The Legal Way To Acquire A Flying Squirrel: A Comprehensive Guide

how to legally get a flying squirrel

Have you ever looked up into the sky and wished you could soar through the air like a bird? While becoming a human bird may not be possible, there is a way to legally own a creature that comes pretty close - a flying squirrel! These adorable little creatures are known for their ability to glide through the air, and with the right permits and research, you can legally have one as a pet. In this guide, we will explore the process of how to legally obtain a flying squirrel and provide you with all the information you need to make your dream of having a flying companion a reality.

Characteristics Values
Species Flying Squirrel
Legal Status Protected in some areas
Licensing Required in some areas
Permit Required in some areas
Habitat Forested areas
Diet Omnivorous
Size 8 to 10 inches long
Lifespan 10 to 15 years
Behavior Nocturnal, arboreal
Reproduction Mating season in spring
Conservation Status Varies by species, some are listed as threatened or endangered
Housing Large, vertically-oriented enclosure
Enrichment Branches, climbing structures
Diet Nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, small animals
Vet Care Regular check-ups, specialized care
Exercise Flying and climbing opportunities
Socialization Solitary, but can be kept with compatible species
Legal Source Licensed breeders or rehabilitators
Import/Export Restrictions may apply
Travel May require permits or special arrangements
Education Learning about laws and regulations
Responsibility Providing proper care and meeting their unique needs


What permits or licenses do I need to legally own a flying squirrel as a pet?

Owning a flying squirrel as a pet can be an exciting and rewarding experience. These adorable creatures are known for their ability to glide through the air, making them interesting companions. However, before bringing a flying squirrel into your home, it's important to understand the legal requirements and obtain any necessary permits or licenses.

The laws and regulations regarding the ownership of flying squirrels as pets vary from state to state and even within different local jurisdictions. It's essential to research the specific laws in your area to ensure compliance. Generally, owning a flying squirrel as a pet may require obtaining a permit or license, especially if the species is considered native wildlife.

Here are some steps to help you navigate the process of obtaining the necessary permits or licenses to legally own a flying squirrel as a pet:

  • Research local laws and regulations: Begin by researching the laws and regulations concerning pet ownership in your area. Contact local government agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources or state wildlife agencies, for information on specific requirements.
  • Identify the species: Flying squirrels come in various species, and each may have different legal status. Check if the species you are interested in is listed as protected, threatened, or endangered in your area. This information will determine the level of regulation and permits required.
  • Meet habitat and enclosure requirements: Flying squirrels require suitable habitats and enclosures to ensure their well-being. Educate yourself on the specific habitat requirements for the species you wish to own. This includes providing appropriate nesting areas, climbing structures, and sufficient space for gliding. Ensure that your enclosure meets all the necessary standards relating to space and safety.
  • Obtain the necessary permits or licenses: Depending on your location, you may need to apply for specific permits or licenses. These documents typically require you to provide information about your knowledge and experience in caring for exotic animals. You may also need to demonstrate that you have the appropriate facilities and resources to meet the needs of the flying squirrel.
  • Educate yourself on the care and handling of flying squirrels: Before acquiring a flying squirrel, it's crucial to educate yourself on their care and handling requirements. Attend reputable workshops or consult with experienced owners or breeders to learn about their diet, grooming, socialization, and overall well-being. This will not only ensure the well-being of your pet but also demonstrate to authorities that you are a responsible owner.
  • Consult with a veterinarian: Just like any other pet, flying squirrels require regular veterinary care. Before bringing one into your home, establish a relationship with a veterinarian experienced in treating exotic animals. They can provide guidance on preventive care, vaccination requirements, and any specific health concerns related to flying squirrels.

It's important to remember that owning a flying squirrel as a pet is a significant commitment and responsibility. These animals have unique needs and can live for up to 10 years in captivity. Therefore, it's essential to ensure you have the time, resources, and dedication to provide for their well-being.

Additionally, always prioritize the welfare of the animal and consider adopting a flying squirrel from a reputable rescue or adoption organization. This ensures that you are giving a home to an animal in need and supporting responsible pet ownership practices.

