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Can Chipmunks and Squirrels Swim? (Read This First!)

Both chipmunks and squirrels belong to the Sciuridae family. Chipmunks are seen residing in different parts of North America while squirrels are found in different parts of America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They both fall in the category of rodents. 

Today, we are going to discuss whether chipmunks and squirrels can swim or not.

Can chipmunks swim?

Chipmunks can certainly swim. Just like other rodents, chipmunks possess the ability to swim using the dog paddle swimming style. Chipmunks are seen swimming in ponds, lakes, creeks, and canals. But chipmunks find it particularly difficult to swim in a pool which can cause the chipmunks to drown. 

Chipmunks are natural swimmers even if they are not seen swimming that much. Chipmunks follow the doggy paddle swimming style which is responsible for making them a slow swimmers. But the amazing thing about their swimming is their ability to swim for a long time.

Chipmunks can sometimes be seen swimming in your pool as a way to rehydrate themselves. Because there are some chipmunk repellents that can cause them to dehydrate. But chipmunks are not used to swimming in a pool. 

They can sometimes by mistake fall into the pool and start to drown. That is why you need to take some protective precautions to protect the chipmunks from drowning in your pool.

4 reasons why chipmunks can swim

There are several reasons why chipmunks can swim. Let’s look at some of the reasons that enable them to swim.

The enjoyment:

Chipmunks can be found swimming in a pond. They can be found swimming in your backyard pool too. They do it out of pure enjoyment. Swimming is a playful activity for chipmunks. They do not possess the ability to swim fast. 

But they surely enjoy the excitement of swimming now and then.

Their swimming style:

The swimming style of chipmunks is dog paddle. In this style, the chipmunks swim by placing their chest right on the water surface and using their legs to paddle through the water. 

This swimming style makes them slow swimmers but its effectiveness can not be argued with.

They are rodents:

Chipmunks fall in the category of rodents. Rodents are known as natural swimmers. As chipmunks are rodents, they have the natural ability to swim without any prior practice.

To defend themselves:

Sometimes people take steps to get rid of rodents when there is an infestation of them. One of the most popular rodent repellents is Warfarin. It causes the rodents to feel dehydrated.

When a chipmunk feels dehydrated, it will jump in the pool or any source of water it finds and will start swimming.

How long can chipmunks swim? How far can chipmunks swim?

Chipmunks are natural swimmers as they belong to the category of rodents. The swimming style of chipmunks is a doggy paddle. This swimming style makes them slow swimmers. They can swim for a long time. But they do not achieve the expected distance in that time frame.

Chipmunks swim better in ponds and creeks. When it comes to swimming in a pool, they struggle quite a lot. The flow of natural water sources helps them to swim better. But in the pool, there is no flow to aid them in their swimming.

There is no exact number for how long and how far chipmunks can swim. But they are slow and steady swimmers.  They also possess the stamina to swim for a long time covering average distance because of their slow swimming speed.

How do you keep chipmunks from drowning in the pool?

As chipmunks are natural swimmers, they are seen swimming in the pool too. But they can drown in the pool because of the lack of flow. Here are some steps that can be taken to keep chipmunks from drowning in the pool.

By building a fence:

It is not legal to keep chipmunks as pets as they are considered semi-wild animals. But the chipmunks of your neighborhood can sometimes intentionally or unintentionally fall into the pool.

It is very easy for a chipmunk to get into a pool. But getting out of the pool is very difficult. Chipmunks can jump as high as three feet. Building a high enough fence around your pool will prevent the chipmunks from jumping into your pool.

By placing ropes:

You can put strong knotted ropes beside the parameter of your swimming pool. If a chipmunk starts drowning in your pool, it can take the help of those ropes to get itself out of the water. It will not cost you much. 

But it will help you save the innocent lives of chipmunks.

By installing ramps and logs:

You can install ramps and logs in your swimming pool as a precaution. It will help the drowning chipmunks to exit your pool safely. It will be helpful for you as well.

By using a pool net:

If you see a chipmunk drowning in the pool, you can immediately use a pool net to get it out of the pool. As chipmunks are semi-wild animals, getting it out with a pool net is a safe choice.

Can squirrels swim?

Squirrels are natural swimmers and can certainly swim. They are seen swimming with the help of the doggy paddle swimming style and prefer to swim in ponds, lakes, and creeks. Swimming in a pool is alien territory for squirrels. The water skiing squirrel is the one that enjoys swimming the most. 

As they belong to the category of rodents, squirrels are natural swimmers. Squirrels do not enjoy swimming. But they can be seen swimming out of necessity. Chased by other animals, looking for food and shelter make up their criteria of necessity.

It is not unusual to see squirrels swim in lakes, ponds, and canals. But they find it difficult to swim in a swimming pool as the flow of pool water is alien to them. Like other rodents, squirrels follow the swimming style known as the doggy paddle. 

Using this style, they swim at an average speed. What is special about their swimming is that they can swim for a very long time which represents their stamina.

Do squirrels like water? Can squirrels drown?

Most varieties of squirrels are not fond of water. They are seen drinking and bathing in water. But they do it out of need. It is very rare to see squirrels swimming in the water out of enjoyment.

There is a variety of squirrels known as the water skiing squirrel. The water skiing squirrel is the one that is fond of water and likes to swim. All the other varieties will swim in ponds, lakes, and rivers if they are in danger of being thrashed or looking for a new home and food.

There have been cases where squirrels have drowned while swimming. It happens when they are being chased by other animals. Trying to fasten their swimming speed can often result in drowning. The most challenging water surface for squirrels to swim in the pool. 

They are not adapted to swimming in the pool and can often drown in it.

Why do squirrels swim in their chest?

There are several reasons why squirrels prefer swimming on their chest. Let’s discuss some of them.

For being rodent:

Squirrels belong to the category of rodent. All rodents are natural swimmers. And most of the rodents are seen swimming on their chest. That is why squirrels also prefer swimming on their chest.

Doggy paddle-style:

Squirrels are naturally good swimmers. They follow the swimming style known as the doggy paddle. By following this style, squirrels lay their chest on the surface of the order and make dog-like paddles to swim. This style of swimming makes them slow swimmers.

They are survivors:

While swimming, squirrels tend to focus more on their swimming technique rather than their speed. It is because of their survival skills. They believe swimming on their chest gives them the chance of survival in water.

How fast can squirrels swim?

The swimming speed of squirrels depends on a lot of things. They are not known for their fast swimming. But they do have an average swimming speed which is two miles per hour. If squirrels are chased by other animals, their swimming speed will significantly increase. 

But when it comes to maintaining optimum speed, they are not fast swimmers.

Squirrels tend to focus more on their technique rather than speed while swimming. It enables them to swim for a long time at an average speed.

Final Thoughts

Both chipmunks and squirrels can swim. They belong to the rodent category and rodents are natural swimmers. But chipmunks and squirrels do not enjoy swimming in a pool as it poses life-threatening dangers to them. Chipmunks and squirrels are slow swimmers with the ability to swim for a long time.