Ferrets are intelligent and energetic little animals. Due to their short digestive tracts, ferrets need a constant supply of nutrients and energy. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning that they must eat meat. Left to their own devices, ferrets would consume various meats, including rodents, rabbits, or mice.
Maybe you wonder what else ferrets could eat and if it’s ok for them to have walnuts? Well, here is your answer, Ferrets should not eat Walnuts!
Why are Walnuts Bad for Ferrets?
Walnuts and any other nuts are bad for ferrets because ferrets can not digest plant matter. Ferrets lack a crucial enzyme needed to digest plant fiber.
At first sight, Walnuts seem healthy for ferrets. They contain not too much fiber and reasonable amounts of protein and fat. But as said above, your furry friend can not correctly digest vegetables, fruits, or plant material.
What happens if my Ferret eats a Walnut
Even though your Ferret will eat walnuts if it has the chance to do so, it will not gain any nutritional benefits out of it. While one walnut probably will not affect your Ferret’s health by much, more significant amounts of (Wal)nuts can be toxic to your Ferret.
Ferrets should not eat walnuts (or any nut). Walnuts are hard to digest and can block the intestines of your Ferret, causing a whole host of problems, including obstipation, blockage of the intestines, bloating, diarrhea, and more.
What Should I feed my Ferret?
Ferrets are doing best when they have an animal protein source.
Some examples are:
- chicken wings
- turkey necks
- Game birds
- raw bones
- whole prey (feeder mice/chicks)
- ground beef
Ferrets are not limited to these specific foods, but they are the easiest to obtain and prepare. Chicken breast is available all year long at grocery stores.
Chicken wings, round up ready for your freezer, are available anywhere. (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, Safeway, Albertson’s, etc.) ground beef is readily available in your local grocery store. Lamb is available all year long at grocery stores…
You could always buy more significant amounts to save some money. Put the meat you don’t use into your freezer. That way, you’ll always have something to feed your pet with.
Raw meaty bones are very nutritious to give to your Ferret. Ferrets love them!
Kibble is a good addition or alternative to feeding raw meat. Kibble is easy to store and prepare. Make sure to check the ingredients list if you are providing your ferret kibble.
You want to avoid kibble with lots of fillers, grain, starch – fiber in general. Buy kibble that was made explicitly for ferrets!
What about Vegetables & Fruits
Obligate carnivores. That’s Latin and means strict meat-eaters. Strict is the part you should pay attention to. Vegetables are bad for your furry friend. They can not digest plants/fiber. It gives them a bad time. Why would you want your Ferret to feel bad?
Do not feed plants/vegetables to your Ferret! It doesn’t provide them with any nutritional benefits. Ferrets eat meat. They need meats. Veggies can not give them anything they need.
The same goes for fruits. Additionally, fruits also contain sugar. Sugar is going to mess up your Ferret’s insulin levels. If you feed a lot of sugar, your Ferret is prone to get diabetes or, even worse, insulinoma.
Insulinoma in Ferrets
Insulinomas are a cancer of the pancreatic cells. As a result, insulin production is improper.
As said above, your Ferret probably will eat fruits and vegetables if it can get to it. Just as a human can overeat sweets, so can a ferret devour fruits and vegetables. Hence why we recommend feeding them foods that are good for them.
Ferrets are Fussy Eaters
Feeding a ferret can be challenging. Ferrets are fussy eaters. They can sense when something is not to their liking. This is because ferrets are imprinted to their foods by the age of approximately six months. Meaning that if your Ferret didn’t have raw meat at age six months, they might show a strong dislike for the said food item.
It is not impossible to introduce a new diet to your furry friend, but it certainly will take some effort and time.
Ferrets can not eat nuts. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning they require animal protein for their diet. Inferring from this statement, it is clear that ferrets need meat, not vegetables or fruits. Therefore do not let your furry friend have walnuts! Please provide them with a healthy diet of raw meat and ferret-approved kibble.