In conclusion, owning a flying squirrel as a pet may require obtaining permits or licenses, depending on your location and the specific species you wish to own. Research local laws and regulations, meet habitat requirements, and apply for the necessary permits. Educate yourself on their care and consult with a veterinarian to ensure the well-being of your flying squirrel. Remember always to prioritize the welfare of the animal and consider adoption from a reputable organization.


Are there specific laws or regulations regarding the transportation and ownership of flying squirrels?

When it comes to owning and transporting flying squirrels, there are specific laws and regulations that need to be followed. Flying squirrels are not your average domesticated pet, and there are certain requirements and considerations that must be taken into account to ensure their well-being and the safety of others.

First and foremost, it is crucial to note that flying squirrels are wild animals and in many countries, it is illegal to keep them as pets without proper permits and licenses. These regulations are in place to protect both the animals and the ecosystem. Flying squirrels have unique needs, and they are best suited for life in the wild and in their natural habitats.

If you are considering owning a flying squirrel, it is important to research the laws and regulations specific to your jurisdiction. Some countries or regions may have more lenient laws regarding ownership, while others may have stricter regulations or outright bans. It is your responsibility as a potential owner to fully understand and comply with these laws.

In addition to legal requirements, there are also ethical considerations when it comes to owning a flying squirrel. These creatures are highly social and require ample space to glide and move around. They also have specific dietary needs and require a varied and balanced diet. It is essential to provide them with a suitable enclosure that simulates their natural habitat as closely as possible.

Transporting flying squirrels also requires careful planning and adherence to regulations. Depending on your location, you may need to obtain special permits or licenses to transport these animals. It is crucial to ensure that the transportation process is conducted in a safe and stress-free manner for the squirrels. This may involve using appropriate carriers or containers, ensuring proper ventilation, and providing appropriate food and water during the journey.

Given the specialized needs of flying squirrels and the potential legal implications, it is advisable to consult with experts or organizations that specialize in the care and conservation of these animals. They can provide guidance on the specific regulations in your area and offer valuable advice on how to best care for flying squirrels if ownership is permitted.

In conclusion, there are laws and regulations regarding the transportation and ownership of flying squirrels. It is crucial to research and understand these regulations before considering owning a flying squirrel as a pet. Additionally, it is important to consider the ethical implications of keeping wild animals in captivity and to provide for their specific needs if ownership is permitted. Consulting with experts in the care and conservation of flying squirrels can provide valuable guidance and ensure the well-being of these unique creatures.


If you are interested in owning a flying squirrel as a pet, it is important to find a reputable breeder or seller that complies with all legal requirements. Flying squirrels are typically not sold in pet stores, so finding a reputable source can be a bit more challenging. However, with a bit of research and effort, you can find a responsible breeder or seller who can provide you with a healthy and legally obtained flying squirrel.

Here are some steps to help you find a reputable breeder or seller of flying squirrels:

  • Research your local laws and regulations: Before even considering buying a flying squirrel, it is crucial to understand the laws and regulations in your area regarding their ownership. Some states or countries may have specific permits or licenses required to own a flying squirrel. Make sure you are familiar with these laws and comply with them.
  • Seek recommendations: Reach out to local exotic pet groups, animal clubs, or online communities dedicated to flying squirrels. These groups often have members who have experience with flying squirrel breeders or sellers and can provide you with recommendations.
  • Check breeder/seller reputation: Once you have a list of potential breeders or sellers, it is crucial to do some background research. Look for online reviews, check their website or social media profiles, and ask for references from previous customers. A reputable breeder or seller will have a positive reputation and be transparent about their breeding practices.
  • Visit the facility or ask for a video tour: If possible, visit the breeder or seller's facility to see firsthand how the flying squirrels are kept. Look for clean and spacious enclosures, proper hygiene practices, and signs of healthy and well-cared-for animals. If visiting in person is not an option, ask the breeder or seller for a video tour of their facility.
  • Inquire about their breeding practices: Ask the breeder or seller about their experience and expertise in breeding flying squirrels. Inquire about their breeding methods, genetic testing, and overall health of their breeding stock. A responsible breeder or seller will be knowledgeable about the species and take measures to ensure the health and welfare of their animals.
  • Meet the flying squirrels: If possible, request to meet the flying squirrels in person. This will allow you to assess their temperament and overall health. Look for signs of alertness, curiosity, and sociability. Healthy flying squirrels should have bright, clear eyes, clean fur, and show no signs of respiratory issues or injury.
  • Ask for documentation: As part of ensuring the legality and ethical sourcing of the flying squirrel, ask the breeder or seller for documentation that proves their compliance with local laws and regulations. They should be able to provide permits, licenses, or other necessary paperwork to demonstrate their legitimacy.

