Is Feeding Squirrels Bread a Good Idea?

  • By: Ray Johnson
  • Date: June 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 11 min.

To keep squirrels in the yard healthy and happy, people always give them different types of food. This article discusses whether you should feed squirrels bread. 

Bread is a type of food that is made from flour, water, and yeast. It is one of the most popular foods in the world and is often eaten as a sandwich or toast. Bread can also be used in other dishes, such as soup or casseroles.

Bread contains carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body. However, humans do not digest the bread’s dietary fiber, which mainly helps prevent constipation and heart disease. Indeed, dietary fiber lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels and increases satiety (feeling full).

Different loaves of bread are made from different recipes. Thus, while a specific loaf of bread might be good for squirrels, another loaf of bread might be bad for squirrels.

I will share my findings from what I found when I wanted to find out the types of bread that can feed squirrels and the ones that cannot feed the squirrels.

Can You Feed Squirrels Bread?

Squirrels eat almost anything edible that comes their way. When squirrels are born, they feed on their mother’s milk and later start eating insects, earthworms, and other small animals. They also eat plant matter such as fruits and nuts. Squirrels will also eat their droppings when they get hungry.

Even if squirrels can eat bread, you shouldn’t feed them bread. Squirrels cannot digest cellulose in bread because they lack the necessary enzyme, cellulase. So when squirrels eat bread, the cellulose in the bread passes through their digestive system undigested.

If you have to feed squirrels bread, ensure you feed them in moderation. In addition, when feeding squirrels bread, only feed them whole grain or multi-grain bread. Finally, ensure the bread you are feeding them is not moldy since bread molds are poisonous to squirrels.

You should never feed squirrels white bread since it has no nutritional value and might harm them. Chocolate bread should also not be fed to squirrels since the chocolate in the bread has theobromine that is poisonous to the squirrels.

When feeding bread to squirrels, always break it into small pieces so they can eat it quickly. Do not feed them moldy or stale bread, as this could make them sick.

Do Grey Squirrels Eat Bread?

Grey squirrels are not known to be omnivorous. They will eat almost anything in their habitat, including flowers, fruits, and leaves. They can also be opportunistic feeders and sometimes eat small animals like birds, eggs, insects, and even mice.

The squirrels will eat bread if fed or come across the bread. However, when feeding grey squirrels bread, you mustn’t feed them much since they cannot digest the cellulose in bread.

Since the average weight of a typical slice of bread is about 38 grams, you should only feed grey squirrels about half a slice of bread once in a while. When the squirrels are fed a slice of bread a day, the bread will be harmful to the squirrels’ health.

Can Squirrels Eat Moldy Bread?

Bread can become moldy for a few different reasons:

1. Wet bread can harbor bacteria that can cause the bread to rot.

2. Bread that is stored in a moist environment can also rot.

3. Mold can grow on bread if left out in the open to dry out.

4. Bread that has been stored in a warm, moist place can also rot.

Moldy bread is poisonous because it contains a toxin called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are produced by molds and can cause health problems if ingested. 

They can be found in bread, cereal, pasta, and other food items. Mycotoxins can harm the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and brain.

Squirrels can eat moldy bread. That said, you should never feed them moldy bread. The moldy bread has mycotoxins, which can cause digestive and other health problems to the squirrel.

What Happens When Squirrels Eat Bread?

What happens when a squirrel eats bread is determined by the type of bread fed to the squirrel.

When white bread is fed to the squirrel, the bread could be harmful to the squirrel’s health since it has no nutritional value. Likewise, chocolate bread is also poisonous to the squirrel as chocolate can cause illness to squirrels.

Small pieces of whole-grain or multi-grain bread on an irregular basis can be ideal for squirrels and would not be harmful to squirrels. But if squirrels are fed bread regularly, the increased intake of cellulose in the bread will be harmful to the squirrels.

Can Squirrels Eat Bread With Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular spread on bread, but it can also be used as the main ingredient in bread.

Peanut butter and bread match because of their similarities- both are dense and filling. Peanut butter also has a strong flavor that compliments the sweetness of the bread.

