Is It Safe to Feed a Chipmunk By Hand?


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Chipmunks are not overly aggressive, but they are extremely timid. This means that they can lash out when frightened, potentially resulting in a bite. In this sense, it may not be the safest to feed a wild chipmunk by hand. 

This being said, you could always give it a shot; an individual chipmunk may be friendlier.

Along with this, pet chipmunks can often be taught to be fed by hand as they become tamer!

Is it Safe to Feed a Chipmunk By Hand?

What Do I Feed My Pet Chipmunk
Favorite food chipmunk

With their distinctive tail and pouched cheeks, the chipmunk has a truly charming look.

It’s no wonder that so many have considered feeding the little fellows, whether as a sign of friendship or simply to keep them around so you can watch them.

Then there are those who wish to take it a step further, and wonder, is it safe to feed a chipmunk by hand? 

Important To Know: While chipmunks are not inherently aggressive creatures, they are extremely timid. This means that being bitten by a startled chipmunk – which can definitely pinch a bit – is a real risk. This being said, you’re less likely to get bitten by a tame pet chipmunk!

What Do I Feed My Pet Chipmunk? 4 Food Most Chipmunks Love

What Do I Feed My Pet Chipmunk?
Chipmunk love this food

If you’re lucky enough to have adopted a pet chipmunk, you’re sure to be doing some research on the best things to feed them – and what you’ll want to avoid.

Fortunately, chipmunks are not very picky eaters, and this makes it simple enough to find them a suitable snack!

1. Cereal Grains 

Special chipmunk, squirrel, or sugar glider mixes are a good thing to look for!

According to the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), approximately 50% of a chipmunk’s diet should be made up of cereal grains, such as oats, wheat, corn, and barely.

2. Nuts and Seeds 

If you know a lot about chipmunks, then you probably know of their fondness for nuts and seeds. This is no doubt because nuts are first, an excellent source of calories (due to their high-fat content), and second, fairly non-perishable.

A chipmunk could bury a nut and return to find it in far better condition than, say, a strawberry would be. Chipmunks are natural hoarders, and nuts can provide viable and substantial food in the winter! 

It’s recommended to give pet chipmunks nuts (especially peanuts) as an occasional snack:

  • Peanuts are often beloved by chipmunks, no doubt due to this nut’s generous calorie content and rich flavor!
  • Almonds contain calcium, which is one of the most important nutrients for a chipmunk. You see, the teeth of chipmunks are always growing, and they are always chewing things to keep this in check. It’s important that they have enough calcium for their teeth to be healthy and strong when they grow back!
  • Acorns are another great option for a hungry chipmunk.
  • Pine nuts are another favored chipmunk snack.
  • Among chipmunks and birds alike, black sunflower seeds are immensely popular!

What To Avoid: It’s important not to overdo peanuts, when it comes to feeding a pet chipmunk. Offer too many, and your chipmunk could easily become overweight. While adorable in theory, obesity can actually put their health at serious risk.

3. Fruit 

Chipmunk love to eat fruit
Fruit is an excellent chipmunk snack

When it comes to a super-healthy option, fruit can make an excellent chipmunk snack. It’s chock-full of healthy vitamins and fiber!

It should not be all that you feed your chipmunk, of course, as it’s also lacking in protein and high in sugar. As part of a healthy chipmunk diet, fruit is a great choice, however! 

Chipmunks love these:

  • Apples: Sliced into bite-sized pieces, apples can make an excellent, nutritious chipmunk snack. Just make sure to remove the seeds, which have only a small amount of cyanide, but it’s enough to potentially harm a chipmunk.
  • Peaches: Chipmunks will also gladly sink their teeth into peaches; just make sure to remove the pit, which can otherwise be a health risk.
  • Strawberries: Another healthy chipmunk treat, although a bit high in sugar (so try not to overdo it).
  • Plums: Sliced-up and pitted, plums can make a perfectly suitable, vitamin-rich chipmunk snack!

4. Veggies

Veggies are healthy for everyone – well, herbivores and omnivores, anyway! This includes the chipmunk. Veggies have a variety of nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, and fiber!

Every chipmunk will love to try:

  • Corn is a beloved sweet-and-crunchy, calorie-rich chipmunk snack.
  • Carrots are a great source of vitamin A and chock-full of fiber!
  • Tomatoes are the perfect sweet but not too sweet chipmunk snack.
  • Romaine lettuce is a great choice. While iceberg lettuce is nutritionally deficit, romaine less contains essential calcium and more fiber!

How Can I Feed Chipmunks (In the Wild)?

If you’d like to feel wild chipmunks, you can always leave them a healthy meal!

If you’re feeling brave, you could always try feeding them by hand, but beware of a bite.

Help Them Out 🙂 Chipmunks are always foraging, and will definitely appreciate a readily available snack!

Final Words

So, if you were wondering, ‘is it safe to feed a chipmunk by hand?’ now you have your answer.

You certainly can, but you could potentially get bitten by a startled wild chipmunk. A pet chipmunk, however, should be safer!

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