Can A Squirrel Swim? ALL You Need To Know 2022

Can A Squirrel Swim?

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by israel

Hi guys, if you are reading this then you want to know the answer to the question can a squirrel swim? In this blog post, I’d be letting you know if a squirrel can swim or not.

Can A Squirrel Swim?

YES, squirrels can swim, but they’d rather not. Squirrels are not very good at swimming, but when they need to, they can swim. The species of Squirrels also play a significant role in deciding the way they swim. Although squirrels are not the best at swimming, you may find them near the lakes and across ponds quite often.

While swimming, they use the dog paddle technique to swim from one place to another. You can find them swimming in ponds, streams, lakes, and even in flooded areas temporarily. You would love to note that most squirrels have a difficult time swimming underwater gives them the utmost inconvenience, for instance, the flying squirrel.

Can A Squirrel Swim?
Photo by Shane Young on Unsplash


You’ll love to note these few things about squirrels swimming: Not all squirrels can make it across the water. They tire easily. They cannot breathe underwater.


Squirrels may swim when migrating. Throughout history, people have reported seeing mass groups of squirrels swimming across lakes and rivers. These migrations often happen after a surplus of food. Squirrels need to breathe air as we do. They “hold” their breath (which animals can’t really do) for as long as a minute before resurfacing to breathe again.

The animal can quickly become exhausted, and if it does not find an adequate space to rest, it can drown. Many squirrel species, such as red, grey, and fox, use their tales to steer through the water as their four paws paddle. However, flying squirrels struggle in the water because of the webbing that enables them to glide long distances.

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Typically, a squirrel will avoid the water. The animal prefers the land and can navigate it quickly and easily with precision. A squirrel is slow and vulnerable in the water, but it is its vulnerability that can motivate it to take a swim.

Squirrels work tirelessly through the warmer seasons to find and store food for the winter months. In the animal’s search for food, it is constantly on the lookout for larger predators.

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Unfortunately, in its efforts to fend off hunger and survive, it can sometimes accidentally fall into pools or other bodies of water. In most instances, the squirrel will be fine and can find its way out. However, pools present a more significant challenge than natural bodies of water.

Pools are manufactured with smooth sides and often no place for the animal to grip and escape or rest. If the squirrel cannot find a place to rest or escape, it will eventually drown. This is where a problem comes in for homeowners or other well-meaning people.

READ: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mangoes?

Can a squirrel swim and drown?

Squirrels despite being intelligent animals focus on their swimming skills since they are not really good at swimming. However, some cases could always cause accidental drowning.

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How fast can squirrels swim?

Their top non-voluntary swimming speed is 11 mi/hr (18 km/hr). This is understandable as we have already established that they do not like swimming.

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How to respond to a squirrel in the water.

You should not attempt to pick up the squirrel by hand to remove it from the water. Remember, a squirrel is a wild animal; despite how cute it looks, it can bite and defend itself when frightened or threatened. If possible, you want to avoid any close contact with the animal. If it is an emergency, and the animal is drowning, or in danger of drowning in your pool, you can use a pool skimmer or net with a long pole handle.

Scoop the animal gently out of the water. It may try running up the handle towards you. Do not be alarmed. Remain calm. The animal does not want to touch or attack you. It only wants the quickest path to dry land. Most likely, it will leap off the handle as soon as it clears the pool.

Can A Squirrel Swim?

Conclusion On Can A Squirrel Swim?

YES, squirrels can swim, but they’d rather not. Squirrels are not very good at swimming, but when they need to, they can swim. The species of Squirrels also play a significant role in deciding the way they swim. Although squirrels are not the best at swimming, you may find them near the lakes and across ponds quite often.

This post was written by Tochuckwu for Animals District

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