Peanut butter is a popular food for squirrels, as it is high in energy and fat. Squirrels will eat peanut butter if it is available to them, as it provides them with the nutrients they need. I know many people who have used peanut butter can to bait squirrels and catch them.

A squirrel can eat bread with peanut butter. But, only small amounts of bread with peanut butter should be fed to squirrels. While peanut butter is not poisonous to squirrels, the bread can be harmful to them as they don’t digest cellulose in the bread.

Can Squirrels Eat Cinnamon Bread?

Cinnamon bread is a type of bread that is made from a dough that is flavored with cinnamon and other spices. The bread is then often baked in a loaf shape and can be sweet or savory.

Cinnamon bread is often served as an appetizer or dessert and can be eaten plain or with toppings such as butter, honey, or syrup.

Cinnamon is a popular deterrent to squirrels because they don’t like its smell. The scent deters them from coming near your home or garden. Moreover, cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective at repelling pests such as rodents.

Squirrels will not eat freshly baked cinnamon bread that has a strong cinnamon smell. This is because the cinnamon smell can irritate squirrels’ nasal passages. Thus, once the squirrels have smelled cinnamon on the bread, they will stay away from it and will not eat it.

Can Squirrels Eat Whole Grain Bread?

Whole-grain bread is a type of bread that contains more whole grains than white bread. Whole-grain bread is made from flour, water, and yeast that has been mixed in a particular way to result in a dense and chewy loaf.

The bread is often lighter in color and has a slightly nutty flavor. They can be eaten as is or toasted and served with spreads or honey. Squirrels will eat whole grain bread since the grains in the bread makes it more nutritious than white bread.

Whole grain bread is a great option for squirrels because it is high in fiber and nutrients. The bread is a great food choice for squirrels since it contains various essential nutrients, including thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and magnesium. In addition, whole grain bread is also high in fiber, which can help regulate squirrels’ stomachs and intestines.

When feeding squirrels whole grain bread, ensure that you only feed them small pieces. The bread has cellulose that can harm the squirrels if high amounts are consumed.

Can Wild Squirrels Eat Bread?

Wild squirrels live in forests and shrublands across much of North America. These rodents are adept climbers and can be found in trees up to 30 feet off the ground. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects, nuts, seeds, and other smaller creatures.

When they find bread, the wild squirrels will eat the bread. Wild squirrels mainly eat anything that comes their way. So when they get bread, they will eat it.

Since there are low chances of wild squirrels eating bread regularly, wild squirrels are less likely to be harmed by bread. However, if they eat bread with chocolate or other toxic ingredients, the bread can impact the health of squirrels.

Can Squirrels Eat Sourdough Bread?

Sourdough bread is a type of bread that is made with flour, water, and a starter. The starter is a mixture of flour and water that is mixed and left to rise.

During the rising process, the yeast in the starter eats the sugar in the flour and creates carbon dioxide gas. This gas causes the dough to form bubbles, giving sourdough bread its distinctive texture. Sourdough bread can be eaten as is or used in recipes.

Sourdough bread has a long history of being associated with health benefits. Some of the reasons are that sourdough bread is high in fiber and protein, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied longer, and it is also low in sugar, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, sourdough bread is a good source of B vitamins, including niacin, folate, and thiamin.

Squirrels can eat sourdough bread when fed or when they find it in the yard. However, when the squirrels eat a lot of sourdough bread, the bread could affect their health since they do not digest the cellulose present in the bread. Nevertheless, when eaten in moderation, sourdough bread has various health benefits for the squirrel.

Will Squirrels Eat Garlic Bread?

Garlic bread is a type of bread that is made from garlic cloves that have been minced and mixed with flour. It is usually baked in a loaf shape and can be eaten as a snack, side dish, or main meal.

Garlic bread is delicious and nutritious food that can provide many health benefits. Garlic is a natural antibiotic that can help support the immune system. Garlic bread is also a good vitamin C, potassium, and fiber source. In addition, garlic bread can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

As squirrels are always digging the ground and either burying or taking seeds from the ground, squirrels occasionally come into contact with garlic. The creatures do not necessarily like garlic due to its strong smell, but they can usually have a bite or two.

