Can Ferrets Eat Watermelon?

Ferrets are true carnivores and cannot digest plants, fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, or other plant-based foods. They have short digestive tracts and cannot stomach anything with starch, sugar, and fiber content.

So the answer to your question is – No, you should not feed watermelon to your ferret! 

Why Should You Not Feed Watermelon To Your Ferret?

It would be best not to feed watermelon to your ferret because it would be challenging to digest. Watermelon is not part of a balanced ferret diet and is not healthy for your ferret. As mentioned above, ferrets are obligate carnivores. Their body is not designed to eat fruits or vegetables.

If you feed your ferret watermelon in any amount, it will not absorb the nutrients or vitamins it needs to stay healthy and cause digestive distress.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores. That means their diet should consist of a diet based on animal proteins, which is why they should not be fed any plants or fruits. According to the American Ferret Association, ferrets should not be given any vegetable matter at all, including fruits and vegetables.

Some people feed their ferrets chopped-up melon or slice – I have seen youtube videos of ferrets eating watermelon.

And even though watermelon might not be as harmful as bananas, it is a bad idea to give it to your ferret due to the sugar content.

Fun Fact: 
Ferrets are carnivores (meat-eaters), not omnivores (plant eaters) or herbivores (vegetarians). They cannot digest grains, beans, or any plant material at all.

Ferrets have short digestive tracts evolved to fit their meaty diet. There is no fat or protein in watermelon – your ferret can not get anything good from this treat. 

The water the melon contains is of no benefit either – provided you supply them with fresh water (as you should). 

So, why put them in danger and feeding them something they should avoid? It is not beneficial for them to have sugar in their diet as their bodies would not digest it properly. 

They could develop insulin resistance, leading to more severe health issues later on, such as diabetes or, even worse, insulinoma – a cancer of the pancreatic cells. 

A High Protein Diet Is Necessary For Your Ferret

Ferrets need a high protein diet, which is why it is recommended that you feed a strict meat-based diet. The digestive systems of ferrets are designed to digest meat, not complex carbohydrates. 

What is the Best Food for a Ferret?

Your ferret can have as many treats as your ferret would like (kinda). Meat-based foods are what your ferret should eat. This could be either kibble or: 

  • chicken breast
  • chicken wings
  • turkey necks
  • whole prey such as mice
  • beef
  • lamb
  • game birds
  • offal
  • minced beef
  • bones

Basically, any fresh and quality meat is perfect for your furry friend. Again: Watermelon Is Not Good For Your Ferret! 

Whole Prey 

feeder mice packed for storage

The ideal food would be whole prey. Feeder mice are available in most pet stores. If your ferret has never eaten the whole game before, don’t be surprised if it takes a while to get used to eating mice or feeder chicks.

Ferrets are picky eaters and are imprinted on the foods fed to them at a young age. It gets harder to introduce a new diet to them the older they get. 

That’s why it is essential to introduce them to various foods before they turn older than 6 months.

Dry Food – Kibble 

ferret eats out of its bowl in a cage

Kibble is often used as a ferret’s primary source of food. It’s a small treat that is easily digestible. Ferrets need something to keep their teeth clean and healthy, and dry food will help. Even better would be a raw bone for them to chew on…

You can buy kibble in most pet stores. Make sure to purchase the ones exclusively for ferrets. Your furry friend can not eat kibble that is for dogs or cats. That is because dog food mainly contains additives that might harm your ferret.

If you have already transitioned to a regular meat diet for your ferret, kibble is the perfect second food.

You are feeding a balanced diet. You can’t go wrong with kibble as the main part of their diet. I would always advise you to include raw meats in your furry friend’s diet plan.

If you choose not to provide them dry food, then do not worry about it. Ferrets can get by just fine without being fed dry food. 

After all, it’s also a question of how much money you have available – Raw quality meat can be somewhat expensive. 

That’s why you should make sure before buying a ferret that you actually have the money to care for it properly!!

How Often Should I feed my Pet Ferret?

The average adult ferret eats between 5 and 8 times per day. They have a fast metabolism, so it is necessary to provide them with food throughout the day. An adult ferret needs to consume about 5-7% of its body weight in food every day. 

What about Treats?

Stick to animal-based protein. You could give your ferret an egg. Boiled or raw. Or, every once in a while, some tuna. They will love it.

What if my Ferret Refuses to Eat?

If your ferret refuses to eat, try offering them food in small portions a few times until it proves otherwise. If your ferret doesn’t eat for more than a day – contact your vet! 

If your ferret loses its appetite, it could be a sign of several medical conditions like anorexia, depression, or even worse.

They often swallow rubber, foam, or plastic objects, so if your ferret refuses any food, make sure to keep an eye on them and their toys to see if they had reached anything that shouldn’t be chewed on. 

See your vet! Blockages can occur in the intestinal tract and cause health problems or even death. 

Summary

Don’t feed your ferret watermelon! Ferrets are carnivores and can not digest anything other than meat. They should not be provided plants or any vegetable matter, such as corn, beans, carrots, or peas. 

They can eat eggs (though they are not necessary for their diet), and their dietary needs are met by feeding them a balanced diet of meat and protein.

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