Can Ferrets Eat Apples?

Ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means they should eat meat only! They need meat as their diet to survive and thrive, which makes apples very bad for ferrets!

Ferrets have a different digesting system than humans, so apples will not “keep the doctor away.” In fact, if your ferret eats an apple, it could develop a serious illness.

If you want to keep your ferret healthy, make sure it has a meat-only diet – or else you may end up with a very sick or possibly dead ferret on your hands!

So the answer to the question, “Can Ferrets Eat Apples” – is No, Not Really!

Ferrets are obligate carnivores. That means they need meat as their diet. They can not digest sugars. Apples contain fruit sugars.

Sugar in the Apple Can Damage Your Ferret’s Pancreas

While it will not kill your ferret to eat a tiny piece of apple, it is still very much recommended not to feed your ferret’s fruits. Or grains or fillers. Your ferret needs a meat-only diet.

Sometimes ferrets get tumors in their pancreas. This condition is called insulinomas. This tumor will make more insulin and will lead to blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia).

Apples Can Lead to Intestinal Blockage

Intestinal Blockage (Gastrointestinal Obstruction) is quite common in ferrets. It occurs when ferrets swallow something that they should not and cannot pass through the intestinal tract.

The trapped food may lead to a blockage of the intestines if it becomes stuck; this is very dangerous for ferrets. Watch out for lethargy and decreased appetite.

Go and see a vet asap. In most cases, surgery is necessary to remove the obstruction.

Don´t wait – the intestines could be damaged by the blockage, beyond what a doctor can fix!

Are Apples Bad for Ferrets?

Yes. Quite frankly – they are bad for ferrets. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, so they need meat only diet – apples have too many sugars.

Can Apples Give My ferret An Upset Stomach?

Not only that, but as said above – any parts of apples will eventually make your ferret sick. Most likely not when they just “stole” a piece of it – but if you would feed apples or fruits regularly, the effects could be devastating!

Are There Any Health Benefits of feeding Apples to your Ferret?

NO! There are no health benefits of feeding apples or any fruits to your ferret! Quite the opposite – fruits will make your ferret seriously sick!

What Fruits Can Ferrets Eat?

If you look around online, you´ll find some sources claiming that ferrets can eat apples, but that is not true.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores – they need meat as their diet and cannot digest fruits or grains. It is still very much recommended to avoid any types of fruit in your ferret´s food.

So again, the answer is pretty strict: Ferrets should not eat ANY fruits at all!

According to the American Ferret Association:

“Ferrets are strict carnivores; they require diets based on highly digestible animal (meat) protein with little to no carbohydrates. If you choose to feed dry food, choose high quality ferret or cat/kitten foods sold by pet shops, feed stores, and veterinarians with at least 36% protein, that is moderate in fats (approximately 20%) and low in carbohydrates.”

Source: http://www.ferret.org/read/faq.html

What Can Ferrets Eat?

Ferrets can eat almost any kind of animal protein. In other words, you are more than welcome to feed your furry friend fresh and raw meat.

a ferret in front of his bowl with meat

A balanced raw diet for your ferret is 80% meat, 10% bones, and 10% organs

  • Turkey
  • Turkey Necks
  • Chicken
  • Chicken Carcasses
  • Beef
  • Chicken Breast
  • Game Animals (check for parasites)
  • Pork
  • Bones (not cooked)
  • Organs
  • Whole Mice (buy them at a reptile store)
  • Salmon or Tuna (only small amounts)

As you can see, there is a wide variety of foods your ferret can eat. This will ensure your ferret is getting enough of the right nutrients for a balanced diet!

Ferrets can not produce the Taurine enzyme by themselves (unlike dogs), so they do need food that provides them with taurine. And that is, for the most part – Meat!

Is Dog Food ok for Your Ferret?

Dogs have a different digestive tract from ferrets. Never feed dog food because many brands contain grains that will make your ferret sick and possibly even kill him/her if he eats it regularly.

Is Cat Food ok For Your Ferret?

Some wet cat foods could be fed to your ferret. Cats need to intake taurine through their diet, just like ferrets.

And then again, you need to make sure that there no grains, fillers, or carbohydrates in this kibble either! Remember – obligate carnivores have particular dietary requirements, including meat as their main source of sustenance, followed by some plant materials such as fruits and vegetables.

Additionally, cat food can not replace proper “ferret proof” food!

Summary

Apples are not safe to feed to your ferret! Apples or any other fruits contain sugars. Your ferret needs a meat-only diet. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat as their main source of sustenance. While some cat foods are safe to feed to your ferret – Cat food can not replace proper “ferret proof” food!

The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is certainly not true for ferrets!

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