Can Ferrets eat Pork?

I have read a lot about the ideal ferret diet. And many times, I found people saying that pork should not be fed to ferrets. Well, this makes me wonder why? So I researched the topic thoroughly, and here is what I found. 

If you do not feel like reading the whole article, here is the answer I came up with:

Can ferret eat pork? Yes – if it’s fit for human consumption, there is no reason why your ferret could not have pork now and then. 

Why are Ferret Owners Avoiding Pork?

After all, pork is one of the most common meats in our diets. It has been around since ancient times when pigs were domesticated by humans. Raw pork meat is avoided because pork can be infected with the Trichinella Larva (Trichinosis). 

“In nature, animals are infected when they feed on other infected animals. Pigs and horses can become infected with trichinosis when they feed on garbage containing infected meat scraps. Cattle don’t eat meat, but some cases of trichinosis in humans have been linked to eating beef mixed with infected pork or ground in a grinder previously used for contaminated pork.

Due to increased regulation of pork feed and products in the United States, pigs have become a less common source of infection. Wild animals, including bear, continue to be sources of infection.”

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichinosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378583

The main thing here (in my opinion) is that due to increased regulation of pork products (in the US, that is), pigs have become a less common source of infection!

Pork: Does your Ferret’s Diet need to be Centered around it? 

No! Even though it is most likely safe to feed raw pork to your furry friend – I would still advise not to make it their primary protein source. There still is a (minimal) risk involved. 

Ferrets are strictly carnivorous animals. These animals hunt and eat whole animals, which contain raw meat, bones, tissues. They need to consume meat/animal products high in protein and fat but low in carbohydrates and fiber.

Meats that are commonly Feed to Ferrets

Here are some examples of meats commonly fed to ferrets:

  • chicken
  • chicken breast
  • beef
  • rabbit
  • game birds
  • veal
  • pigeon
  • turkey
  • turkey necks

What about Fish?

You could give your furry friends some tuna or salmon from time to time. But beware, your ferrets’ skin glands may start secreting a fishy smell – So it’s best to reduce those fish products to only a few times a year.

Can my ferret has Diary Products?

Short answer: No. Ferrets (adult ferrets) are lactose intolerant. Do not let them have any dairy products—no milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. 

Lactose (or milk sugar) is a carbohydrate found only in milk and some dairy products.

Kibble for Ferrets

Kibble is an excellent way to feed your furry friend. It’s a great alternative or addition to a raw meat diet. I would advise that you read the ingredient list on any food before feeding it to your ferret. There is some commercial kibble around that is made specifically for ferrets. They are low in fiber and high in protein and fat. Precisely what your ferret needs.

Avoid kibble that has too much fiber in it. I would say that anything above 5% fiber content should be avoided. 

I have been using Kibbles (and raw chicken breast) for my ferrets since they were kits, and they are still going strong! Also, they are ideal when you are off to work in the morning as they don’t need much prep time at all.

read.. can my ferret have onions?

How often do Ferrets eat?

Ferrets do best eating small amounts frequently throughout the day. Something like 5 – 8 meals per day is recommended. Obviously, every ferret is different, so this can vary from one individual to another.

Additionally, younger ferrets still in their growth phase may require older ferrets to eat less probably. 

If you’re away from home for long periods, consider having someone else prepare and serve the meals. If you plan, you’ll know exactly how many meals there will be each week.

Try adding some raw meat to at least 2 meals per day. Frozen chicken breasts are quickly thawed and prepared. 

Summary 

Pork can be fed to ferrets, but it is not advised to make it their primary protein source. The chances that your ferret may get infected with the Trichinella Larva are small but still present. The best way to provide a balanced and healthy diet is to combine raw meat and kibble.

Before feeding it to your ferret, make sure to read the ingredients list of any commercial food you are considering. Avoid fiber, starch, and filler products.

Note: I am not a vet or a nutritionist. All the information in this article should be taken as my own experience with my ferrets and insights gained from this topic.

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