Where Do Squirrels Get Their Water? {How Much Do They Need?}

Have you seen the viral video of a squirrel drinking from a bottle of water? Where Do Squirrels Get Their Water?

How much water do squirrels need? Can they drink something else? Should you help them out and leave some water in a dish?

In this article, we will discuss where squirrels get their water.

Where Do Squirrels Get Their Water?

Squirrels are able to get their water from many different sources. In the wild, they are able to extract water by licking it with their tongues.

They go to areas like lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. If you have any potholes or standing water near your property, squirrels may take a drink from it. If you have any bird baths or dishes of water that you leave outside for wildlife, squirrels will be able to enjoy it as well.

Squirrels can also drink from the dew on leaves and grass. They also absorb water from vegetables, fruits and plants that they eat.

What Do Squirrels Drink Besides Water?

Squirrels do not drink other beverages besides water. Squirrels are opportunistic however when they are in urban areas or around people’s properties. If they find out alcoholic drinks, sodas or milk, squirrels may end up licking it with their tongues and stealing some from you.

Squirrels are attracted to sweet drinks. These sugary drinks that squirrels end up curiously drinking are not good for their health.

Squirrels should not be fed any other drinks besides water. Squirrels can also drink the dew from leaves and grasses and absorb liquid from fruits and vegetables.

Should You Provide Drinking Water to Squirrels?

No. It is not necessary to provide drinking water to squirrels. This is because squirrels are able to find water from standing puddles, dew from leaves and grasses, through fruits and vegetables and in many locations where water is naturally located.

If days are hot and dry without rain for a number of days, then leaving out some clean water in a bowl would be helpful. Although it is not necessary, you can always leave out a bird bath in your yard and squirrels can take sips from it.

Make sure that whatever you are providing in the bowl is not sugary. Although squirrels love sugary liquids, they shouldn’t be drinking it. If you are offering sugary substances, you are attracting more squirrels to your home.

This may leave your property susceptible to light damage that squirrels can cause such as tossing over your plants pots and disturbing your gardens.

Can Squirrels Drink Out of a Bowl?

Yes. Squirrels can easily drink out of a bowl. They can also drink from the following areas:

Bird baths

  • Dishes
  • Dew from leaves and grass
  • Streams
  • Creeks
  • Ponds
  • Rivers
  • Lakes
  • Pet bowls
  • Swimming pools
  • Dripping taps

It is easy for a squirrel to drink with its tongue. They are simply bending over and licking the water the same way that dogs do. They both lap the water into their mouths by using their tongues in a similar fashion.

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Will Squirrels Drink From a Water Bottle?

Squirrels do not necessarily drink from bottles of water. You would have to assist them in order to do so. A squirrel would have to be very thirsty to trust you enough for you to pour a bottle of water into its mouth directly.

This is a very rare occurrence, but it has become a viral sensation in one particular video where a squirrel was filmed drinking an entire bottle of water. This was during of extremely hot day at the Grand Canyon where it was noticeably dry and arid.

How Do I Make a Squirrel Water Feeder?

There are many ways to make a water feeder for a squirrel. You can use a water bottle and stick a few twigs through the container. This will allow squirrels to sit on the twigs to drink water.

Cut holes above the twigs and fill the bottle with with water.

Place a dish under the bottle of water. There are many methods that would require following diagrams or videos.

How Long Can Squirrels Live Without Water?

A squirrel can die if it becomes more than 10% dehydrated. This is why they cannot live without water for more than 2 to 3 days.

Young squirrels or baby squirrels will probably not survive without any hydration for one or two days. Squirrel would need at least two to three tablespoons of water each day.

They can get so by directly drinking from lakes, rivers and streams or through standing water such as puddles or dishes in your backyard.

Squirrels can also absorb water through some of the juicy fruits and vegetables that they can consume throughout their day. A squirrel can also hydrated itself with snow during long winter months.

How Much Water Does a Squirrel Need per Day?

Different types of squirrels depending on their variety and body size would require more water. A female that is nursing its young would require more water to produce milk.

Most squirrels need at least two to three tablespoons of water each day. This number can increase depending on how hot the weather is as well. In dry and sunny locations, squirrels will be looking for moisture such as dew on leaves and grasses in the early morning.

They can also pull moisture to hydrate themselves by eating fruits or vegetables. Squirrels are opportunistic and able to find water in many different locations. They can dig for it or find it in natural flowing locations such as rivers and streams.

What Do Squirrels Drink in the Winter?

Squirrels can still drink water up to 2 times a day in the winter when they are nestled inside their shelter. They are trying to remain hydrated during the winter by eating bits of snow.

They can also collect rainwater or dew off of branches, leaves and twigs. During this time squirrels can also eat bugs, mushrooms or stored food that they have collected for the winter.

Squirrels is needed an average of 30 to 90 mL of water each day. If they are hibernating, they do not need to get water daily.

Can Squirrels Hydrate Themselves From the Food They Eat?

Yes. Squirrels can absorb moisture from many of the items they eat including:

  • Insects
  • Plants
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fungi
  • Tree sap
  • Eggs

A squirrel has a very efficient kidney system to be able to collect water and absorb it. They can even lick dew off of leaves in the early morning. Squirrels can eat snow in the winter as well.

They are capable of drinking muddy water or even sewage water. Squirrels can get into your own beverages if you leave them out in the open. They have been caught drinking sodas and energy drinks as well.

Another way squirrels can get liquid is by using their strong front teeth to pull off strips of bark off trees. Underneath that they can find a sugary sap running down to absorb as nourishing liquids.

Do Squirrels Sweat?

No. Squirrels do not sweat like we do. This is why squirrels do not need to use water to regulate their body heat. They do have sweat glands on their feet to expel some moisture.

These glands are usually helpful for gripping onto branches of trees. They also use it to leave scent trails to mark their territory.

The only way that squirrels really lose water is when they are urinating or leaving behind droppings. Water helps squirrels stay hydrated in hotter climates.

How Do Squirrels Drink Water?

A squirrel is able to drink water by lapping it up with its tongue. These are quick movements to put its tongue into the water and curl it I to catch as much water as possible. The water is then passed into the mouth.

They can straighten their tongue and put it back in the water to catch more. This is how many animals drink, including dogs.

Squirrels have adapted to drink water very quickly in this way because this is the time when they are open to being attacked by predators.

Leaving their head down without looking and being on guard can leave them susceptible to an attack from behind.


The next time you see a squirrel on a hot day, offer it a water bottle. Just kidding. You do not need to do anything.

A squirrel can extract water or moisture from its surrounding environment in obvious or not so obvious locations.

They need 30-90ml of water each day and will do so without our help. If you would like to leave a dish of water out for a squirrel, you can always do so at your own discretion.


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Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable