Can Chipmunks Swim?

  • 4 min read
  • Chipmunks
Can Chipmunks Swim?

Chipmunks are known for their chubby cheeks, big eyes, and bushy tails. These tiny creatures are so adorable and it is easy to see why they are the favorites of so many people. Read up on these cute critters and learn some fun facts on chipmunks! 

Can chipmunks swim? Believe it or not, chipmunks can actually swim! Chipmunks swim by doing a doggy paddle. While chipmunks are not the fastest swimmers, and they splash a lot as they swim, they can swim if they need to. 

With that being said, sometimes chipmunks will get trapped in backyard pools and drown. Unlike a pond or a creek, when taking a dip in a backyard pool, chipmunks cannot easily get out of the pool water. If a chipmunk gets stuck in your pool, try to scoop the chipmunk up with a pool net, skimmer, or the bristled end of a broom and place them outside of the pool. As with any wild animal, be sure to be cautious to avoid being bitten.  

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If you are continually finding chipmunks in your pool, it is a good idea to provide a wildlife pond in your yard, which can provide wild animals a place to drink clean, safe water, without the risk of them getting trapped in the water.  

Are chipmunks related to squirrels? 

Chipmunks are members of the Sciuridae family. Other members of the Sciuridae family include squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots. There are 25 different species of chipmunks, and all but one of these species live in North America. These different chipmunks live all over the continent, ranging from Mexico to Canada.  

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Both chipmunks and squirrels are rodents with short fur and rounded ears. An easy way to tell the difference between chipmunks and squirrels is the size. Chipmunks are smaller than squirrels and chipmunks have distinct stripes on their backs. Chipmunks are usually around 6 to 12 inches long, while squirrels can grow to be up to 20 inches long (including the tail).  

ALSO READ: Do Gorillas Have Tails?

Where do chipmunks like to live? 

Where do chipmunks like to live?
Where do chipmunks like to live?

Chipmunks like to live in the undergrowth in a wide variety of environments. They can be seen scampering through forest floors to areas of shrubs in deserts. Some chipmunks dig tunnels, chambers, and burrows to live in, but some chipmunks build nests to live in. 

What do chipmunks eat? 

If you have ever seen a cartoon with chipmunks in it, then you probably noticed that chipmunks like to eat and they love to stuff their mouths with their foods. Chipmunks have big cheeks that they use to store food. They then take these foods to their burrow or nest and save them. They do this because they hibernate in the winter.

Unlike some animals who eat a lot all fall and store fat to burn through in the winter, chipmunks will occasionally snack on their collection of food all throughout the winter as they hibernate. 

So what exactly do these animals eat? Chipmunks eat a variety of insects, nuts, berries, seeds, fruits, and grains that they can find.  

Can chipmunks be pets? 

While chipmunks are adorable, and they sort of look like the mice that some people keep as pets, chipmunks are not always the best creatures to keep as pets. Chipmunks have a lot of energy. You might think that you could keep a pet chipmunk in a hamster cage, but chipmunks need as much room to play and explore as possible.

A cage meant for other small rodents would be way too small and confining for chipmunks. Chipmunks will also get bored if they stayed in a cage all the time. But if you let them out of their cage, you have to be very careful – chipmunks are great at hiding and love to explore and will hide in any place they can.

Another thing to keep in mind is that chipmunks are wild animals. They do not like to be held or petted as a dog or cat does (well some of them do ;)).  

How long do chipmunks live? 

In the wild, most chipmunks live to be about two to three years. In captivity, chipmunks have been known to live eight years! 

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Adrian Volenik

I've lived around animals my whole life and I hold a Diploma in Animal Physiology. When I'm not reading or writing about wild animals, health and fitness, and technology, you can find me playing with my son and two cats. My pastimes include running, playing video games, and solving the NY Times crossword.