Ferrets are carnivorous animals, and they can devour raw meat, including the bones that come with it. Plus, bones are rich in calcium and other minerals, making them necessary in a ferret’s diet. However, you should avoid giving them cooked bones since they can break apart easily and can puncture the insides of your pet, resulting in fatal injuries or damage to their internal organs.
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Can I Give My Ferret Bones?
For a straightforward answer, yes, you can give your ferret bones since they are meat-eating animals with a history connected with the wild predatory life, which means that they can eat a whole animal, including its organs and bones. However, I must emphasize how important it is to never give your ferret cooked bones since it becomes brittle and splinters easily, resulting in life-threatening injuries or damages to their delicate internal organs.
If you’re worried about the bacteria within the raw meat you’re giving your ferrets, well, you don’t have to since their digestive system is so fast and used to eating whole raw animals. Giving bones to your ferrets does not only satisfy or quench their hunger, but it also acts as a piece of floss or toothbrush. The act of nibbling or scraping their teeth against the bone is suitable for their dental hygiene, and the act of pulling on the gristles or cartilages is similar to brushing or flossing one’s teeth.
Not just that, it is ideal to include raw bones in your ferret’s diet since it is rich in protein, calcium, and other essential minerals.
Cooking the meat actually destroys most of the nutrients it has, so it’s in the best interest to always serve your pet plain, fresh, raw meat like mice, lizards, and chicken.
Just remember to give and maintain a balanced diet; ferrets need around 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat— which, by the way, half of it must be liver since it gives them their daily dose of vitamins.
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Bones Nutrition For Ferrets
Raw bones are added into a ferret’s diet for a solid reason— they are filled with rich nutrients and minerals that can keep them healthy and well-nourished, such as the following:
- Arginine – a nutrient that is involved in protein biosynthesis and removing ammonia from the body.
- Taurine – a vital nutrient that supports the development of neurons and cardiovascular health.
- Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus – are essential nutrients that aid in the development of your ferret. Not just that, they help in strengthening the bones in their body and play a crucial role in carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism.
Despite what others believe, ferrets eating raw meat or bones is something completely normal and will not upset their stomach in any way since it is something they’re natural at doing. If you aren’t feeding your ferrets any raw bones, then it’s most likely not getting enough calcium than needed— and calcium, again, is necessary for a ferret’s diet.
For baby ferrets, a bit of advice from yours truly, avoid jumping straight into raw bones and start feeding them with ground or chunks of meat— as long as you maintain the ideal high-protein diet.
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What Human Food Can Ferrets Eat?
You can feed them with the basic and known protein sources such as boiled egg, chicken, turkey, and others; just be sure to skip adding salt and seasonings to these meats. The meat should always be fresh and must be less than five days old. Bones can also be ground and fed to ferrets, as long as they are finely processed and no splinters are present, as these can harm the ferret’s esophagus or throat.
Fruits that are high in sugar content are big contraindications to your furry pet as they can cause malnutrition, again because they cannot be processed well by ferret’s digestive systems, and eventually these sugary foods, in the long run, can cause tooth decay, hypoglycemia and a plethora of complications. Vegetables and onions should also be avoided.
It is important to note that additives should be avoided when preparing their meals as these ingredients can cause intestinal problems to your ferret. Feeding them milk is a big no too.
Sufficient to say, any meat-based human food is safe for ferrets, as long as it isn’t seasoned and is cooked well. It is never right to assume that what’s good for humans is also good for pets such as ferrets. We should have at least a significant amount of knowledge when it comes to a certain pet that we have. Ferrets raising comes with huge responsibility, such in a way that their digestive systems are very sensitive and can react to the slightest foodstuffs.
A diet that’s good for your ferret isn’t one that makes them feel full and joyous, an excellent diet is one that meets their dietary needs without compromising their health and safety. Safety should never be in lieu of comfort. Your pet’s safety is always your priority.
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As a general rule:
A ferret’s diet should consist of 32-38% protein and 15-20% fat.
Include In Your Ferret Diet
- Raw meat is the best
- Dried ferret food that’s high in meat protein.
- Chicken wings and stripped carcasses.
- Raw animal bones
- Game birds
They can also eat prey like mice, rats, and chicks.
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Avoid In Your Ferret Diet
- Fruits, Vegetables & Grains – Your furry friends will have issues while digesting these foods.
- Dairy products – They lack the enzymes needed for the digestion of lactose.
- Chocolate – This is poisonous to our ferret and may end up very bad.
Your ferret has very short intestinal tracks. While their metabolism rate is high, the food they take is digested and ingested very fast and that’s why we see our ferret hungry all the time.
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What Kind Of Bones Can A Ferret Eat?
Aside from fresh meat and animal organs like liver or heart, you still need to consider what kind of raw bone you’re planning to feed your ferret since there are plenty to choose from, such as poultries, rabbits, and more. But, again, I can’t stress enough how you should never let your ferret eat cooked bones since it can be harmful to them.
Here’s a list of what kind of animal bones ferrets can eat or chew on:
There are bones that ferrets can completely devour, like mice or lizard bones. However, there are big bones that they love to chew on, such as meaty beef or pork bones. And since this meat is pretty hard or tough to chew, it also gives your pet the chance to strengthen its jaw muscles.
Remember, ferrets do not only rely on bones. You must also give them fresh meats and organs, especially the liver! Also, a diet high in carbohydrates can lead to hurting your ferrets, so avoid adding fruit or vegetables to its diet.
For baby ferrets, a bit of advice from yours truly, avoid jumping straight into raw bones. Start feeding them with ground or chunks of meat— as long as you maintain the ideal high-protein diet.
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How Should I Serve The Bone To My Ferret?
We include bones on a ferret’s diet because bones are filled with many nutrients that benefit the animal. When you give your ferret a cooked bone, the nutrients have now stripped away and even made it dangerous for your pet.
For those ferrets that aren’t familiar with the bone diet, or if you noticed that your pets ignore the whole bones you give them, there are a couple of ways to ease them into it. First, you must start with the soft or small bones like the ribs of a quail or the ends of a bird’s wing.
However, if that doesn’t work for them, another way is to thoroughly grind the bones to bits or smaller chunks, resulting in a more easy chew and swallow process. Then, soon after they’ve grown accustomed to soft bones, you can now move to the next best thing like chicken wings or duck necks.
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Raw bones are rich in minerals and nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and arginine. All of which enable healthy growth and development for the ferrets. Also, there is no need to be alarmed since eating raw meat and bones is entirely normal and natural for these carnivorous beings. However, giving them cooked bones is a big, bold no since it turns brittle and even splinters, which may lead to puncturing your pet’s internal organs.
There may be some ferrets who ignore a bone placed in front of them. Since bones are essential to their diet, you should try and let them get into it. There are many ways to achieve this: you can start by choosing the soft bones for them to eat, or you can grind them into more delicate pieces. Lastly, ferrets have a short intestinal tract, so their diet needs to be high in meat-based protein and fat. Remember that and never give them fruits or vegetables.