Squirrels will eat garlic bread if they have no other option. When they have other food to feed, squirrels prefer to eat other food and leave the garlic bread. They do not like the garlic smell. Garlic has been used to repel squirrels in the yard.

Can Squirrels Eat Cornbread?

Cornbread bread is a type of bread that is made from cornmeal, water, and flour. It is often served as an accompaniment to meals or as a snack.

There are numerous health benefits associated with eating cornbread bread. First and foremost, cornbread bread is high in fiber which can help cleanse the gut and support regularity.

Additionally, cornbread bread is a good source of vitamins A, C, and B-12. These vitamins can help to promote overall health and well-being. Lastly, cornbread bread is full of antioxidants which can help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Squirrels can eat cornbread as they love to eat corn used to make cornmeal. The cornbread should, however, be fed in small amounts and irregularly. This is because the cornbread’s cellulose can harm the squirrels when they eat a lot of cornbread.

Why Do Squirrels Eat Bread?

Bread is a common food that is given to squirrels in the yard. Many believe feeding squirrels bread will help them survive during the winter months. Several types of bread can be given to squirrels in moderation.

However, it is important to avoid feeding them white bread or other bread with ingredients such as chocolate and cinnamon, as the ingredients can harm the squirrels. Here are some of the reasons why squirrels like bread and why they feed on it:

Squirrels Like the Taste of Bread

Squirrels have a powerful sense of smell. For example, they can detect the aroma of bread from a distance. 

Because of this, they will do their best to locate the source of the bread smell so that they can find the bread. Once the squirrels have found the bread, they will eat it.

Squirrels Eat Bread to Get Energy 

Squirrels are known for their love of nuts which gave them the energy to carry on their activities. Thus, when they come across the bread, they will consider it food and eat it, hoping to get the energy to keep them going on with their activities.

Squirrels Eat Bread to Get Nutrients

These small mammals consume bread or bread crumbs, which gives them the essential nutrients they need to survive. In addition, bread is a high-energy food that provides squirrels with energy and nutrients.

They Are Scavengers 

Squirrels are one of the most common mammalian scavengers in the world. They are skilled at finding food and can survive in almost any environment. They are especially good at finding food that other creatures have left behind.

When they come across bread as they scavenge for food, the squirrels will eat the bread.

Can Baby Squirrels Eat Bread?

For baby squirrels to grow well, they have to eat healthy food. For example, baby squirrels can eat bread because it is soft and easy to chew. Bread is also a good source of energy for the little ones, and it can provide them with the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly.

The best bread to feed baby squirrels is whole-grain bread. However, the bread should be fed in moderation as cellulose in bread can harm baby squirrels’ growth and development.

Can Squirrels Eat Pizza?

Pizza is a popular dish that can be made with a variety of toppings. It is typically made with flour, water, and yeast. The dough is then rolled out and sliced into rounds before being baked.

Squirrels can eat pizza as long as they love the toppings. For example, when given a cinnamon roll dessert pizza or a pizza with garlic toppings, they will not eat the pizza as they don’t like the cinnamon and garlic scents.

Some time back in the yard, I baked a pizza topped with garlic and mushroom. When I gave the squirrels in the yard the pizza, they ate the crust and the mushroom leaving behind garlic.

Is It Bad To Feed Squirrels Bread?

Feeding squirrels bread may seem simple, but it can be fraught with danger if not done correctly. Squirrels are omnivorous animals and will eat just about anything, including bread. So if you give them bread, make sure it is clean and free of harmful ingredients to squirrels’ health.

Also, ensure the bread is placed where the squirrel can easily get to it. Finally, take note that you should not feed squirrels bread regularly. When the squirrels eat bread regularly, it can be toxic to them.

Whole-grain or multi-grain bread is the best type of bread to feed squirrels.


Squirrels can be fed bread in moderation without any harmful effects.

Giving them a small amount is essential, as too much bread can make them sick. Feeding squirrels also helps keep them away from bird feeders, so bird watchers can enjoy their hobby without sharing with the squirrels.

When feeding squirrels bread, ensure that the bread you are feeding them does not have any ingredients that can be harmful to them. In addition, the bread should also be fresh and not moldy.


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