Squirrel drinking water with its tail up.

Can Squirrels Swim?

Squirrels are great at climbing trees and navigating tight spaces, but can they swim? The answer is yes! While squirrels are not strong swimmers, some species can enjoy a dip in the water.

They do not have webbed feet like ducks and other waterfowl, but their long, flat tail helps them to stay afloat, while their limbs and claws give them the power to paddle through the water. Squirrels usually opt for a shallow wade rather than a full-on swim, but they can fully submerge if needed.

Key Pest Points

• The answer is yes, some species of squirrels can swim, though most species are not good swimmers.

• They use their long tails and powerful claws to paddle through the water. Squirrels usually opt for a shallow wade, but they can fully submerge if needed.

Do Squirrels Like Water?

In general, squirrels do not seek water except when thirsty. If there is no other water source, they will venture into a pond or stream to quench their thirst.

You will not spot a squirrel taking a leisurely swim around the lake, but some species are known to use water as an escape route or to cross rivers.

In their natural habitat, squirrels may take a dip in the water if they need to. This could be to escape predators or wash off debris caught in their fur.

Can Squirrels Drown?

Unfortunately, squirrels can drown, especially if they find themselves in deep water. They may also be more prone to drowning if the current is too strong for them to paddle against.

They can also be found in many backyards which have swimming pools. So, it is essential to keep a watchful eye on them when they are near the water and provide them with an easy exit point for land if needed.

Overall, squirrels have many adaptations that help them survive in their environment, including their ability to swim. But since they cannot swim for long periods, they should be monitored to ensure their safety.

Why Would a Squirrel Swim?

Squirrels typically swim when they need to cross a body of water, such as a lake or river. They may also swim to escape predators or look for food in the water.

However, this behavior is not typical, and it is essential to note that squirrels are much better suited for running and climbing than swimming. They also cannot stay underwater for too long, so any swimming activity is usually short-lived.

Squirrel looking at a walnut, while standing on a tree branch that on the water.

How Fast Can a Squirrel Swim?

Squirrels are not known for their swimming speed, as they typically move along at a leisurely pace. However, they can move quite quickly in the water if they need to escape a predator or reach their destination.

The gray squirrels can swim and thread water for about two miles at a time. Compared to most other animals, however, squirrels are generally slow swimmers. So, they rely more on their agility and quickness when it comes to evading danger.

What To Do If You Find a Squirrel in Your Pool

In some cases, you may find a squirrel struggling to stay afloat in your swimming pool. If this happens, here are a few things you can do to help:

Use a Pole or Net to Help the Squirrel Get Out of the Water 

Using a pole or net will provide the squirrel with an easy exit and help it reach the safety of dry land. If the squirrel is unresponsive, scoop it out of the water using a net or other tool. Then place it in a warm and cozy environment until it regains strength.

Monitor Their Activity So They Don’t Struggle Too Long

Whenever you spot a squirrel in your pool, it’s important to monitor their activity, so they don’t struggle for too long. Not only will this help ensure their safety, but it will also give you a better chance of rescuing them quickly.

Squirrel standing near a swimming pool

Call a Wildlife Rescue Service for Assistance

If you’re unable to rescue the squirrel from your pool, it’s best to call a wildlife rescue service for assistance. They can come to the scene and safely remove the squirrel from your property so that it can be returned to its natural habitat.

It’s always important to remember that wild animals like squirrels need our help to survive. By understanding their needs and providing them with the necessary assistance, we can ensure they stay safe and healthy in their natural environment.

Overall, squirrels have many adaptations that help them survive in their environment, including their ability to swim. It’s essential to keep a close watch on them when they are near the water and provide them with an easy exit point for land if needed. However, this should be done with caution as they can easily drown if caught in fast-moving waters or deep bodies of water.

If you find a squirrel in your pool, there are several ways that you can help them get out of the water safely.

How To Prevent Squirrels From Swimming in Your Pool

To discourage squirrels from swimming in your pool, you must take appropriate steps to make the area less appealing.

  • Install fencing around your pool to keep squirrels out. Ensure the fence is high enough, as some species of squirrels can easily climb over low barriers.
  • Trim trees and bushes hang over the pool, making it harder for squirrels to access the water. Once they are in the pool, removing them without causing injury can be challenging.
  • Learn squirrel mating season so you can be prepared. During mating season, squirrels may become more active and could end up in your swimming pool.
  • Keep your pool area clean and free of food scraps, as squirrels may be attracted to the scent of food. Make sure to empty trash cans regularly, as this will reduce the chances of a squirrel finding an easy meal near your pool.
  • Use squirrel scent repellents that are designed to deter squirrels. They can be used around the perimeter of your pool area and will help keep squirrels away.
  • Cover your pool with a net or tarp when not in use. This will prevent squirrels from entering the water and help to protect your pool from any damage they may cause.

By taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that your swimming pool remains a safe and enjoyable area for you and the local wildlife. These steps will also help to protect the squirrels from potential harm.


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