Can a ferret eat a banana? I occasionally get these questions from new ferret owners. In this article, I am going to give you an outline of what your ferret’s diet should look like.
Adopting a ferret is exciting. However, it also means that you will now be responsible for entirely everything including feeding and cleaning after him. When it comes to feeding, it is important that you check on his diet.
Ferrets have a very short digestive tract. This makes it impossible for them to digest foods with high carb content. Unfortunately, bananas fall into this category. This means that you should not let your ferret eat a banana, not even as a treat.
However, some ferret owners go ahead to argue that ferrets can eat small amounts of bananas. I advise you against it as it is of no use. There are more cons than pros of letting a ferret eat a banana. Below, we are going to look at the perfect foods for ferrets.
Also, we are going to look at the list of foods to feed your ferrets and those that should be avoided. So, why can’t ferrets eat bananas?
Why can’t a ferret eat a banana?
Bananas are healthy for us. You will eat it as a treat and even as a component of your salad. However, I advise against feeding bananas to ferrets. Understand that ferrets are unable to digest complex carbohydrates, as I mentioned above.
Before I go ahead, I must emphasize the seriousness of this. Too much of bananas in your ferret’s diet could have fatal results. And in this case, it is not only about the bananas. Rather, foods containing high sugar content are harmful to ferrets.
Bananas also contain fiber. Now, your ferret cannot digest fiber, let alone absorb the nutrients. Instead, bananas may actually block your pet’s intestines which can be fatal.
Due to the high sugar content, bananas can also lead to other fatal illnesses. For instance, your ferret might start overproducing the insulin hormone. As a result, he might suffer from hypoglycemia, a decrease in blood sugar. In ferrets, this is called insulinoma and it could lead to death if not well managed.
As you can see, too much banana could lead to a visit to the vet. Besides, as with humans, too much sugar is not good for your ferret’s teeth. Therefore, ensure that your ferret’s diet does not contain high sugar content.
Overall, I would advise you to strictly stick to the nature of your ferret. Only feed him foods rich in protein and fewer sugars. After all, ferrets are carnivorous.
What if my ferret eats a banana accidentally?
Now, you already know that bananas should not be part of your ferret’s diet. However, you might have already given a piece of banana to him. Well, while bananas are generally unhealthy for ferrets, the first time might not be as harmful.
However, one ferret might react differently from the other. Therefore, I suggest you keep an eye on your ferret for the next few days. Chances are that this one time will not have any effects on your ferret.
Should you notice any symptoms such as sudden loss of appetite or lethargy, I suggest you speak to your vet. You need to rule out any chances that your ferret is ill. Ferrets are not supposed to eat bananas naturally, or any other sugary fruits and treats.
What should I feed my ferret?
If you have recently fed your ferret a banana and he ate it all, you may not have to be worried. However, do not make it a regular thing. Your ferret will definitely be happy to eat anything, but as I have mentioned above, it could be fatal.
Well, if you are starting out, I have previously talked about feeding ferrets. Well, I am happy to briefly highlight some of the foods you should avoid giving your ferret.
Ferrets are strictly carnivorous. This means that they feed on high protein foods that have high protein content and lesser carbs. Before I list down what to avoid, I will list down a couple of foods you may consider, as well as treats for ferrets.
These are some of my favorite choices for ferret food:
- Cooked meat. It could be chicken, beef, turkey. Some ferret owners also feed raw meat to ferrets
- These can also be raw yolk, scrambled or boiled eggs. My fuzzy enjoys a boiled egg occasionally and he loves it.
- Frozen prey such as chicks and mice. Small animals make great prey for ferrets
- Internal organs and bones of other animals. Your ferret is going to enjoy the hearts or liver whether cooked or raw.
- Commercial ferret food should be your go-to solution. They are specifically made for ferrets and therefore will contain all the right ingredients. Most of these commercial foods are safe to use and will contain high protein content.
Watching your ferret’s diet is among the responsibilities that come with owning one. Well, I suggest that you check the ferret food you get from the store. Make sure that it does not include harmful ingredients that could hurt your fuzzy buddy.
Foods to NOT feed your ferret
We have looked at how harmful it can be for a ferret to eat a banana. However, that is not the only exemptions when we are talking about the ferret diet. Below, I am going to give you an outline of the foods to avoid giving your ferret:
Milk and yogurt
A glass of milk might sound refreshing to you. Or maybe a can of yogurt, right? Well, while this is healthy for our bodies, it is not for your ferret. It contains way too many carbs for your tiny friend to digest.
In most cases, your ferret will experience stomach upset if he consumes milk or yogurt. I would advise you to stay away from dairy products.
Food containing onions can be deadly to your ferret. This is why I always insist on reading the ingredients list when buying food. Onions are known to cause hemolytic anemia which can be quite fatal.
On the same, keep foods with garlic away from your ferret. It could cause your ferret’s kidneys to shut down. Well, you can see how life-threatening this could be to your ferret.
Once again, ferrets are strictly carnivorous. Whole grains will contain a lot of fiber which is completely indigestible for ferrets. You will have to be cautious when buying pet food as most of them contain dry grains.
Check to make sure that your ferret’s food is completely healthy.
Fruits and vegetables
Not only should you refrain from giving your ferret bananas but also other fruits. Most of these fruits and vegetables contain fiber and also high carbohydrate contents. Your ferret cannot digest these foods and so it is all for nothing.
Besides, as I mentioned above, they could end up clogging your ferret’s intestinal tract. Intestinal obstruction can be life-threatening and may need surgery to correct.
Before you bring your ferret home, I suggest you do your research. You need to find out the dos and don’ts when feeding him. Avoid all the foods that do not correspond with your ferret’s digestive system. I have outlined some of these foods above.
The key is to provide a healthy diet to keep your ferret happy. Make sure that you provide enough food to keep your ferret fed for the entire day. Well, these small animals have rather a short digestive tract. This results in a fast metabolism rate meaning they get hungrier way faster than we do.