Can Squirrels Eat Raisins: Is It Safe for Them?

Yes, squirrels can eat raisins, but there are some precautions that you should take. Raisins are a type of dried fruit popular among squirrels as they are high in sugar. However, feeding raisins to squirrels can cause them to become overweight and sick, as they tend to overeat. Eating raisins can cause problems for squirrels, such as obesity, tooth decay, and GI issues.

What Are Raisins?

Raisins are dried grapes, and squirrels love them because they contain a high percentage of sugar and nutrients. Squirrels are so fond of raisins that they can be pretty destructive when searching for sustenance. However, squirrels will only eat ripened raisins – if the fruit is still firm, it’s not ripe enough for the squirrels! 

If you keep an eye on your raisin bin in the fall and winter seasons, you’ll be able to identify when squirrels are raiding it. If that’s the case, feed them other fruits or nuts instead of raisins to discourage them from raiding your raisin bin.

Safety of Raisins As Squirrels’ Diet

Feeding raisins to your squirrel is not recommended as it can add unnecessary weight and may conflict with their natural behavior. Raisins are a small part of most squirrels’ diet, so that they won’t cause any harm.

Other types of raisins, such as sunflower and sultana raisins, are not safe for squirrels to eat because they contain a high level of sugar that can make them sick. So if you’re concerned about your squirrel’s safety, feed them other fruits or nuts instead.

Benefits of Feeding Raisins to Squirrels

Feeding squirrels raisins may not seem the most logical thing to do, but it can be beneficial in the long run. These small nuts can provide essential nutrients and vitamins that the squirrels need. However, feeding them raisins regularly may have some potential benefits. For example, feeding squirrels raisins may make them more tame and friendly. They’re also a good source of energy during the colder months. 

Types of Raisins to Feed Your Squirrel

Raisins are a popular snack for squirrels, but most people are unaware of the types of raisins squirrels eat. Golden raisins are the most popular because they have a sweet flavor and high sugar content. 

Black Raisins (Most Common)

The most common type of raisin is the black raisin, which squirrels love to eat. Squirrels don’t like other raisins as they are not high in sugar and can be eaten safely. Always store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and from pests.

Golden Raisins

Golden raisins are the type that squirrels love, and they contain more sugar than other raisins. They are also sweeter, making them an ideal choice if you want to give your squirrel something sweet but don’t want it to get too overloaded with sugar.


Currants are dark-colored dried grapes but not too sweet, unlike other raisins.

Red Raisins

Red raisins are from dried seedless grapes and are sweet and high in iron, making them suitable for snacking.

Green Raisins

Green raisins are made from unripe grapes, which results in a sweeter flavor – perfect for those who prefer their fruit desserts on the sweeter side!

Monukka Raisins

Monukka raisins are made from the dried fruit of the wild grape, Vitis vinifera. Since different grapes create different kinds of raisins, each type is only safe for squirrels if it contains the natural glycoprotein that makes them unique from other fruits. Monukka raisins are the only ones with this property, so that squirrels will eat them exclusively.

Species of Squirrels That Can Eat Raisins

Raisins in black bowl and scattered on old wooden table

Flying Squirrels

Raisins are a type of dried fruit that can be eaten by flying squirrels, so long as they get the raisins from the fruit rather than the fruit skin. Because raisins are high in sugar and carbohydrates, flying squirrels may not get all the nutrients they need from eating them. Ultimately, it’s best to feed your squirrels various healthy snacks to keep them happy and healthy!

Gray Squirrels

Gray squirrels can eat raisins, but it’s not their favorite food. Raisins are high in sugar, and squirrels don’t like that too much. So if you want to give them raisins as a treat, be sure to remove the tags first!

Wild Squirrels

Raisins make an ideal prey item for wild squirrels because they are small and easy to conceal. Although raisins are not squirrels’ favorite food, they do consume raisins sporadically. So if you see a squirrel eating raisins, don’t be alarmed – enjoy the show! 

Alternative Food to Raisins for Squirrels

If you want to provide raisins as an alternative food choice for your squirrels, there are a few alternatives that you should consider. These include whole grapes, dried apple slices, and unsalted nuts. Simply placing some of these items in a hopper or feeder will give your squirrels access to them without having to search high and low for raisins. 

If you decide to give raisins as an alternative food choice to your squirrels, be sure they’re tightly sealed to prevent them from getting eaten fresh by other animals. There are many alternatives to raisins for squirrels that don’t have the same nutritional value, so be sure to choose the one best suited for your squirrels’ specific needs.