Ferrets are becoming more and more popular as pets. Still, some people might wonder what their furry friends actually should eat. Ferrets are strict meat-eaters by nature.
So, can ferrets eat insects and mealworms? The short answer is yes! Ferrets can eat mealworms and insects.
Ferrets should be able to meet some of their nutritional needs with mealworms or insects. Insects have a variable but high concentration of taurine, with ants having the highest concentration.
Keep in mind that mealworms and insects can not replace the primary diet of your furry friend!
While meat-based food should still be the main staple, insects and mealworms can act as healthy snacks every once in a while.
Why Meal Worm?
There are almost as many proteins in live mealworms as eggs, and dried mealworms have more than 50% protein! The only other creature with more is cricket.
Do Mealworms have any nutritional value?
Mealworms and most other insects are high in protein and a decent source of calcium, zinc, magnesium, and copper. Mealworms are also a good source of B vitamins.
Though ferrets can eat mealworms, they shouldn’t be used as a food source in the long term. Mealworms don’t provide all the nutrients your ferret needs, so only feed them to your pet occasionally.
What Insects Are Good For Your Ferret?
There are many types of insects that can be fed to your Ferret. Mealworms, crickets, and waxworms are a few of the most common. In general, you should look for live insects that are not treated with pesticides and are also free of artificial coloring.
Insects as Treats
Mealworms and some other common insects are a healthy addition to your pet’s diet. In fact, many veterinarians recommend feeding live insects as an occasional treat because it can be a fun way for your pet to stay active.
Crickets can be a good source of protein too. Feed your Ferret a small cricket every two days. That should be the maximum amount of insects you offer.
Waxworms are another easy insect to feed to your pet. You can toss a few of them into your pet’s food bowl or hide them in his favorite treat. Waxworms are not considered as high in protein as mealworms or crickets, so you can offer more of these to your pet each day.
Here are some ideas for a healthy ferret diet:
- Chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, organ meats like liver and heart, and salt-free jerky. No seasoning, salt, or marinade. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means meat only
- Ferrets can eat mice, chicks, quails, rats, and rabbits, as well as chicks. They can be purchased frozen and pre-killed
- Crickets, earthworms, mealworms, and cockroaches
- Ferrets love chicken or turkey baby food! For picky eaters and ferrets recovering from surgery or being ill, you can use it to temporarily replace kibble
- It is advisable to avoid vitamin supplements such as FerreTone, Linatone, Furatone, FerretLax, Laxatone, and Petromalt when dealing with ferrets in good health. Vitamin A toxicity can result from taking too many “tone” supplements
- Sugar and soy should not be used in ferret treats
A balanced diet for your Ferret should consist of 30 – 40% protein and 15 – 20% fat.
Foods to Avoid feeding your Ferret
Certain foods are absolutely not recommended as food for your Ferret. The following foods should not be fed to your Ferret:
Fruits contain sugar. High sugar foods can cause severe problems for your Ferret. These include an increase in the amount of insulin in the blood. Too much insulin can cause low potassium and can lead to heart arrhythmias.
Also, excess sugar is quickly converted to fat by the body, leading to obesity and diabetes. In the worst cases, sugar can lead to cancer in the pancreatic cells of your Ferret. This is called Insulinoma and is fatal in most cases.
Ferrets don’t need vegetables to live a healthy life. Vegetables contain indigestible fiber. This moves through the digestive tract quite slowly, and ferrets can not digest it. Ferrets can get very sick from these fibers, and intestinal blockages caused by fibers can be deadly.
Don’t feed your ferret cheese or any other products containing dairy. Ferrets are lactose intolerant and cannot digest the lactose in dairy products.
Ferrets do not have the necessary enzymes to digest milk products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, or cream in their digestive tract.
Dog food contains many other things but meat. Wheat, fillers, starch, and artificial coloring should not be present in ferret food. Dogs can digest specific amounts of those things – Ferrets can not!
Ferrets need protein, calcium, and other nutrients to survive. Some cat foods may be appropriate for ferret food without any (or meager percentage) fibers, plants, and fillers.
Wet cat food is never a 100% replacement for your Ferret’s regular diet. Still, it can occasionally be fed to your pet.
Ferrets can eat mealworms and insects. Insects have a variable but high concentration of taurine, with ants having the highest concentration.
Mealworms and insects can not replace the primary diet of your furry friend! While meat-based food should still be the main staple, insects and mealworms can act as healthy snacks every once in a while.