by Stephanie Moy, DMV
Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

You asked:

My male Pet Richardson Ground Squirrel just turned one.

For about the past month he sleeps quite a bit more than he was and he has turned a bit angry and wants to really bite. He’s eating very well and drinking water and no trouble going potty? Is this rut? Or is the some type of hibernation stage? Please advise. Thanks!


Your pet Richardson Ground Squirrel reached maturity recently and may be more aggressive because of that, and possibly slowing down by comparison to youth.  With any slowing of energy, however, it’s never a bad idea to have them checked out since it can be an early warning sign of illness. Very few of species actually hibernate in captivity because we control so much more of their environment that they don’t get the stimulation to do so. It certainly doesn’t sound like an emergency, but worth checking out to be safe.

Pet Richardson Ground Squirrel

Thank you to Dr. Moy of Chicago Exoctics Animal Hospital. Do you have a question for the veterinarian? Ask us and we’ll post the answer here.

Ask the Vet, Kristin Valdes, DVM

Welcome to Ask the Vet, a regular feature on The Animal Store Blog. We have teamed up with Kristin Valdes, DVM of Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, who will answer your most pressing pet questions right here! Do you want to see your question answered on the blog? Leave a comment below or submit it on our contact form.
IMPORTANT — If you have immediate health concerns about your pet, contact your veterinarian or local emergency animal hospital. The Animal Store Blog posts occasional questions to and answers from one of our favorite vets. This column is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered a substitute for regular veterinary care for your pet.