny pieces, so that the squirrel can pick up the food and eat. Keep the baby in a small cage indoors. When the baby is about 4-5 months of age, you should move the baby's cage outdoors. Let the baby stay in this cage for 3-4 weeks and then release it.
If you ever find a baby squirrel, you must contact a wildlife rehabilitator soon. Till you find one, follow the aforementioned tips for protecting the baby.