Ferrets are usually kept as household pets and are considered to be intelligent animals. They are also social creatures and love to interact with their owners. Ferrets are carnivores, and they require high protein diets. Ferrets can digest meats such as beef, pork, lamb, venison, and poultry. You can also give your ferret raw bones as treats.
So, have you ever asked yourself, “Can Ferrets Eat Steak”? Here is your answer. Yes. They can, as long as the steak is raw and unseasoned.
Can Ferrets Eat Cooked Meat?
A cooked diet can be fed. Nonetheless, it affects the nutritional value of the food. Ferrets have short digestive tracts. They need food that is high in energy, such as raw meat. If you cook meat, it loses some of its nutrition (energy). Your ferret feels full, but its body is not receiving the essential nutrients it needs from the food.
If you feed them raw meat, they will get more energy from the meal than if they were given cooked food.
Different Meats that are Good for Ferrets
Ferrets are not really limited to a particular kind of meat. They can be fed different types. Here is a list of different kinds of meat that are good for ferrets:
- chicken wings
- game birds
- turkey necks
- fish (sometimes)
Basically, any kind of meat is ok for your furry friend. Make sure it’s fresh and of high quality, though.
Nutrition Benefits of Raw Meat for Ferrets
Using raw meat as the main diet can provide many benefits for your ferret. /instruct [What are the Nutrition Benefits of Raw Meat for Ferrets]
Raw meat, when used as the main diet, can provide many benefits for your ferret.
Raw food diet provides more nutritional benefits for ferrets than a cooked food diet. A raw food diet is more nutritionally complete and provides all the essential amino acids needed by the animal.
Raw meats are also easier to digest. Studies show that ferrets digest meats better when they eat them raw than meats cooked at high temperatures.
Can Ferrets Eat Vegetables
Ferrets should not eat vegetables. They can not properly digest the fibers found in vegetables. It could cause digestive problems. In the worst case, undigested fiber could lead to intestinal blockage.
Ferrets are strict carnivore animals and should be fed a high protein diet. This is needed for proper growth and development. A carnivore animal, like the ferret, can not properly digest plant matter.
Can Ferrets Eat Fruit?
Ferrets should not eat fruit either. For the same reasons mentioned above, with vegetables, ferrets should NOT eat fruits. Fruit is high in sugar, which ferrets can’t digest in large amounts. Ferrets are prone to insulinomas.
Insulinoma is a cancer of the pancreatic cells and is seen most commonly in ferrets that have overeaten sugar, fruit, and carbohydrates. Insulinomas can be fatal if they are not found and treated.
Rick Axelson, DVM, explains insulinomas as such:
“An insulinoma is a tumor that involves the beta cells of the pancreas. Beta cells are the cells that produce the hormone insulin. Insulinomas are surprisingly common in ferrets. An insulinoma may be an insulin-producing adenoma or an insulin-producing adenocarcinoma. By definition, an adenoma is benign, while an adenocarcinoma is malignant.
Insulin regulates blood sugar levels by reducing the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is an important energy source for the body. The excess insulin that is produced by an Insulinoma results in dangerously low levels of glucose in the blood.
The average age for a ferret to develop an insulinoma is 5 years old, but it may be seen as early as 2 years of age.”
He further goes on that the signs for an insulinoma are “pawing at the mouth, “stargazing,” weakness (often seen in the hind end), weight loss, tremors, collapse, abnormal behavior, depression, lethargy, and confusion. The symptoms can progress to include seizures and hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) coma.”
I highly suggest reading the full article over at VCAHospitals.com.
Can Ferrets Eat Fish?
Fish are high in protein. Thus, you can give your ferret fish that is fresh and of high quality. However, it’s not advisable to feed them fish regularly. After all, fish is nothing that a ferret would eat or find in the “wild” as their natural diet. Fish should be fed occasionally, not as a daily source of food.
There are lots of different kinds of dry food for ferrets out there. I would suggest getting your ferret a mix that is primarily raw meat. Kibble for ferrets must be low in fiber. Ferrets can not digest fiber well. Fibrous foods can fill the intestines with waste and cause the intestine to become blocked.
Buy only kibble that was made specifically for ferrets! If unsure, check the ingredients list for fiber, starch, fillers, and other things not found in the ingredients list of the ferret food you are looking at. It would be preferable to choose a raw food diet than a commercially prepared kibble.
Ferrets can eat steak – But it should be raw! Ferrets are obligate carnivores. That means that they need meat to survive. They cannot live without eating meat. As mentioned earlier, they cannot correctly digest vegetables and fruit. Raw meat is the best diet for ferrets.
That said, you can feed your ferret various kinds of meats. Prepare different types of meat for their meals regularly. See which type of meat your ferret likes best, and stick with that one for the most part. That way, you will know that your ferret is getting the nutrition it needs from its regular diet.