By following these steps and taking the time to research and visit various breeders or sellers, you can find a reputable source for your flying squirrel. Remember to prioritize the well-being and legal compliance of the animals and choose a breeder or seller that aligns with these values. Owning a flying squirrel can be a rewarding experience, but it is crucial to ensure that it is done responsibly and ethically.


Are there any specific enclosure or housing requirements for keeping a flying squirrel as a pet?

Flying squirrels are fascinating animals that have become popular as pets in recent years. These small, agile creatures are known for their ability to glide through the air, and they can provide hours of entertainment and companionship for their owners. However, it's important to understand the specific enclosure and housing requirements for keeping a flying squirrel as a pet.

One key consideration when housing a flying squirrel is the size of the enclosure. These animals need plenty of space to move around and exercise, so a large cage is essential. A cage that is at least 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide is recommended, with multiple levels and platforms for the squirrel to climb and explore. Additionally, the cage should have a wire mesh or bars that are no more than 1/2 inch apart to prevent the squirrel from escaping.

The material used for the cage is also important. Flying squirrels are known for their ability to chew through soft materials like wood or plastic, so a cage made of sturdy metal mesh or wire is best. This will prevent the squirrel from causing damage to the enclosure or escaping.

In addition to the size and material of the cage, it's important to provide the flying squirrel with plenty of enrichment and stimulation. This can include items such as branches, ropes, and toys for the squirrel to climb on and play with. Providing a variety of perches and platforms at different heights will allow the squirrel to exhibit its natural climbing and gliding behaviors.

Proper ventilation is another important consideration when housing a flying squirrel. These animals are sensitive to temperature and humidity, so it's important to ensure that the enclosure is well-ventilated and has adequate airflow. This can be achieved by placing the cage in a well-ventilated area of the home and using fans or air conditioning to regulate the temperature.

It's also important to provide a proper nesting area for the flying squirrel. These animals are nocturnal and spend most of their time in the trees, so they will appreciate a cozy, dark space to sleep during the day. This can be provided by including a small nest box or hiding spot within the cage, filled with soft bedding material such as shredded paper or cloth.

In terms of cleaning and maintenance, the enclosure should be cleaned regularly to ensure the health and well-being of the flying squirrel. This includes removing any waste or soiled bedding, wiping down surfaces with a pet-safe cleaner, and replacing bedding material as needed. Additionally, providing fresh food and water daily is essential for the squirrel's health.

In conclusion, keeping a flying squirrel as a pet requires a spacious, well-ventilated enclosure made of sturdy materials such as metal mesh or wire. Providing plenty of enrichment, such as branches and toys, will help keep the squirrel entertained and prevent boredom. It's also important to provide a proper nesting area for the squirrel to sleep during the day. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for the squirrel's health and well-being. By meeting these specific enclosure and housing requirements, you can provide a safe and comfortable home for your flying squirrel.

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What steps or documentation are necessary to legally import a flying squirrel from another country?

Importing a flying squirrel from another country can be a complicated process that requires adhering to various legal and regulatory requirements. To ensure the legal and ethical importation of a flying squirrel, follow the steps and documentation outlined below.

