Forbidden foods for ferrets

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Today, more and more people are choosing to adopt ferrets as pets not only because of their charming looks, but also because of their intelligence and their active and curious demeanor. Despite not being as time-consuming as other companion animals, your guardians must also commit to providing you with some basic ferret care.

In this sense, the feeding of the ferret is a key aspect for the development of its physical, emotional, cognitive and social capacities. All ferrets need a complete and balanced nutrition to preserve your optimal health and enjoy a healthy and happy life.

In this new article from the Animal Expert, we tell you what the forbidden foods for ferrets that should not be part of your diet to prevent poisoning, digestive problems side effects, such as seizures, dizziness, lethargy and shortness of breath.

You may also be interested in: Forbidden foods for rabbits Index
  1. Toxic foods for ferrets
  2. Chocolate
  3. Coffee and caffeinated drinks
  4. Milk and dairy
  5. Sugars and artificial sweeteners
  6. Onions, garlic and leeks
  7. Commercial feed for dogs and cats
  8. Food for human consumption and junk or junk food
  9. Corn, cereals and carbohydrates
  10. Cooked bones
  11. Alcohol
  12. Grapes and raisins
  13. Avocado
  14. Tips for the correct feeding of ferrets

Toxic foods for ferrets

Here are some forbidden foods for ferrets:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Dairy products
  • Sugars
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • I think for dogs
  • I think for cats
  • Human food
  • Cereals
  • Cooked bones
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Avocado

These foods can be harmful and even toxic for your body. Likewise, we recommend that you consult with a veterinarian specialized in small mammals to learn more about the feeding of ferrets.. Here we detail why these foods should not be included in your diet.

1. Chocolate

Chocolate and cocoa contain two potentially toxic substances for ferrets, caffeine and theobromine. Your body does not have the necessary enzymes to metabolize chocolate, so its consumption can cause digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. In higher doses, ingesting chocolate could lead to seizures, tremors, fainting and even respiratory failure.

2. Coffee and caffeinated drinks

Like chocolate, coffee and its derivatives contain high doses of caffeine. In addition to digestive disorders, caffeine consumption can cause tachycardia, hyperactivity, anxiety and other behavior problems. The risk of heart problems is also increased.

3. Milk and dairy

As with most mammals, adult ferrets are lactose intolerant. During the lactation period, ferrets produce a high amount of the lactase enzyme, which is essential for digesting breast milk.

However, at the end of weaning, your body radically reduces the production of this enzyme, since your diet begins to be based on the consumption of animal proteins (ferrets are carnivores). The vast majority of ferrets are unable to metabolize lactose of milk and its derivatives, being able to suffer allergic reactions and digestive problems when consuming them.

4. Sugars and artificial sweeteners

Sugars and artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol Used in the manufacture of many "sugar free" treats and snacks, they can be harmful to ferrets. Your body is not prepared to assimilate these compounds, and may intoxicate it, lead to gastrointestinal problems and increase your predisposition to obesity and associated diseases.

5. Onions, garlic and leeks

Onions, garlic and leeks offer a high content of disulfide, a substance that can cause severe damage to red blood cells, impairing their ability to carry oxygen and iron to the body tissues of ferrets and consequently increasing the risk of developing anemia and deficiencies due to poor oxygenation.

6. Commercial feed for dogs and cats

Commercial dog food usually contains a high percentage of fibers, carbohydrates and fats, that are not appropriate for the organism of a strictly carnivorous animal such as the ferret. Excess fiber and carbohydrates can cause serious digestive disorders in ferrets, in addition to increasing the risk of nutritional deficits and anemia due to protein deficiency of animal origin.

Cat food is usually less harmful, since felines are strictly carnivorous animals and these products contain a high contribution of taurine. However, its consumption should not be the basis for a complete nutrition that fully supplies the nutritional requirements of ferrets, since it is formulated specifically for another species. The ideal is to acquire exclusive feeding for ferrets.

7. Food for human consumption and junk or junk food

Although some foods for human consumption can be beneficial for ferrets, such as beef, turkey or chicken, the foods industrialized, fried, high in fat and "junk food " (also known as junk food) are very dangerous for ferrets, as it can cause them to quickly weight gain and gastrointestinal problems.

8. Corn, cereals and carbohydrates

Corn is one of the grains richest in fiber and carbohydrates, which are very difficult to digest for ferrets. In addition to causing digestive problems, excess corn can end up fermenting in the ferret's stomach, generating a lot discomfort and possible damage to your gastrointestinal tract.

Other cereals and foods rich in carbohydrates should also be avoided, such as rice, beans, chickpeas, oats, bread and flours in general..

9. Cooked bones

Cooked bones are very dangerous for all pets, since during the cooking process the bones become less digestible and elastic, which can cause them to chip easily, seriously injuring your digestive tract.

An example might be chicken wings, which should be avoided entirely..

10. Alcohol

Alcohol and alcoholic beverages are very toxic to pets, even ferrets. Because it acts directly on the nervous system, alcohol consumption can cause behavior problems and disturbances in his usual behavior.

In addition, alcohol affects the proper functioning of the vital organs of ferrets, and can cause cardiorespiratory problems, liver and kidney damage..

11. Grapes and raisins

Consuming grapes and raisins can lead to serious renal problems in ferrets, as well as in dogs and cats, in addition to acute kidney failure. Before a painting of poisoning we can observe vomiting, diarrhea, sensitivity and polydipsia (excessive thirst).

12. Avocado

In addition to his very high percentage of fat, avocado has a highly toxic substance for ferrets and other pets, called persin. Although it is estimated that this substance is present only in the skin and bone, it is advisable to completely avoid its consumption.

Tips for the correct feeding of ferrets

Before finishing we want to do a little review about good practices when feeding a domestic ferret:

  • Moderation with fruits and vegetables: Even when we talk about fruits and vegetables that are beneficial to the health of ferrets, we must offer them in a moderate way, since they are foods rich in sugar and fiber. In addition, we must always remove the stone or the seeds of the fruits, as they contain cyanide, which is highly toxic..
  • Beware of raw meats: As we have mentioned, ferrets are carnivorous animals, having to consume a minimum of 40% protein of animal origin in their diet. Many guardians choose to offer a natural, raw diet to their ferrets, but extreme care is essential when offering raw meat to your little companion. If you are not completely sure about the origin of the meat you purchased, it is best to cook it before offering it to your ferret or base its diet on some commercial feed specially prepared to meet the nutritional needs of ferrets..
  • Be careful with the plants you grow: As they are quite curious and active, ferrets may be tempted to explore the plants that you grow in your home. Although they can be very beautiful, some species are very dangerous for ferrets, such as oleanders, poppies and daffodils, among many others. Ideally, you should consult a trusted veterinarian to acquire a complete list of potentially toxic plants for ferrets that you can find in your home and in your neighborhood..
  • Pay close attention to the organization of your house: You will probably never think of providing any of these foods to your ferret, but it is possible that he may accidentally come across some of the forbidden ferret foods in your home. For this reason, it is essential to pay close attention to the organization of our home, avoiding leaving any potentially toxic or allergenic product, food or substance within the reach of our pets..

Last (and not least), we remind you of the importance of quickly going to a specialized veterinarian when observing that your ferret has consumed a potentially toxic food or drink, or when identifying common symptoms of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, lethargy , drooling, seizures, or trouble breathing.

At the clinic, the professional will be able to analyze the health of your ferret and evaluate the best treatment to combat negative symptoms and restore good health..

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