We all love our little furry friends. They are captivating, loving, and just plain fun to have around. But when it comes to their diet, they can be a bit finicky. If you have ever wondered if ferrets can eat blueberries, here is your answer.
NO – Ferrets should not eat Blueberries! Why? Read on to find out.
Ferrets are Obligate Carnivores
Unlike dogs and many other mammals, ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means that they can’t be fed a diet that contains higher levels of carbohydrates. High carbohydrate content in plants and fruits is poorly digested by the ferret’s small gut and does not provide the necessary nutrition required by your little furry friend.
Yes – No veggies or fruits! Just meat! Meat is all they need to live a healthy lifespan.
Ferrets need a high percentage of animal-based protein in their diet, making it impossible to provide them with sufficient nutritional value by feeding them foods rich in carbohydrates.
A Ferret’s Diet: How Much Protein, Fat Do They Need?
Here is what the experts from the American Ferret Association say about it:
“A balanced diet and proper nutrition will lead your ferret to a long, active, and healthy life. 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, which is moderate in fats (approximately 20%) and low in carbohydrates.”
Do Ferrets Like Blueberries?
The fact that they can’t eat blueberries does not mean that they don’t enjoy blueberries. In fact, ferrets probably would love to et them. But – sadly, you should not allow that. Not at all!
The sugar in the blueberries could potentially make your ferret ill. The high sugar content in blueberries may cause an increase in your ferret’s blood sugar levels, leading to life-threatening problems.
Just imagine, for a second, how difficult it would be to figure out exactly how many blueberries are safe to feed your ferret and still keep him healthy and happy. It would be tough to figure out exactly how much is safe for your little buddy’s blood sugar!
Ferrets are small animals, and even a tiny amount of sugar can cause health problems such as increased glucose and insulin levels.
In a ferret with diabetes, these blood sugar levels can be very high and lead to many severe health problems and eventually lead to Insulinoma.
What is Insulinoma
An insulinoma is a tumor that develops in the pancreas of a diabetic ferret. It is primarily found in ferrets about 5 years of age.
An insulinoma is not cancer (although it is an uncommon tumor that can be pretty dangerous). If not taken care of right away, it will most likely lead to death. It also plays a preeminent role in the development of diabetes in ferrets.
Beta cells are the ones that produce insulin. If they are damaged, the ferret goes into hyperglycemia ( diabetes) very fast and can die very fast.
To prevent the risk of an insulinoma, you should give your ferret a low carbohydrate diet.
How Common is Insulinoma?
Insulinomas are surprisingly common in ferrets. About 1 in 4 ferrets who live to be five years old will have an insulinoma. That’s a 25% chance of getting it!
There are several ways to try and prevent this from happening. One of the most straightforward changes that you can make is to look for foods that are low in carbohydrates for your ferret.
How to make sure they eat enough protein while avoiding carbs?
Ferrets are carnivores and need to eat a diet high in protein.
Ferrets should eat a diet that consists of several types of meat:
- Minced meats
- Game birds
- Chicken + Chicken Wings
- Turkey Necks
- Whole Prey (Feeder Mice)
- Ferret Kibble
Also, fish is an excellent source of protein for ferrets. But should only be given from time to time. Another good source of animal protein is eggs!
Eggs are not the primary source of protein in a ferret’s diet and should be fed in addition to their daily food. Eggs are excellent sources of many nutrients, including vitamins A, D, and E.
Ferrets should also get a good amount of fat in their diet. A good amount of fat is from meat (beef, lamb, poultry, and fish), liver, and fish oil. Fat is an essential part of a ferret’s diet, but it should not be a dominant factor.
And if you buy kibble, make sure that it is a product made for ferrets.
What Is The Frankenprey Diet?
The Frankenprey Diet is basically raw. The main reason is that many people like to try to feed their pets the best and most natural foods they can. It’s a variety of meats, organs, and fat.
The Frankenprey diet tries to resemble a whole prey consisting of 80% meat, 10% bones, and 10% organs.
Because raw diets are so high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, they can be very beneficial in making sure your ferret gets everything he needs to stay healthy and happy.
Commercial Ferret Food
Many commercial brands now make balanced raw diets for your ferret. You will find many of them in pet stores. These are definitely the most straightforward option and the best way to get a quality diet for your ferret.
The most important thing that I want to emphasize is that ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means that they need animal-based protein to survive, and the more animal-based protein they consume, the happier and healthier they will be.
Ferrets on a diet with lots of carbohydrates will not only not be able to get all of the necessary nutrients, but they are also entitled to deal with severe health issues too! Diabetes and Insulinoma are very real, and foods with carbohydrates are the main reasons for these problems.
Meats and organs are the safest ways to get animal-based protein into your ferret’s diet, and they will provide all of the essential nutrients they need.