Research the Legalities:

Before importing a flying squirrel, it is crucial to research and understand the laws and regulations surrounding the importation of wildlife in both the source country and the destination country. Each country may have its own specific regulations and permits required for importing exotic animals like flying squirrels.

Obtain Import Permits:

Contact the relevant government agencies responsible for wildlife importation in your country to obtain the necessary import permits. These agencies may include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, or similar organizations. Provide all required information, such as the species of flying squirrel, its origin, and the purpose of importation. The permits will vary depending on the country and its regulations.

Choose a Reputable Supplier:

Ensure that the flying squirrel you intend to import is legally and ethically sourced. Choose a reputable supplier who adheres to local and international regulations concerning the trade and welfare of animals. Verify their credentials and request any necessary documentation proving the legality of their operation and the origin of the flying squirrels. This will help to prevent the importation of illegally obtained or endangered flying squirrels.

CITES Documentation:

If the flying squirrel species you are importing is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), additional documentation may be required. CITES aims to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of species in the wild. Obtain the necessary CITES permits or certificates from the relevant authorities in both the source country and the destination country.

Health Certificates and Quarantine:

Flying squirrels can carry diseases that may pose a risk to native wildlife or domestic animals. It is crucial to obtain health certificates issued by a licensed veterinarian in the source country. These certificates should confirm the flying squirrel's good health and its compliance with any specific health requirements of the destination country. Some countries may also impose quarantine periods upon arrival to prevent the spread of diseases.

Arrange Transportation:

Coordinate with a licensed and experienced animal transport company to ensure the safe transportation of the flying squirrel. The transport company should be familiar with the specific regulations and requirements for transporting live animals, including the necessary permits and documentation. Follow any specific guidelines provided by the transport company to ensure the comfort and well-being of the flying squirrel throughout the journey.

Customs Clearance and Declaration:

When the flying squirrel arrives in the destination country, it will undergo customs clearance procedures. Ensure that all required documents are readily available for inspection by customs officials. Provide accurate and detailed declarations regarding the nature of the import, including information about the flying squirrel and its accompanying documentation. Failure to comply with customs regulations may result in delays or seizure of the flying squirrel.

Importing a flying squirrel from another country requires meticulous planning, adherence to regulations, and cooperation with the relevant authorities. It is essential to prioritize the welfare and conservation of the flying squirrel species throughout the importation process. By following the necessary steps and documentation, you can legally and responsibly import a flying squirrel while contributing to the preservation of these unique creatures.

Frequently asked questions

The legal status of owning a flying squirrel as a pet varies depending on the jurisdiction. In some states or countries, it is perfectly legal to have a flying squirrel as a pet without any special permits. However, in other places, owning a flying squirrel may require a permit or be completely prohibited. It is important to check with your local wildlife agency or department of natural resources to determine the specific laws and regulations regarding keeping a flying squirrel as a pet in your area.

If it is legal to own a flying squirrel in your area, there are a few different methods to acquire one legally. One option is to find a licensed breeder that specializes in flying squirrels. These breeders will typically have the necessary permits and will be able to provide you with a legally obtained flying squirrel. Another option is to adopt a flying squirrel from a rescue or rehabilitation center. These organizations often have flying squirrels that have been surrendered or confiscated and are looking for permanent homes.

Before getting a flying squirrel as a pet, it is important to consider several factors. Firstly, flying squirrels are not typically recommended for first-time pet owners, as they require specific care and attention. Additionally, they are nocturnal animals, which means they will be most active during the night when you may be sleeping. It is also important to consider the space requirements for a flying squirrel, as they need a large and secure enclosure to live in. Finally, be aware that flying squirrels have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years, so they are a long-term commitment.

Owning a flying squirrel without the proper permits can result in legal consequences. In areas where flying squirrels are prohibited as pets, possessing one without the required permits can lead to fines, legal action, and the confiscation of the animal. Even in areas where flying squirrels are allowed as pets, it is important to make sure you have the necessary permits, as failure to do so can still result in legal trouble. It is always best to ensure you are abiding by the laws and regulations of your area to avoid any potential legal risks.

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