Ferrets are one of the most popular and fun pets in the world – unfortunately, they also happen to be more susceptible to diabetes than any other animal! Carrots contain sugar, so you may wonder if it´s ok for your ferret to eat carrots?
Here is your answer: Ferrets can not eat carrots because of carrots’ sugar and carbohydrates part.
Ferrets are strict carnivores who won´t digest the carbohydrates found in vegetables or fruit because they don’t have the necessary enzymes for breaking them down properly.
How Can Vegetables Possess a Health Risk To Ferrets?
Ferrets cannot digest vegetable protein. Ferrets can suffer from conditions such as stones in their bladders, ulcers on their skin, and gastroenteritis.
Sugar and carbohydrates will cause diabetes and insulinoma!
What is Ferret Diabetes?
Ferret diabetes is a disease that affects the ferret’s pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. When the levels of insulin are too low, they can develop hyperglycemia and lose consciousness.
Many factors contribute to ferret diabetes, but the wrong food usually induces it. Ferrets with high blood sugar often have a sweet and fruity breath odor and problems with their eyesight, leading to other health issues if not treated.
You need to know what your ferret can’t eat because, in addition to being more prone to diabetes than other pets, they also cannot have certain foods like dog food, or vegetables, or any fruits at all.
What Is Insulinoma?
Insulinomas are tumors that affect the pancreas’s cells responsible for insulin production. Insulinomas are comparatively frequent in ferrets.
The lack of insulin can cause glucose to drop. These ferrets can then have seizures.
Source of the Disease
In more than 50% of the cases, diabetes is linked to a diet rich in carbohydrates, and excess carbohydrates are not part of a healthy diet.
Sugar and Ferret Metabolism
Ferrets are high energetic animals that have a fast metabolism. To reach this level of energy, they naturally eat foods several times per day.
The average amount of food a ferret eats per meal is between 100 and 200 grams, which is equivalent to 3/4 of a cup to a cup.
Because of their fast metabolism, ferrets can eat small amounts of food several times per day with no harm.
This is why the sugar in their diet can have such devastating effects – sugar can cause rapid and dramatic swings in blood glucose levels.
These rapid swings cause the insulin in the ferret’s body to be used up faster than it should.
Despite their high metabolism, sugar is toxic to ferrets because it can rapidly spike blood sugar levels. Consequently, sugar consumption will lead to pancreatic cancer.
Foods That Are Good For Ferrets:
- chicken wings
- turkey necks
- ground meat
- chicken breast
- game birds
Can My Ferret Eat Dried Foods like Kibble?
There are special dry foods for ferrets available. Other types of pet food (dog, cat, etc.) should not be given to ferrets because they are hyperglycemic and will cause diabetes!
Plus, in most cases, they will have fillers, such as grain, wheat, etc., in them – which are very bad for your ferret!
Special Dry foods for ferrets are all-natural and do not contain sugar.
While they provide many nutrients, they cannot contain sugars or carbohydrates. Many of the dry foods will be high in fat to provide energy for the animal.
Can My Ferret Eat Dog Food?
No. Dog food contains ingredients that are not good for ferrets and can cause significant health issues. If you want to know if a food is ok for your ferret, check the ingredient label. If you see any of the following ingredients on the label, don’t give them to your ferret!
These ingredients are never good for them :
- Sugar – listed as corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, molasses, etc.
- Corn -You’ll find this in many dog foods.
- Grains -Any grain is bad
- Vegetables-Remember, Ferrets are strict meat-eaters!
Can My Ferret Eat Cat Food?
Yes – Well, some cat foods are ok to give to your ferret, but you need to check the ingredient label—no grains, no sugars, etc.
Wet cat food for kittens is sometimes ok to give to your ferret. But remember, cat food can only be given as a treat and not to replace their regular food!
Can My Ferret Eat Fish?
Yes, it can. But only occasionally. Think about it this way: if your ferret would still be a wild animal – roaming around the great outdoors – how likely would fish be on its meal plan?
Can My Ferret Eat Eggs?
Ferrets can eat eggs. Again, only occasionally. Eggs can be boiled or raw.
In conclusion, with all of the information found in this article, it is clear that ferrets need their food to be mostly carnivorous. This includes rabbit meat, beef, and chicken.
They should NEVER eat dog or cat food because of the ingredients in it. Just make sure always to check the ingredient list before you give your ferret any food, and you’ll be fine!