Can Squirrels Eat Peanuts ? | Danger Of Feeding Peanuts to Squirrels


Peanuts are the favorite of almost everyone around the world. However, they are widely used in the winter season mainly as a night snack, with all your loved ones around you having peanuts in the center. I’m used to doing this in winters almost every night, a chatting section with peanuts and my loved ones. But, ever you think that can you feed peanuts to your backyard rodents, like squirrels. And ever you wonder that can squirrels eat peanuts? If you are interested to know about it, then navigate this article.

As in this article, I’m going to explain all about squirrels eating peanuts facts. However, not only this but also I will discuss that peanut are healthy for squirrels or not, and many more. So, let’s start.

However, squirrels can eat peanuts, and also they would love to eat peanuts. But, peanuts don’t offer squirrels enough amount of necessary nutrients.

Rather than they will be just stomach filler for squirrels. That’s why many animal nutritionists advised not to feed peanuts to squirrels. However, you can feed them peanuts as a treat once in a blue moon in a small amount.

Can Squirrels Eat Peanuts?


Despite having nuts in the word, peanuts are not belonging to nuts. Rather than that, they are legumes and belong to the family of soy, lentils, beans, etc.

However, peanuts are also rich in several essential nutrients that are healthy for humans and squirrels. But then why do many people suggest that we shouldn’t offer peanuts to squirrels daily.

However, many people suggest that peanuts are not offering enough essential minerals and vitamins to squirrels. It is true that eat peanuts as their major part of food doesn’t fulfill their daily nutritional needs.

But, there is also a reason that why we don’t offer peanuts to squirrels regularly. And why squirrels shouldn’t eat peanuts.

As, eating peanuts trigger the pancreas to inhibits the production of trypsin. Trypsin is an enzyme that is necessary for the squirrel’s body to absorb proteins through their intestine.

And, if we feed excessive amounts of peanuts to squirrels, they can get severe malnutrition due to the deficiency of proteins in the body.

However, roasted peanuts tend to have less amount of trypsin inhibitor as compared to raw peanuts. That’s why you can feed them roasted peanuts but in less amount.

Peanuts Nutritional Values:

Peanuts are not nuts, but they are legumes and belong to the soy, beans, etc. However, peanuts are rich in many essential nutrients like proteins, healthy fats, resveratrol, etc.


Peanuts are a good source of proteins as they contain a sufficient amount of proteins. However, proteins are essential for all living bodies.

Crabs And Fats:

Peanuts are not rich in crabs which makes peanuts the best legume for people with diabetes. However, peanuts contain a sufficient amount of healthy fats.

As they are rich in monounsaturated fat. And this fat is beneficial for our heart. And also, peanuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Read also: Can Squirrels Eat Almonds ?

Vitamins And Minerals:

Peanuts contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals. As they are rich in copper, biotin, niacin, folate, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, magnesium, vitamin E, etc.

Moreover, peanuts are a good source of resveratrol. As it is a flavonoid that helps to improve the blood flow in the body.

Are Raw Peanuts Good For Squirrels?


A precise answer to this question is-no. But, yes, eating raw peanuts is not good as well as not safe for squirrels.

So, let’s have a detailed look that why raw peanuts are not suitable for squirrels. However, there are two reasons behind this why we don’t have to feed raw peanuts to squirrels.

  • Firstly, raw peanuts grow under the soil, so they may be contaminated with “aflatoxin.” However, aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that belongs to the carcinogenic. And this toxin can attack squirrels and bird livers and damage them, which will ultimately be fatal for them.
  • Secondly, as we earlier discuss, raw peanuts contain trypsin inhibitors necessary for the absorption of proteins in the body. And deficiency of proteins in the body can cause serious malnutrition in squirrels.

Can Squirrels Eat Salted Peanuts?


No, squirrels shouldn’t eat salted peanuts, and also, we don’t have to offer them. As salted peanuts contain a large amount of sodium which their kidneys are unable to handle.

Not only squirrels, but we don’t have to offer salted food of any kind to any wildlife. As, the salt amount in such food can cause kidney failure in squirrels and other animals.

However, if you are feeding squirrels nuts or peanuts, make sure they are not salted. And for that, the best thing you can do is to taste them before feeding them to squirrels.

Can Squirrels Eat Roasted Peanuts?


Roasted peanuts mean that either they are dry roasted or they oil roasted. So, in this topic, I will discuss both of these types. That we have to offer them or not.

Firstly, let’s talk about dry roasted peanuts. These peanuts are roasted in salt commonly. And that’s why dry roasted peanuts contain more sodium, which is not suitable for squirrel’s health.

Therefore, we shouldn’t let them eat peanuts in dry roasted form. But feeding them in a small amount once in a blue moon will be okay.

Secondly, if peanuts are not dry roasted, then it means that they are oil-roasted. And oil roasted peanuts contain a large number of calories, which can cause weight gain in squirrels.

However, a small number of peanuts once in a blue moon wouldn’t harm them. But make sure that they don’t make peanuts as their primary food part.

What Do Squirrels Eat:

Squirrels are omnivorous, and rather than eating peanuts, they can eat both plant-based and meat-based food.

However, squirrels are also known as opportunistic rodents because they are always looking for free food. Moreover, squirrels are not picky critters when it comes to food. As, they can eat almost everything with their paws on.

It might be surprising to you that squirrels can eat dead meat also, not only this, but they can eat other dead squirrels as well.

However, the best food for squirrels is nuts including, walnuts, acorns, pecans, etc. Moreover, they can eat fruits in veggies, like apples, pears, watermelon, grapes, yellow squash, broccoli, etc.

Furthermore, squirrels predominantly are herbivores, and most of the daily diet consists of plant-based food.

Read also: How do Squirrels Drink Water in the Wild ?

And they only eat and hunt for meat when they get the opportunity to do so or when there is no more sufficient food available.

Final Words:

Can squirrels eat peanuts? Ever you wonder about squirrels eating peanuts. Then you can go through this article. However, eat peanuts is not a big deal for squirrels as they also like eating peanuts.

But we shouldn’t offer them peanuts as they are not healthy for squirrels. However, the main reason for not feeding peanuts to squirrels is that peanuts contain trypsin inhibitors. And trypsin is a compound that is necessary for the absorption of proteins in the body.