Can Ferrets Drink Milk?

Ferrets are not like other house pets. They can actually survive on a diet of high-quality dry food, fresh water, and occasional treats. Ferrets are classified as strict carnivores, meaning they are meat-eaters, but they will sometimes eat eggs or small amounts of other foods if they have the opportunity to do so.

But, should ferrets have milk? Ferrets should not drink milk, it is not healthy for their digestive system.

Why is Milk Bad for Ferrets?

Milk is not suitable for ferrets because ferrets are lactose intolerant. Signs for a ferret that has consumed milk include vomiting, diarrhea, and loose stool. If your ferret does happen to consume a small amount of milk, then there is a chance that you won’t even notice anything at all.

Obviously, it’s different if you give milk to your furry friend regularly. Ferrets have relatively small digestive systems, and they cannot process milk.

A lactose-intolerant ferret that drinks milk will have a lot of trouble with digestion and won’t be feeling well. Usually, mammals produce an enzyme called lactase to digest the sugar in milk, but the ferret does not produce lactase.

read.. can my ferret have ice cream?

Can Ferrets Drink Almond Milk?

Even though almond milk does not contain lactose, it is still a bad idea to give more significant amounts of it to your ferret. Almond milk is made of ground almonds. Ferrets can not process any types of plant-based foods very well. It is of no nutritional value for ferrets to drink almond milk.

Additionally, there is always the chance that almond milk contains sugar. And in case you didn’t know yet – Sugar is terrible for your ferret!

What Foods are Good for Ferrets

A variety of meats in front of a white background

Ferrets are obligate carnivores. That means they need meat to live a healthy life. Their diet should contain about 32% to 36% of animal-based protein and around 15% to 20% fat.

You could achieve this with foods containing meat or buy a commercial ferret food containing the right balance. Either way, your ferret should also have constant access to water.

What Meats can Ferrets eat

Ferrets are imprinted to their food. By the age of around 6 months, ferrets “made up their mind” what foods they like – and which they don’t like…

This means that they must be switched to a new food slowly and should never be switched from wet to dry food suddenly. Chances are that a ferret never before has eaten raw meat will not start to eat it if you just put it down. They might sniff it but will not try to eat it. You’ll have to introduce them to raw meat slowly and in steps.

The best way is to take a little of their regular food and soften it with a bit of water. Then mix this with the raw meat so they can eat it together with their regular food. Gradually increase the amount of raw food until they get more from that than from their standard stuff.

But if your furry friend is used to raw meat, then the following meats are good:

  • beef
  • lamb
  • rabbit
  • chicken
  • chicken wings
  • turkey
  • turkey necks
  • organs (liver)
  • game birds
  • deer
  • ground beef

Ferrets are not picky when it comes to meat (well, once used to eating raw). So basically, you could buy any quality cut of meat, and they will eat it.

Kibble

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Kibble is dry food. It is available for many different types of animals and comes in various sizes and forms. If you buy kibble for your ferret, it is good to follow the same rules as you would for buying meat. Always buy the best quality kibble possible.

The better quality kibble contains more protein and fat than cheap brands, and this can make a big difference to your ferret’s health and happiness.

Also, do not buy a dog or cat kibble. Especially dog food has a high percentage of fiber, filler, starch, and so on. All those things are awful for your ferret. But there are many high-quality ferret food brands available that do not contain these ingredients, which is a lot better for your ferret’s health.

Ingredients List

If you are unsure, always read the ingredients list. If you see something like grain, corn, or starch in higher percentages, stay clear and look for a kibble made especially for ferrets.

Another thing is animal by-products. Some brands are claiming that they use chicken by-products, for example. And these by-products contain things that we humans don’t want ferrets to eat.

Good to know: Animal by-products are animal waste products such as blood, bone, hair, hoofs, horns, etc. This means they don’t actually have anything to do with “real” meat.

Summary

Ferrets should not drink milk. They are lactose intolerant and may suffer from bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, and loose stool if they have milk in more significant amounts. Your furry friend needs meat-based products to thrive and should be given meat and high-quality ferret food as well as access to fresh water.

Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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